on February 14, 2011
I bought this to use with my Ubuntu Maverick HTPC, but it doesn't work well. When turned off or when left on for a long time, it needs to be re-paired before it will work again. The Bluetooth menu's "connect" option doesn't do the trick, and even if it did, I still wouldn't be able to use this as my sole input device. It needs to just stay connected. My Bluetooth mouse behaves fine with Ubuntu, and this needs to be the same.
It seems to work better with Windows, but for me that's not a saving grace. I am tempted to return it and get the non-Bluetooth version, because I expect that will behave like a normal USB device.
Some details on the product itself:
It is the bluetooth version of the Rii keyboard. Says so on the box.
It comes with a USB bluetooth adaptor that can be stored in a slot the keyboard. This is different from the competing Logitech diNovo Mini. The diNovo is also a bluetooth keyboard/touchpad, but its adaptor makes it look like a standard USB device. This allows it to work in contexts that bluetooth cannot, e.g. when changing BIOS settings.
The adaptor also seemed to have a limited range. When I switched to my own USB Bluetooth adaptor, the range seemed to get much better.
The keyboard layout is mostly an improvement over the diNovo, providing standard keys, symbols, and arrow keys without using the special Fn key. Only PageUp, PageDown, Del, multimedia keys, and other special keys require Fn. It even includes "~", "|" and F1-F8, which are omitted or hidden on the diNovo. However, Shift, Ctrl and Alt are only provided on the left side, making it harder to use modified keys on the lefthand side of the keyboard.
It would be nice to be able to swap the multimedia and function keys (as supported by my Dell XPS laptop), so that Play, fast-forward, volume etc. did not require Fn. For an HTPC, those keys are more important than F1-F8.
Both mouse button 1 and 2 are provided, but they are under the touchpad, making drag-and-drop unnecessarily hard. It is also hard to double-click. If you double-click with the mouse button, you must move your left thumb over to the right-hand side of the keyboard. If you double-tap on the touchpad, it may not work, because your OS may see movement (it's a very sensitive touchpad). I think the mouse buttons should be on the lefthand side of the keyboard, as with the diNovo. There's a Bluetooth pairing button, but that ought to be a rarely-used function, so it would be nice to see that space given to something more useful like mouse buttons.
The device charges via USB, which is a definite advantage, but it would be nicer if it had a micro USB port instead of a mini USB port. The micro port has been standardised for charging in the EU, and I already have two USB micro chargers. USB micro is also used by my Nexus One phone, Western Digital external hard drive, and dearly departed Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth headset.
It comes with a unique USB Y cable for charging, in which one end is a USB mini jack, and the other end is a USB socket. This means that you don't lose a USB port when you charge the keyboard.
It would be nice if the laser worked even when main power was off, but I don't expect to use the laser much anyway. I don't make presentations very often, and I don't have a cat to exercise.