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GTVHub’s Review of the Logitech Mini Controller

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by sparkyscott21, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    The Logitech Mini Controller is an optional controller for the Logitech Revue priced at $129.99.The Revue ships with a full-sized QWERTY wireless keyboard with a built in trackpad, so this optional accessory offers the same control in a much smaller package.

    With its sleek form factor and smaller size, the Logitech Mini Controller is certainly a more practical means of controlling the Logitech Revue. However, is the hefty price worth it for a bit of convenience and aesthetic appeal? Continue reading below to find out with our review of the Logitech Mini Controller.


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    Initial Impressions:

    The Mini Controller is aesthetically pleasing, and matches the look of the Revue itself, and feels much better in the hand than the default full keyboard. Due to its compact size it feels natural to hold like a mobile phone or remote control, and the overall design and look is pleasing. That being said, the device requires the use of both hands which brings about its own set of issues which we will discuss a bit later on.

    When first opening up the box, it seems like there is way too much stuff for a simple controller. The Mini Controller comes with the device itself, a power adaptor, a Li-ion battery to power the device, a unifying receiver, a USB cable extender, and the warranty and instruction information.

    One of my biggest complaints with the device is the need for the unifying receiver, which needs to be plugged into one of the Revue’s USB ports in order for the controller to work. For someone who has a TV Cam and also uses a USB flash drive for viewing content, this means that these will have to be swapped out whenever you want to use either the camera or the flash drive. I really do not see why this receiver could not have been included internally, as it is quite a hassle to have to constantly swap out the secondary USB port for either the TV Cam or the flash drive.

    Also, the pairing process was a bit confusing. My initial attempts to pair were unsuccessful, even after using the USB cable extender. However after multiple failed attempts and finding myself beginning to think the unit itself was defective, it decided to work even while still giving me a pairing error message. Ultimately the device paired just fine, but the process was quite frustrating and almost led me to believe that the unit was defective.


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    Design and Quality:

    The Mini Controller features a QWERTY keyboard similar to what you would find on a large smartphone, and offers two different modes – one of which turns the circular up / down button into a mini-trackpad to control the cursor on the Google TV. The two different modes are enabled by flipping a switch on the top right of the keypad, and the buttons change color to let you know what mode the remote is on. Overall it is a pretty clever implementation.

    The build quality of the Mini Controller is favorable compared to the sometimes awkward feel of the default keyboard that ships with the Revue, but for $130 it should feel more solid. The back of the remote is a nicely textured plastic so the device is not slippery, but unfortunately it is flimsy, and hallow.



    Usability:

    The biggest drawback to the Mini Controller is that it is a two handed device. Many of the primary TV viewing functions such as accessing the TV guide, DVR, or TV mode of the Google TV require you to hold down the Function button to make your selection. This alone makes the controller somewhat troubling to use with only one hand, and somewhat defeats the concept of a mini controller.

    There is a bit of a learning curve to say the least, but once you get used to it the device becomes a bit more user friendly. I will admit that there were times that I found myself reaching for the default keyboard, but again after some practice I learned all the ins and outs. Now in terms of usability that puts the Mini Controller at a bit of a disadvantage, but if you really want a more compact device and are willing to spend a couple of days figuring everything out, this is certainly a useful accessory for the Logitech Revue.

    Conclusion

    If the price tag was $50 I would highly recommend the Mini Controller, but given the fact it costs more then an Apple TV just for the remote makes this a luxury item. From a hardware standpoint this is a solid and powerful controller for Google TV, and it’s input methods are clever and aesthetically pleasing, but the two-handed requirement and price leave much to be desired.


    By TRENT LAPINSKI
    JANUARY 5, 2011

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  2. harley man

    harley man New Member

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    its ok i only got because i had a gift card and if the full size controller was back lit i would not need it . for 130$ it should do more then it dose like work all keys that i made coustom for my full size controller so i can run my dvd and lighting and avr sound . you can not use your coustom keys with the mini because of it size but there is 6 keys left open so there is a littel room left so maybe if they do a update you could use then some time soon . so base on that i would say 130$ is to much . i am sure a better one will come out soon that will be a one mini controller that will work all of your tv/dvd/ avr/ goole tv /needs. . its works good looks good feels good just needs to do more for the price . and usb receiver is only need if it is not a logitech revue so it will not use up one your usb ports . i give it a 7 out of 10 . when i first got my revue i thought that it should have came with the mini controller but now that i have both logitech was right on with the full size key board but it should have been back lit the mini is harder to use . i think i am takeing my mini back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  3. joker

    joker Guest

    Logitech also has the Logitech Dinovo Mini Keyboard 920-000594. looks just like the Revue Mini. It comes with a usb dongle. Would this one work with the revue? It can be had for a lot less money.
     
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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