Just Delivered: Rii Mini wireless USB HTPC Remote

Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 21, 2011 - 11:56 AM |
Tagged: remote, htpc

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

Every once in a while I get a wild desire to buy some junk from Amazon.  Actually, it's more like every day.  This time though, the item that I got in actually seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of price, function and quality.  

One of the biggest headaches for HTPC (home theater PC) users is that controlling the PC remotely with any kind of precision is hard to do.  There are TONS of remotes and wireless keyboard/mouse combinations on the market but I happened to come across one called the "Rii Mini" on Amazon that only cost $35 and seemed to be a perfect, yet simple solution.

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Yes, it is a cheap Chinese knock-off on the Logitech coloring and branding, but that isn't our problem.  The unit combines a keyboard, touchpad and laser pointer (what??) in a small form factor with some impressive features that have made it useful in my limited testing time thus far.

More photos and details after the break!

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Once you get past the badly translated text, the Rii Mini has a host of goodies including a rechargeable battery (via USB connection), a backlight, laser pointer to annoy your cat and even a power switch that will offer upto "500-700 hours of standby."  

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The wireless device connects via a 2.4 GHz wireless USB dongle just like many other keyboards on the market and seems to have decent range.  

As for using the device, so far so good.  Typing with two thumbs is made slightly less optimal by the fact that your right hand has to stretch over the touchpad but you can get the job done.  Don't try to compose any novels and you should be fine.  The touchpad itself is pretty high quality and, though small, was more than capable of handling our navigation needs.  

So, what do you guys think?  What HTPC remotes are you guys enjoying now and how do you think they compare to this cheap, yes effective, Rii Mini?

 

April 21, 2011 | 02:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i actually have one of these but my rf receiver is a lot smaller than that one hmm..

i don't mind it but it is not super easy to use I'm typing this on it. The tiny shift key bugs me. It gets the job done for htpc usage however.

April 25, 2011 | 05:27 AM - Posted by jgstew

I have the Rii Mini bluetooth model which only costs a tad more. I love it and is my preferred HTPC remote, supplemented with smart phone apps like Hippo Remote for iOS. I much prefer the Rii Mini over remotes that just have a few media keys because they don't always work with every program and there is currently no single program to run on an HTPC so switching is a hassle on a more limited remote. I switch between Boxee, Hulu Desktop, Windows Media Center, and other apps, but I wish I could just use Boxee for everything.

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