If you're at all on the cutting edge of technology, you have a device somewhere that uses the dreaded on-screen keyboard with a conventional remote control. Or perhaps you have a device, such as the Nexus Player, of which the remotes are known for dying prematurely. Or just maybe you have a computer in a not so common place, like a home theater PC in your living room. If you fit one of these desciptions, or have a similar situation, the Rii Mini Wireless Touchpad Rechargable Keyboard is the solution you've been waiting for.

This journey began with the death of the remote to my second Asus Nexus Player. An identical fate suffered by the first Nexus Player I bought, as well as the replacement remote Asus sent me. After coming to the conclusion that 3 remotes dying is a sign of a design defect, I decided to look elsewhere for a solution. That's when I learned about the Rii Mini Wireless Touchpad Keyboard. 

Rii makes a great number of different styles and models of wireless keyboards. This particular style comes in either Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless with a matching receiver. Older models used conventional batteries while this model uses a rechargable 3.3v lithium-ion battery. The unit can be charged via a mini USB port on the front edge. The newest models also have a backlight to see the keys in the dark, something you may consider if this is for a HTPC or game console. The remote is extremely light, but the construction very solid. The buttons have a satisfying press, with a hard stop, letting you know it has registered a press... unlike some remotes that feel as though the buttons could go all the way through.

Usage of the remote is pretty straight forward, unless you use devices that require special input, such as a home button for an Android TV smart device. Eventually I learned pressing the "e" button of the top right command buttons will send you to the home screen. The touchpad does work in Android, and should work for anything that supports a mouse cursor. Although, I was not always able to actually click on things. That's a limitation of the apps I use, and does not reflect on this remote one way or another. My only real gipe about this remote is the bright blue LED on the front which is constantly lit when the device is ready for operation. Eventually it will go into a sleep mode, and the LED will turn off, or you also have the option of turning the remote off completely with the on/off switch.

You will not be using this device to game, unless your games only require typing and cursor movement. The design of the remote is not suitable for controller style game play, and while the 2.4GHz unit should have nearly instant response, the lag of most bluetooth receivers means it's never a good option anyway.

This remote does nearly anything you would need to control a smart device. It's compact, it's rechargable, it's flexible enough to meet most needs, and it's cheap. What more could you really want?

- Elemino

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