I’ve mentioned a few times on the show in the last few weeks that I have been using a Maplin’s RF keyboard to control my Media Centre. Up until recently I had been really pleased with it. It was small, responsive and, despite having Sinclair Spectrum style rubber keys, easy to type on. Unfortunately in the past week a few build issues have shown up and the joystick style mouse has become very unresponsive. Fortunately over the festive period I was treated to a replacement:- a new RII mini keyboard from TomTop (search for Rii on EBay to find them)
This is really tiny, has proper keys, a laptop style touch pad and even a built in laser pointer. It has a rechargeable battery which can be charged from a PC USB port. The unit is cleverly supplied with a pass-through charging lead so that you can still plug another USB device into the same port you are charging the keyboard from – a very neat touch although I probably wouldn’t try plugging any USB device in that draws power like for instance a hard drive. The charge seems to last a really long time. I do switch the keyboard off between uses but so far it has survived almost a week without needing charging and the low battery light is not on.The keyboard is also illuminated which is perfect for the living room.
I have to say I am really impressed with this device. My only concern is the aforementioned laser pointer. I am assuming they have put this on the keyboard for use in the presentation market but I can see it being downright dangerous in a home environment filled with kids!
Anyway a picture speaks a thousand words
From top to bottom My Logitech remote for scale, the Maplin’s keyboard and then the Rii. Perspective and depth of field are making the Rii look a bit bigger than it is. Suffice to say its tiny!
4 thoughts on “My media centre keyboards are getting smaller–TomTop Rii”
I was tempted by one of these (saw it on deal extreme for $39 – http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.35354, which is even better than the ebay prices). What I was wondering though is how useable it actually is as a keyboard. The keys look not much bigger than a blackberry. Do you find it OK to type on?
That is a good price.
I think it will depend on how much typing you will do. Being so small it will never be a touch typists dream but it is definitely a better two-thumb board than most phones I have tried.
The keys have a nice rounded feel (like little hills) wich makes it relatively easy to locate the correct key and each key has a very positive feel to being pressed. I haven’t had it long enough to know how the keys will wear but generally the whole thing feels well built.
To sum up I wouldn’t want to write a novel using it but I have quite happily written this comment using it.
One other thing I should mention the Fkeys only go up to 8 so if you have an application that uses F9 etc that is a pain
That’s good to know thanks Garry. I think I’ll get one.