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Logitech diNovo Edge
Logitech recently updated its Media Center peripheral series and introduced the “diNovo Edge” a keyboard with an integrated trackpad. The company has gone on record to say that it is the world’s best keyboard… Does it live up to this lofty claim? Read on to find out.
On the left side of the keyboard one finds a series of function related keys such as document zoom, cursor management and a sleep key. The right side of the keyboard is where things get innovative. In an interesting move, Logitech has decided to put a full featured touchpad on the keyboard. This "Touch disc" (which is what Logitech calls it) is a circular touchpad with two click buttons below it. This is a move derived from laptop keyboards and has been included as a space saving measure as one does not need an external mouse for the Media Center. Just above the included mouse, there is another touchpad present which serves as a volume bar.
Another interesting fact we observed here, is that unlike the normal practice of backlighting the function keys, Logitech has built indicators next to each of the keys. When a particular function key is used, the indicator lights in a soft orange shade. This is actually a good move, as the orange shade contrasts well with the piano black finish and is subdued enough not to look garish.
Keeping in mind that the keyboard is designed for use with a Media Center PC, Logitech has left out a numeric keypad.In our opinion, this was a bad move. as a lot of media players pack in a lot of functionality for the numeric keypad. Apart from that, the numeric keypad serves another purpose as with certain programs, it is possible to set key combos for quick launching various applications in a Media Center environment. For overcoming this handicap Logitech has instead built in a FN key. which is positioned between the right ALT and CTRL Keys and when used with the provided Setpoint software provides the same application quick launch functionality that we have mentioned before.
Logitech in a thankful move has finally brought wireless keyboards into the 21st century. Unlike other manufacturers, who utilize normal pencil cell batteries for their power and Infra-Red for their connectivity, Logitech has equipped the diNovo Edge with a Lithium-Ion cell and has used Bluetooth 2.0 for providing connectivity. Both are current generation technologies and have considerable advantages.
Bluetooth is a true wireless technology that does not line of sight to work. Unlike Infra-Red,which provides only a small distance of wireless freedom, Bluetooth allows you to move around with the keyboard quite comfortably a large room and not loose connectivity. To test this we popped in, the bundled Bluetooth dongle, put the keyboard’s Bluetooth module into search mode and let windows detect the keyboard. The whole process was seamless and did not ask for drivers. After that we walked around all over our office to test the range of the Bluetooth and found the keyboard was functioning even from considerable distances of nearly 20 Meters away! This is a commendable achievement and really shows the advantages of having used Bluetooth with this keyboard.
As we have mentioned before, Logitech has equipped the Edge with a Lithium-Ion cell. For charging this Logitech has provided a rechargeable dock. A single charge does not take more than 2 hours and is guaranteed to last nearly 2 months. This may sound like a tall claim but it’s not. We used the keyboard very rigorously for 3 days and even then the battery meter on the Setpoint software showed that there was over 45 days of battery life left. This is a creditable achievement and an important step forward. In the past, we have had Wireless keyboards give up on us within a couple of weeks. Though pencil cells, which power these keyboards don’t cost a lot it can never the less be very annoying when in the middle of work your keyboard dies and you don’t have a replacement cell on standby.
The keys of the diNovo Edge, in a sharp contrast to its slim shape and size are full sized keys. The keys are fairly well elevated and provide very good feedback. We were able to achieve very good typing speeds and even after hours of use did not feel fatigued. The integrated touchpad is another story altogether. It was very uncomfortable to use and despite using they keyboard for a few days, we were still not able to adjust to it. The circular keypad while appearing as an innovation is actually a step back as it is not very responsive. Despite having tweaked our cursor acceleration, the mouse was still sluggish.
The Setpoint software that Logitech provides for its keyboard range is very comprehensive in terms of offering customization. Virtually every FN key and specialized key, can be mapped or remapped according to a user’s specific need. The only thing we missed here from Logitech‘s gaming keyboard is the ability to store profiles. It would have made life a lot easier, as one can assign one set of keys for Media Center use and the same set can be re-used when the PC is being used for normal operations.
At the end of the day, we were left wondering is this really the best keyboard in the world. After all Logitech has really hit the jackpot with the diNovo Edge. Not only does it look good, it is backed up by a solid and stable technological advance in the form of Bluetooth, has very good battery life thanks to the Lithium-Ion cell and has very comprehensive customization options courtesy of the Setpoint software.
The answer in case you are wondering is No! Despite its impressive credentials, the keyboard is pricey costing a staggering Rs. 16,000 and lacks a few essential options such as a numeric keypad,an LCD panel like in the Logitech G15 and comprehensive profiling. In such a case, while it may not qualify for the tag of the world’s best keyboard…. we can safely it is the best keyboard that money can buy for a Media Center setup.