Battle Test: Logitech diNovo Edge

Logitech’s diNovo series is intended for more aesthetically minded consumers. The series found success a couple of years ago with the release of the diNovo Media Desktop, a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard combo that had a separate keypad that could serve as a sort of remote. This year Logitech has decided to revisit the series and give it an Edge, a diNovo Edge, that is.

The Logitech diNovo Edge is a strange beast. The box includes the keyboard, a polishing rag (for your greasy Cheetos fingerprints) and the charger base station. First things first, appearance-wise, its glossy black finish makes for one of the most lust worthy peripherals I’ve ever seen. I know that’s probably the most important thing to anyone considering purchasing an Edge, but how does it perform in the functionality department?

I won’t say that the Edge is without problems, but I am impressed. The biggest issue arises when trying to sync the keyboard with your computer — it can be temperamental at times, but that is really the only issue that I encountered. And once synced, I never had any problems with it dropping connection.

There has been some complaints that the original diNovo keyboard had a slight delay when typing hurriedly, but that seems to be rectified with the new model. Typing over 100wpm, the characters pop up immediately and there is no noticeable lag, which is good, because it’d be shame for the keyboard to experience a delay with its fancy PerfectStroke system.

Setup was simple, consisting of just the plugging the USB dongle into the USB port and installing the Logitech SetPoint drivers. Whenever you wish to use the keyboard, simply remove it from its base station and hit the sync button located on the underside of the keyboard.

I found the trackpad to be a nice addition. While perhaps not as sensitive as the pad on my Powerbook, the Edge pad was more than sufficient for making quick movements. One useful feature is that there is, in addition to two mouse buttons beneath the trackpad, a left click button on the left side of the board. It’s not immediately apparent, but this is very intuitive design. By adding a left click button on the left side, users are able to grip the board comfortably while mousing around and retain the ability to click easily.

The trackpad also has an interesting system for scrolling. Just drag your finger around the edge of the pad and it scrolls. It’s an economical use of space.

By far the sexiest component of the keyboard is the volume bar. At first glance, it’s an innocuous looking bar with a plus and minus at each end, but dragging your finger across its obsidian face shifts your volume and sends lights trailing after your finger.

One thing that impressed me particularly, is that I was able to effortlessly sync the keyboard with my G4 Powerbook. No drivers to install, and practially everything works, including the trackpad and the volume bar. Very cool.

When using SetPoint, the Edge is quite customizable. For instance, although the board has two windows keys, they can be repgrogrammed through the included software. Additionally, SetPoint allows users to program function keys. If you’re a fan of the Edge’s pretty lights, you’ll be glad to know that there are more of them about each of the F keys. There are dedicated lights above F1 – F4 for VoIP, search, mail and home, while F5 – F8 have music control icons and the rest are user-defined.

Unfortunately, I was unable to test the Edge on Linux, so I’m unsure whether or not it’ll perform on that platform. I’ll venture a guess that as long as there is Bluetooth connectivity, it should be able to work, but I could be completely wrong there.

So who is the Logitech diNovo Edge for? I could see this being a sort of center piece for a media center PC in someone’s living room. Its incredible design definitely begs to be looked at. Also, with a $199.99 price tag, I’d say first-and-foremost, it’s geared toward people with a surplus of cash. Then again, that does seem like a reasonable price for, “The world’s most advanced keyboard.”