Review: Rii Mini i6 UK Version (Handheld Keyboard/Touchpad/IR)

BlueChip

Standard Member
This is a comprehensive review ...if you just want my conclusion, it's at the bottom (just before "blue EDIT") ;)

==
The Supplier:
Supplier: LaptopMate-UK via Amazon
URL: [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-Keyboard-Symbian-smartphone-Android/dp/B005N5QFUQ/ref=lh_ni_t"]RII Mini I6 Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad / iPhone 4.0 OS / Window Mobile / Symbian smartphone / Google Android 3.0: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41YoQOhLImL[/ame]
Shipped By: Amazon
Courier: Post Office
Delivery Time: 3 working days
Price: £27.99 (incl VAT)
Postage: Free
After a bit of confusion when LaptopMate said they were shipping a (non-existant) "2.4G & Bluetooth" version of the i6, I emailed LaptopMate before the product arrived and they said "Please keep us updated and be assured, if our product cannot satisfy you, we are more than happy to offer an exchange (if we have available stock) or refund without a hassle." ...I never got to test their promise of excellent customer service because I received the BT-only version which I expected.

==
Product Description:
However it is NOT the i6 shown in the images on Amazon (or the image they sent to me in a private email) ...The images on Amazon show the USA version of the i6 - The i6 I received is a UK version (I am in the UK) ...This is bad news if you wish to press "F12" [-]or "Alt+AnyKey"[/-] - but good news if you wish to press "£" and if you want "Shift+2" to generate a "Quote" symbol (not "@").
EDIT: A work around to fix the ALT+AnyKey problem is now attached at the end

You can get the exact measurements anywhere - but for a realistic idea: It is a little longer than a WiiMote, a little wider than a credit card, and the same thickness as a CD case. The trackpad is the same width and height as the longest side of an SD Card.

==
First Impressions
My first impressions of the i6 were both very favourable: 1) The unit is surprisingly small and 2) The keys are surprisingly big and well laid out.

It's not as solid as I expected, the silver around the edge is grey plastic, not metal. But is is comfortable to hold and it seems solid enough to be dropped without harm.

==
Bluetooth Connectivity:
Please notice that this package is designed for connecting to phones, and as such it does NOT come with the "Optional PC BlueTooth Adaptor and Driver Disk".

It was painless to Pair it with the Dell BT Stack on my Laptop running XP ...It was fiddly to connect to my Revo 3610 (HTPC) running Win7 via my 75p driverless BT-USB adaptor from China. Once paired, the i6 worked as expected on both machines.

I first paired with my HTPC and then my Laptop. After pairing with my laptop, I had to delete the device from Win7 before I could re-pair with my HTPC ...this may be my cheap BT adaptor, I haven't done further tests yet. But my guess is that the i6 will only pair with one device at a time - a flaw I have observed with a lot of (expensive) BT devices.

The i6 takes less than 3 seconds to boot. So (once paired) it connects very quickly when switched on.

==
The Trackpad: Pro +7, Con -3
-1: I think it is indented in to the unit a little too far - but I'm sure I'll get used to that.
+2: After setting the "Mouse Speed" in windows to "Full", it works well.
+2: The left+right buttons are intuitively placed.
-2: The box claims that the Trackpad offers "Full Screen Scrolling", but I suspect this is a feature offered by the "Rii i6 Windows Driver" and I have not been able to find a copy of it anywhere online (not even on rii.com.cn)
+1: There is a reliable D-Pad just below the Trackpad which simulates the Arrow Keys - these serve to scroll the screen in most apps.
+2: If you press Fn+Alt, the Touchpad rotates by 90^ which allows you to use it in the classic "Remote Control" manner. This is probably only useful for people doing presentations - but for them, it is likely to be invaluable.

==
The Keyboard: Pro +7, Con -11
+3: The keys are a pleasure to type on.
+3: The Backlight makes the keys crystal clear to read in low light without being dazzling in darkness. When enabled, it switches off automatically after about 7 seconds and switches back on the moment you touch any key (including the "Func" key).
+1: It has four LEDs in the top left which show "Transmitting" [orange], "Charging", "On/Pairing" [green/flashing], "Caps Lock" [white]
-1: The icons next to the LEDs are so feint they are unreadable to all but the best eyes.
-3: Bluetooth Pairing is activated by *TAPPING* the big BlueTooth key (NOT "hold for 3 seconds") - this means I keep going in to Pairing Mode by accident - and the only way out is to a) pair or b) switch the i6 off-then-on-again
-2: The Ctrl and ALT keys are NOT at the edge of the keyboard so it is almost impossible to press Ctrl+Shift (used by many apps) - If you managed to press Ctrl+Shift+AnyKey it sends NO keypress.
[-]-2: The "Alt" key DOES NOT WORK - it actually sends "Ctrl+Alt" (see keyboardtester.com) ...You can press "Alt" with "Fn+Space" - but it is impossible to press "Alt+AnotherKey" (Eg. "Alt+F4")[/-]
+1: EDIT: A work around to fix the ALT+AnyKey problem is now attached
-1: There is no way to press F12, Ins, Right-Shift, Menu, Scroll-Lock, Pause or any of the keys on the NumberPad
-1: There are MANY unlabelled keys on this keyboard
# Fn+9 => F9
# Fn+0 => F10
# Fn+` => F11
# Fn+< => \
# Fn+> => |
# Fn+\ => Right-Ctrl
# Fn+Left => Home
# Fn+Right => End
# Fn+Space => Alt
-1: Typing with your right hand/thumb is a little awkward as you have to reach past the Trackpad ...Rii do/did a device with the trackpad in the middle, but I think that just introdcues other (worse) problems

** I have attached a picture with all the keyboard differences and unlabelled keys

==
The Infra-red Remote Control: Pro +8, Con -3
-1: This is a "Learning Remote", it has no "Built-in Codes"
+3: The Learning feature works as well as expensive Learning Remotes.
+2: The i6 IR has 2 Mode buttons (Set1 & Set2) and 8 control Buttons (OnOff - Up/Down/Left/Right/Select - Menu/AvTv) ...a total of 16 controls
-2: I wish there were more IR buttons
+3: Once programmed it controls my devices Denon Amp & Panasonic TV flawlessly.

==
EDIT:
Battery Life:
The advertising hype would have you believe the battery on this device lasts for "a month" ...After fully charging the device (upon delivery), I left it on 24/7 to see how long the battery would really last - about 2 1/2 days is my result ...In future I will be turning it off when I am not using it for long periods; it only takes 3-5 seconds to re-pair, and that is acceptable to me ...The on/off switch is a little cheap and stiff, but it works.


==
Conclusion: Pro +22, [-]Con -17[/-], Con -16

I have one [-]SERIOUS complaint which is "No Alt Key" or, more accurately, no Alt+AnyKey ...and one[/-] 'significant' complaint which is the "Oversized and Sensitive BT Pairing Key".
EDIT: A work around to fix the ALT+AnyKey problem is now attached at the end

But many of the Cons I have listed really do not effect/bother me; and the Pros such as "Good Keys", "Good Backlight", "Good Trackpad", "Good IR" and "Good Layout" far outweigh complaints such as "Feint Icons", "No Remote Codes" and "Missing Labels".

This is a great little product which seems to have been around since about 2007 - I only wish I had found it years ago !

EDIT: Locating The Driver Disk
PS. If anyone has the PC version of this device which comes with a USB-BT Dongle and a Driver Disk, I would love to obtain a copy of the driver disk to see if I can get Touchpad Scrolling to work :)


EDIT: Fix Missing Keys (in Windows)
It turns out that the Alt key was NOT sending Ctrl+Alt, but actuallt RightAlt (aka AltGr/Alt-Graphics), so I have uploaded a new Keyboard Layout image.

Few people even know what the AltGr key is used for (try AltGr+4 or AltGr+e) and even fewer will care if it is not available.

The work-around in windows to fix the ALT+Anykey problem is actually very simple in Windows. Add this single registry key:
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,38,00,38,e0,00,00,00,00,00
This is the same thing again, but with loads of explanatory comments inline:
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Remap AltGr (Ctrl+Alt) to Alt ... Useful for the Rii i6 UK Edition
; Enables Alt+AnyKey (EG. Alt+F4, Alt+Tab, etc.)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,38,00,38,e0,00,00,00,00,00
;                 |-----A-----|-----B-----|-----C-----|--D--|--E--|------F-------|
; A = 0
; B = 0
; C = Number of scancode re-mappings +1
; D = Desired scancode  [00,38 -> Alt  ]
; E = Keypress scancode [E0,38 -> AltGr]
; F = 0 (NULL terminator)
; Note: All values are little-endian
...The forum will not let me upload registry files, so you will need to cut'n'paste ONE/EITHER of the above registry changes in to a text file; save it as RiiFixAlt.reg and run it by double clicking on it in Explorer. You will need to reboot (maybe just log out and back in) to activate the change.

One this is done, you can now press ALT+AnyKey (EG. Alt+F4, Alt+Tab, etc.)

If you prefer, you can download a (Free/GPL) program called SharpKeys and do it via their GUI - which means you could also remap other keys if you like. Such as:
# ¬ => F12
# ¦ => Ins

 

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Last edited:

logiciel

Moderator
The forum is for "Home Cinema Accessories".
How does this qualify as being on that topic?
 

dar2005

Novice Member
Err, it's a remote control logiciel! Perhaps rather than dissing someone who's clearly gone to great lengths to provide a review (which may be very useful to others), as a moderator you should concentrate your efforts on the clear spam posted in the very next thread to this one!
 

logiciel

Moderator
What on earth are you talking about?
I didn't make a comment - I asked a question, for which I await an answer from the poster.
 

dar2005

Novice Member
You asked a question, in my view questioning the logic of the poster posting in this forum, rather than recognising the efforts he's clearly gone to in providing a review of an IR remote control...


"The Infra-red Remote Control: Pro +8, Con -3
-1: This is a "Learning Remote", it has no "Built-in Codes"
+3: The Learning feature works as well as expensive Learning Remotes.
+2: The i6 IR has 2 Mode buttons (Set1 & Set2) and 8 control Buttons (OnOff - Up/Down/Left/Right/Select - Menu/AvTv) ...a total of 16 controls
-2: I wish there were more IR buttons
+3: Once programmed it controls my devices Denon Amp & Panasonic TV flawlessly.
"

...this seems the appropriate place to post this review to me.
 
Last edited:

logiciel

Moderator
I wasn't questioning logic - I was asking for information.
You've given some now, about the amp and TV, in that one line that I'd missed, towards the end of the long post.
That short section of the post therefore does qualify as being on the topic of Home Cinema Accessories.
I await a reply as to the relevance of the remainder of the post to the forum topic.
 

BlueChip

Standard Member
The forum is for "Home Cinema Accessories".
How does this qualify as being on that topic?

My "Home Cinema" is a PC running XBMC (on Win7) linked to an amp and a TV (amongst other devices) ...The i6 IR Remotely Controls the TV & AMP, and the Keyboard and Touchpad Remotely Control the device which creates the pictures and the sound (IE. the PC) ...As I explicitly bought the i6 to control my "HTPC" setup, "Home Cinema -> Remote Control" seemed like a clear and obvious choice to me.

BC
 

logiciel

Moderator
Thanks and it is relevant.
You might find further interest in the Computer forum.
 

BlueChip

Standard Member
Thanks Logiciel,

Having gotten a bit carried away with the review it would be nice to think others could benefit from it ...should I cross-post or just point people at this thread?

BC
 

logiciel

Moderator
That's OK and I'm sure it will find a lot of interest in Computers, so - this once! - do post again there. Logiciel.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Have you posted in the Computer forum?
If so post a link to it in this thread.
 

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