Rii mini i6 Keyboard & Remote Review
About Rii Mini i6 Performance
The remote was tested on a Panasonic TX-P42G10 which uses a fairly standard IR remote system. The IR system on the Rii mini takes a bit of tinkering to setup properly. Like most aftermarket IR remotes you setup the keys by learning them from a normal remote. This requires you to set up each key individually which is a bit of pain, but once done it is quite rewarding. The fact that you can do away with at least one IR remote and gain a fully functional Bluetooth keyboard as well is nice.
The keyboard function proved easy to set up. Like with a big Bluetooth keyboard you simply conduct a search via the machine’s Bluetooth interface with Bluetooth turned on, on the keyboard. Configuring both the pointer options and the keyboard was painless and the it worked fine for typing the usual short messages and navigating to the desired content.
Besides the cheap feel the trackpad is not that refined. It feels as though it lacks definition and sometimes doing small movements can be a little tricky without having the mouse jump across the screen. A little setup tweaking helps, but for units such as a PS3 that is not an option. Most of the regular keys are available on the keyboard without having to access a “Function”-key first which is nice. The keytops are relatively small so you have to watch your typing sometimes. The keycaps are fortunately bulging outwards which helps a bit.
Typing on the keyboard side works surprisingly well, you do however, have to mind where you place your fingers on the front of the unit since you might accidentally push some button on infrared remote side of the Rii mini.
The keyboard side of the keyboard is where the fun is at. The build quality is somewhat worrying due to the wobbly rim part and the squeaking sounds the keyboard emmits when you twist it a bit. It does not seem anywhere near as durable as normal quality remote control.
The white color is has a slight yellowish tint which means that it is a bit dull to look at. The yellowish color is clearly visible at the trackpad area due to the tracking surface being pure white in color.
The perhaps most interesting thing about the Rii mini i6 is the full QWERTY-keyboard on the back. Like most small sized keyboards this one uses a special function key to expand the amount of combinations available. Those planning on using it with a Windows-based media center will be pleased to find easy access to media keys and other important hotkeys.
Just besides the keyboard is a trackpad which works alright. It features fast scrolling and is almost precise enough to be really useful for navigation purposes.
The Rii features both a full set of arrow keys and the usual left and right mouse buttons. This makes the keyboard function quite usable for media center application since navigation is usually conducted with the use of the arrow keys.
The Rii mini i6 can take control of two remotes which makes the device very versatile.
On the front you have a normal joystick as you find on most modern remotes. There are no numeric keys on the front which is a shame for people who want to use this to control a receiver or CD/DVD/BD-player.
About Rii Mini i6 Conclusion.
The Rii mini i6 is a brilliant idea. The fact that you can compress two remotes and one keyboard into one small and attractive unit is very nice. The bad thing about this is of course the implementation chosen by FocalGadgets. The unsophisticated remote layout means that it is only ideal for set-top boxes and TV control. Navigating a normal receiver or a CD-player will be a pain.
The good news is that the keyboard side is very useful and it works in combination with all sorts of gear, right from an iPhone through a Windows 7 PC to a Sony PS3. The build quality is close to horrible. The plastic rim is wavy and you can easily press it in. It feels like you can kill the Rii mini i6 without trying that hard, and that is an inherently bad feature for something that is supposed to live in close proximity to one’s couch.
The Rii mini i6 is almost alright for the price and brings some good features to the table. We would have preferred to pay $20 more and get something with better build quality and with a more refined trackpad, and perhaps a really perfectly white paint job.