The best looking desktop pixel display Divoom has made yet, but if you want a more powerful speaker or don't particularly care about the retro PC aesthetic, look elsewhere in the Divoom range.
Need a daily fix of pixel art, and have a penchant for quirky desktop gadgets styled like an old computer? Meet Ditoo, the latest and cutest pixel art display with built-in Bluetooth speaker from retro specialists Divoom.
The Ditoo is launching soon with an RRP of $160, but if you’re quick, you can grab it now for half price on their IndieGogo campaign, running until 7th October.
Design and Specifications
- 10W speaker with bass reflex cone.
- 300mAh battery.
- 16×16 pixel LED display.
- 6-key backlit mechanical keyboard.
- USB-C port and charging cable.
- Solid plastic carry and presentation case.
The backlit mechanical keyboard is definitely one of the highlights of the Ditoo, with satisfyingly clicky blue switches. Compared to other models in the Divoom range, this alone makes the Ditoo more functional. It’s a lot easier to play the built-in retro mini-games on a keyboard than it is on a dial. The keys are full-size, but there’s only six of them. These consist of four arrow keys, one mode switcher, and one to change the display channel. A large lever on the right provides a select mechanism.
On the side, you’ll find the power button, microSD card slot, and USB-C charging port. These are positioned to look just like an old floppy disk drive, and really add to the overall aesthetic of the Ditoo, rather than needing to be hidden around the back.
The 3000mAh battery should provide sound for around 6 hours of continuous playback.
The Ditoo is really quite small, weighing less than 500g and with a footprint of 85 x 105 mm, and only 120mm tall. It’s presented in a solidly built plastic case with clear front and carrying handle, which I’m sure you can find a use for after you’ve unpacked it. Also in the package you’ll find three sheets of Divoom stickers, which you can use to decorate your Ditoo and other shiny things.
Retro Pixel Art
Like its bigger brother, the Tivoom Max, the Ditoo’s primary feature is a 16×16 pixel display, measuring approximately 6cm square. Compared to the larger pixels of the Tivoo Max, the Ditoo’s higher density displays makes for a more satisfying display at closer distances. This really is designed for your desktop or bedside table, rather than something to admire from across the room. Though you’ll make heads turn.
The Divoom app features a massive library of user-generated pixel art, with fresh content every time you look. You’ll never be wanting for more, and will have more trouble deciding which of your favorites to keep in the custom channel. Here you can select 12 animations to upload locally to the device. These stay in memory even when disconnected from your mobile. This is probably the mode you’ll use most of the time.
When you first open the Ditoo, you’ll find a preloaded selection of boot-up animations. Unfortunately, if you upload your own favorites to the custom channel, these will replace the preloaded ones, and there’s no easy way to get them back. Divoom told me that they’re all sourced from the app library, so you may be able to find them again if you look hard enough.
The only feature I find myself wanting now is the ability to save multiple sets of favorites. They don’t all need to be uploaded at the same time, but it would be nice to swap out those selections for particular events; like a Christmas or Halloween playlist. At the moment, the only option is to micromanage those 12 favorites individually.
As well as the custom channel, you’ll find “cloud channels” for Hot, Cool, and Seasonal. These are Divoom’s own selection.
Of course, those creatively inclined can create their own pixel art, either by drawing each frame of an animation, uploading a picture, or using the text generator. These can be uploaded to your custom channel, or shared to the Divoom community. Popular creations will earn you points, which can be exchanged for more Divoom pixel art displays. Creators can also be awarded hardware in the monthly competitions. There’s a large community of creators, so you’ll never be short of fresh content. There’s no monthly subscriptions or in-app purchasing for any of it, so feel free to download as much as you like to display on your Ditoo.
As a Speaker
Set your expectations appropriately, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the sound quality. Obviously, without a separate bass speaker, it’s not nearly as powerful or punchy as the Tivoo Max. A single 10W driver sits inside the Ditoo, though a bass-reflex cone at the back does at least set it a cut above other similarly specced speakers. At louder volumes, the sound lacks clarity but doesn’t distort.
As something to sit on your desktop and provide louder, better sound than your mobile can produce, the Ditoo is great. Just don’t expect miracles from a 10W speaker.
Playable on the device itself without the need of your phone, the Ditoo features a number of basic recreations of retro games like Tetris, Snake, and Breakout. There’s also a not so retro one: Flappy Bird.
Use the keyboard to open the menu, navigate to the games tab, and cycle through available games. Don’t expect anything fancy like high score tables though, but the games are fully functional and include sound effects.
Unique to the Ditoo is a sort of “paint by numbers” mode. Here, you’re presented with a monochrome canvas, and must move the cursor around then select the blocks to color them in. I suppose it’s a race to find all the different areas that need to be colored and complete them all, but there’s no countdown timer. Perhaps I just don’t get it, but then I’m not the sort of person who’s bought an adult coloring book either, and you might find more enjoyment from it.
More in The App
Some features are only available when connected to your mobile device, such as the social notifications (which flash a large icon up when you get a notification from the respective app); or the sleep sounds.
There’s also a music visualizer, though this requires the audio to be played over Bluetooth rather than utilizing the built-in microphone to react to ambient sounds.
Is Ditoo the Pixel Art Display for You?
The Ditoo is a cute and quirky desktop gadget that just happens to be a decent Bluetooth speaker. It’s a not a particularly powerful speaker though. Check out the Tivoo Max if you wanted something more bassy. And if you don’t want a speaker at all, it really comes down to how much you care about the retro computer aesthetic. The Pixoo is a pure pixel display, with no speaker or fancy styling, but still using the same app and pixel art features.
The RRP of $160 seems a little steep, but the early bird pricing on IndieGogo is a steal at $80, with delivery set for November. Despite being a crowdfunding campaign, I don’t think you need to worry about deliverability. Divoom has a proven track record, and the Ditoo is already in production. You could wait for it to be available on Amazon, but expect a price bump.