Release roundup: Input devices, a case, and a system utility

This week’s roundup has an assortment of goodies, including a couple of input devices, one case, and a new version of the AIDA64 system utility. Let’s get started.

  • Chill Innovations announces KB-1BT Micro Keyboard. Looking for a diminutive keyboard for your home-theater PC? Chill Innovations has an interesting Bluetooth device that might do the trick. The KB-1BT combines a keyboard and touchpad in a device that looks no larger than a plus-sized smartphone. An LED backlight provides illumination for the keyboard, and there’s an integrated flashlight if you can’t find your bowl of popcorn in the dark. For those whose systems lack Bluetooth connectivity, the KB-1BT ships with a USB dongle that claims a 10-meter range.
  • Tt eSports announces Azurues Mini gaming mouse. Although its name suggests that the Azurues Mini is designed for notebooks, it looks like a standard-sized affair to me. The mouse has an optical sensor that can be toggled between 400, 800, and 1600 DPI. A rubberized coating should prevent sweaty palms from slipping on its surface, while teflon feet on the underbelly ensure smooth movement on your tracking surface of choice. Oddly, neither the press release nor the product page reveals the number of buttons included on the Azurues Mini. Users will be able to tune the mouse’s feel by swapping in 20 grams worth of weights, though.
  • Sharkoon expands case line with T5 Value enclosure. Budget cases pack all sorts of goodies these days, and the T5 Value is no exception. Sharkoon’s latest mid-tower comes with front-panel USB 3.0 ports, dual 120-mm LED fans, and an acrylic window on the side panel. Inside the blacked-out interior, you’ll find a large cut-out behind the CPU socket, a few more holes for cabling, and mounting brackets for 2.5" hard drives and SSDs. Sharkoon quotes an asking price of 55 Euros, which works out to about $77.
  • AIDA64 1.8 unveiled by FinalWire. There’s something to be said for a good system utility, and AIDA64 has become pretty popular. The latest version supports Bulldozer and Llano APUs, and its integrated benchmarks have been optimized for AMD’s new hotness in addition to Via’s QuadCore CPU. There’s also a new SensorPanel feature that tracks numerous system variables in a single display window. Users can configure the SensorPanel to display temperatures, fan speeds, voltages, and other bits of useful information.

After years of controlling my home-theater PC with just an MCE remote, I recently added a wireless keyboard-and-trackball combo. What a difference. While the remote is still king, it’s great to have a proper input device within arm’s reach, making me particularly intrigued by that Chill Innovations KB-1BT.

Comments closed
    • jpostel
    • 8 years ago

    I see a bunch of responses about the micro keyboard, but it seems that many of them come from people that don’t live with other people. A smartphone app doesn’t do a lot of good to the person trying to watch TV without the smartphone. Unless, of course, you are giving smartphones to your 7 year olds, in which case, I commend you not only for your forward thinking, but also for your patience when training a 7 year old to not misplace their smartphone.

    All that said, I have an MCE remote on the main TV, but I have a different brand of micro keyboard for another TV and it works well enough. They are kind of funky to hold with the touchpad on the side. When you are used to thumb typing on a smartphone and you have to offset your right hand, it messes with you. Mine also has the direction keys offset, which is much better for navigation in MCE.

    • End User
    • 8 years ago

    The KB-1BT would have been cool 10 years ago. Times have moved on.

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      Yep I have one of these things, but from logitech, from like 10 yrs ago. And it still works awesome.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    “After years of controlling my home-theater PC with just an MCE remote, I recently added a wireless keyboard-and-trackball combo. What a difference. While the remote is still king, it’s great to have a proper input device within arm’s reach, making me particularly intrigued by that Chill Innovations KB-1BT”

    Pretty sure there’s an app for that. A lot cheaper way to go than buying a kb+m or this kb/mouse hybrid wannabe thing.

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah- but they aren’t always better. Sometimes the server -side software is wonky or doesn’t load, and sometimes you just want to talk on your phone while switching channels, or a commercial comes on loudly while you are checking email and you need to switch to make the change. Some things really do work better with dedicated inputs.

    • rhysl
    • 8 years ago

    where and how do you get that AIDA64 shot ?.. is it a sidebar or what ?.. hellp

      • Dissonance
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.aida64.com/whatsnew/aida64-supports-amd-bulldozer-llano-fma4-xop-benchmarks[/url<]

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    eSport mouse looks like a direct rip-off of Razer mice.

    Aida64 has too much bloat too. I use a program called Argus Monitor to monitor my temps and loads, even that is too big for my tastes though. There are a handful of windows 7 gadgets that I use made by addgadget.com (for free) that are really nice. Wish they would make one for temperatures that was more compatible with a variety of hardware.

      • rndmuser
      • 8 years ago

      You expected anything different (other than rip-off) from Thermaltake? They have been always doing that, starting (as far as I can remember) with their “Orb” coolers, which was a direct rip-off of a custom coolers which HP used long before Thermaltake.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah and they ripped off Zalman. I didn’t connect Tt with Thermaltake. 😮

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    AIDA 64, so does that have a comprehensive gadget tool?? I love a good gadget tool for system monitoring

    • jalex3
    • 8 years ago

    That case looks pretty smart.

      • Jambe
      • 8 years ago

      The LEDs are unnecessary but otherwise I think it’s a nice, clean-cut design. If there are no filters behind that front bezel, though, it’ll collect dust like crazy.

      Also, I can’t figure out what those two rectangular white doodads are on either side of the front panel about midway up. If they weren’t there the case would be much cleaner-looking.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Seems like a smartphone with a remote software app would be a better investment than yet another hardware device?

      • squeeb
      • 8 years ago

      I think that depends on the phone. Personally, I hate touch screen typing.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        Used to feel the same way, then I got better at it, now I wouldn’t go back (at least with smartphones).

    • TheEmrys
    • 8 years ago

    I find the Chill keyboad fascinating. Now, if only were a flip option on an MCE remote….

      • Hattig
      • 8 years ago

      I love tiny keyboards.

      Especially ones with a ctrl+alt+del button (albeit via the Fn key).

      • donkeycrock
      • 8 years ago

      Your smart phone has a better remote for mce.

        • TheEmrys
        • 8 years ago

        I have a smartphone? I didn’t know that.

      • Bauxite
      • 8 years ago

      FYI that keyboard is not “new” in any way, and has been sold under various names and configurations on ebay/amazon/etc for awhile.

      I have the bluetooth/laser pointer version, its not half bad.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      I got a keyboard that is basically the same as this chill one last week. It seems that some OEM guys make it and then dozens of different companies stick their name on the box.
      I got it because i have a monitor connected to my HTPC in my bedroom and didnt want a full sized keyboard and mouse, but a remote control cant navigate me around VLC.

      I love it. Its tiny, but perfect for my needs. The backlight is very nice, the touchpad is functional although not great. The hotkeys like volume up/done etc work out the box with no drivers to install.

      Seriously, its the size of the microsoft remote control and is about 30 times better when using an actual computer.

        • demani
        • 8 years ago

        I had one of these (or similar) a while back and returned it. The diNovo mini had been acting up (finally got it replaced) so I looked for something else. My big issue with this type of setup is that both the mouse buttons are on the right side. In order to drag you either hold it very awkwardly or put it down. The dinovo nicely puts a mouse button on the left side so you can work the button with one thumb and the cursor with the other. MUCH better design. And since they actually updated the keyboard in the mini I’ve had no issues with my replacement and would whole-heartedly recommend it.

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      Don’t the Vizio remotes have a flip out keyboard? I wonder if they could be made to work with MCE?

      Of course MCE appears to be circling the drain, so who knows…

      • fr500
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.pulse-eight.com/store/products/96-motorola-nyxboard-hybrid.aspx[/url<] Try that one 😀

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