Logitech Revue GoogleTV keyboard: Too big

September 23, 2010, 8:26 PM UTC

A huge keyboard from a company that already makes great portable media center keyboards.

Digital Trends got their hands on an early Logitech Revue GoogleTV last week.  Overall, they loved it, saying:

Let’s face it: You don’t buy a Swiss Army knife because it has a corkscrew. You buy it because it has everything, and a few of those things just can’t be found in most other places. The cloud revolution is well under way, people. And if you’re not in it, you’re probably still scratching your head, staring into the sky, watching it float by.

So put away your Motorola Razor with the big clicky buttons, and catch up, because (at least for the moment) Google is king, we are its subjects, and the Logitech Revue has just put the best damn roadmap to its kingdom in our hands.

One thing stuck out to me about the hardware: the keyboard. It is full-sized and meant to be used on your lap.

Huge mistake.

I’m about as techie as it gets and I see no reason why you need a full-sized keyboard in your lap while watching TV. More than 90% of what you type on this thing will be to search for shows to watch.  That’s about 10-20 characters per query.

You can do that with a smartphone-sized keyboard that acts as a multimedia controller.  As just about everyone is getting used to typing on their phones, this would be foreign to few.

The strangest part? Logitech has made a device that does this exact thing, the Logitech diNova Mini (pictured below) for two years!

I use the diNovo Mini for my current home media center and it works perfectly.  I use a full desktop Mac OS computer so I don’t just have to navigate a few menus, I am literally using it like a computer.  It works over Bluetooth and on Mac or PC.

The circular tab on the top right acts as either a mouse or as navigation arrows.  It is as fast and efficient as a full sized keyboard would be, especially if I had to use the full sized keyboard in my lap.  It also gets passed around the room just like a remote would.

I use the keyboard in a very similar way that BlackBerry, Sidekick, Droid or other Qwerty smartphone users use their keyboards.  As people know, they can often approach their desktop speed with some practice.

Here’s a good video of the Dinovo Mini in action.  Another from YouTube:


One of Google’s smaller competitors, Boxee, has a really cool little remote on their $200 media center.

This is the right idea:

Boxee MediaCenter Remote

Media center users don’t want a full keyboard.  If anyone should know that, it is Logitech.

So why is Logitech putting this full-sized keyboard (below) in the box with their Revue GoogleTV?

I am at a loss.  Perhaps Google requires a full-sized keyboard?  Or maybe this was just a one-off for early reviewers?  Anyone?