Anyone who's tried to type on a TiVo—searching for YouTube, or viewing Netflix, or trying to find that show you want to record—knows it's both tedious and rage-inducing. TiVo Slide fixes this problem, plus, it's a better remote entirely.
The Price $US90
The Verdict They should really bundle these with every TiVo. Not only is the keyboard a wonderful, wonderful addition to an otherwise text-unfriendly setup, the remote itself is nice in the hand as well. It's compatible with TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL, Series 3, HD and HD XL.
The Slide is about 2/3 as long as a standard TiVo remote, and very very slightly thicker. Flipping the remote open with the *clack* is satisfying, but not too difficult, and shutting it when you're done entering text is natural too. The travel on the keys is great: Not mushy or too hard.
You have a D-pad and the select button on the left side, and the number pad on the right, but that's these are the only buttons replicated from the main remote to the keyboard. The rest, unfortunately, either need you to shift the remote 90 degrees and leave it open, or close the keyboard and then turn the remote. This process usually isn't too horrible, seeing as you don't need to enter in a lot of text, then navigate and play videos, then enter a lot of text again—it's more of one, and then the other.
As a person who's never been a huge fan of TiVo's peanut remote design, I actually really like the Slide's smaller form factor. I don't know what it is about shrinking the remote down that makes it much more pleasant to use, but it's quite nice not having to stretch my thumb to hit various parts of the body.
One thing to watch out for: Interference. Plugging the Bluetooth dongle directly into the TiVo might result in lost keypresses, like it did for me. If so, you should use the USB extension cable they provided to pull the receiver out on top or in front of the TiVo unit to get a clear line-of-sight to the remote. Even though it's Bluetooth, having to pass through the body of your TiVo, or deal with wireless interference, might mean that you get spotty reception otherwise.
As TiVo becomes more of an internet-centric device, pulling down streaming content as well as acting as a DVR for your standard cable channels, typing is just going to increase in importance. We would like to see this remote as the standard TiVo remote, but if not, we'd want the price to be lower. Paying $US90 for a unit that's not universal*, even with a keyboard, is slightly extravagant—especially with Logitech pricing their Harmony 300 at under $US50.
*You can program the power, input, volume and mute functions of the remote to control your TV/sound system.
A bit pricey at $US90