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Old 20-05-09, 02:00 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Review: Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless Keyboard

Logitech DiNovo Edge Keyboard




Introduction


Many seem to have forgotten the true importance of quality peripherals. For many power users, keyboards will outlive the internals of their computers multiple times over. But if that is so, then why do so many insist on buying cheap and cheerful entry level keyboards time and time again? Is it really so absurd to spend in excess of £80 on such a crucial user input device? We shall investigate with Logitech's stylish diNovo Edge Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard.

Logitech is no rookie brand on the market today, offering an incredibly comprehensive range of peripherals for both the Home Entertainment and Computing audiences with all in one remote controls, gaming keyboards and mice, surround sound kits and media center solutions. The Logitech diNovo that we'll be testing today, touting the slogan “The most advanced keyboard” is a multifunction wireless keyboard, aimed at power and media users. At a pinch under £100, it is also one of the most expensive mass production keyboards on the market as well. Let's move on to see what exactly it can do.

Specifications

Provided by Logitech themselves

Quote:
Hardware

o Keyframe

o Full-sized standard 18 X 18 mm keys, 3.2 mm key travel, 60g activation force

o 10M keystroke supported per key

o Scissor switch technology

o Plexiglas panel with brushed aluminum palm rest

Technical Specifications

Enhanced Control

o 38 mm circular Touchpad with horizontal and vertical scrolling

o Acceleration settings goes from None to 10 times the scrolling speed

o TouchDisk can be disabled with FN + Left Click on the keyboard

o 17 one-touch access controls with instant backlit feedbac

o 57 mm touch sensitive volume slider with instant backlit feedback

Connectivity

o Bluetooth® Wireless Technology, version 2.0

Power and Battery

o Built-in rechargeable 950 mAH lithium ion battery

o Fast-charge time: About 5 min for approx. one day usage

o Full-charge time: About 2 hours for up to 2 months usage

Dimensions and Weight

o 11 mm (H) X 410 mm (W) X 210 mm (D)

o 940 grams

Initial Impressions



Arriving in a rather durable container that opened in a shoe box style, it was already quite apparent as to what lengths Logitech have gone into packaging their prized keyboard. Nothing was viewable from cheap transparent plastics and it would seem as though the box could've hit the ground at terminal velocity without even a scratch on the contents that lay within. Let's move on...





The first item visible upon opening the box was the diNovo Edge keyboard, which sat in a secure recess in the packaging inside that held it in place. Below in separate tough boxes lay the bluetooth usb dongle, manual, cloth and utility cd and finally the charger dock.





All in all, everything was well presented and packed in a very secure manner.

It's certainly an aesthetically pleasing keyboard, just 12mm thick with a single cut plexiglass and brushed aluminium construction. One has to wonder if it's a computer peripheral or a work of art destined for the tate. I'm surprised that the keyboard didn't come included with a pompous security man poised to yell at anyone that does so much as stand too close to it. I think it goes without saying that Logitech has succeeded at building a keyboard that's minimalistic, yet capable of drawing attention to itself without being overly flamboyant.







It's design is also rather ergonomic too. From a layout perspective it is a fairly standard sized QWERTY keyboard but with arrows and function buttons suitably spaced out from the letters. Note the lack of a dedicated number keypad, something that may disappoint the bean counters of the world but you'll be interested to know that it has been sacrificed for a more than worthy cause. The Logitech Touchdisc(TM) Navigation system, an interesting touchpad device which we'll look at later on. The right hand side of the keyboard is also occupied by media controls such as a touch sensitive volume control bar that I'm sure all the trekkies will appreciate. Also scattered around the keyboard are other nifty buttons for media control, such as initialising the Windows Media Center application, playback, cursor and sleep mode buttons.

Finally, the keyboard is bundled with stylish but practical and space saving charging dock for it's built in Li-Ion battery, which is expected to last for up to two months from a paltry two hour charge and also if you're in a rush, an express charge time of 5 minutes, which supposedly yields in up to a day's worth of usage!

For a keyboard of this price, Logitech are delivering exactly what users expect to be seeing. An attractive peripheral that beautifully complements the end users' stylish Computer Cases, HDTV's, Office and Lounge furniture. This however is not enough to make this product a deal breaker in the same way that you wouldn't buy the shell of an Aston Martin DB9 to race against an electric G-Wizz because you might just lose... So how well does the diNovo function?

Installation and General Function

As you can imagine, this keyboard can be operated in a plug and play fashion without any additional software required. The keyboard was left to charge for the recommended two hours and then we plugged the Bluetooth USB dongle into the test machine and switched the keyboard on. In a similar manner to starting up a race car where dials spin and lights flash, the diNovo Edge follows suit. Orange LED's light up in a glorious display to establish that the keyboard has been switched on, before the lights switch off and calm is established once again. I'll come back to the lighting later. Returning to the installation of the keyboard, while it can function without any software, it is recommended that you install the included “SetPoint” application.



Installation was a breeze and aimed towards those that are less tech savvy.

After installing the software, a little widget appeared in the taskbar allowing me to gain access to a whole host of configuration settings for the keyboard. The first set of tabs were for the mouse functions of the keyboard, consisting of the Trackpad and Touchdisc control and zoom settings. It was also a nice touch for the application to detect when you're playing a game and to set either the diNovo Trackpad or your own mouse as default device.









Proceeding to the keyboard section, I was treated with a number of options to assign hotkeys for function keys as well as vacant A, B, C, D buttons, accessed by FN + F9 through to F12.









The final tab shows the supposed battery life left in the keyboard. After roughly 12 hours of use, battery charge is still read at 100% or 60 days. Naturally I cannot report back on the truth of these readings until I've run the Li – ION battery completely flat, which could take a while. This review will be updated with battery performance results eventually!

As far as the SetPoint software is concerned, it receives a slackjawed grin and a thumbs up from me as I was left feeling quite happy with what it offered. It was also reasonably quick and didn't cause any conflict with other devices. Some may feel that any extra application running in the background of your machine is an extra annoyance but you will hardly notice it with a memory consumption of just 17mb.

Now that we're done tinkering with the software, it's time to have a look at general build quality, feel and usage.

General Functionality

The general functionality of the diNovo Edge quite comfortably leads on from the soothing minimalistic image that it brought about upon initial inspection. The soft sounds of the keypad and the noiseless function buttons are reminiscent of Mozart's Piano Concerto No.21, a far cry from the harsh, abrasive and tacky sounds emitted from an every day keyboard. Everything has been thought out with aesthetic pleasure in mind. For example, pressing the Function button illuminates the otherwise hidden hotkeys but not in an eye dazzling fashion. The lights on this keyboard fade in and within a set time frame will slowly dim and fade out. Likewise for the Trackpad, which will also illuminate when used and fade out once you're finished. Finally comes the touch sensitive volume control, which will increase or decrease volume by sliding one's finger up or down the slider, illuminating as you do so.







Everything that I've mentioned about general functionality so far may seem like a paragraph of useless rambling that could really have been summed up with "My god, these lights are so cool!". It's true that none of the things that I have mentioned help getting the job done but I maintain that they add to the build quality of the product and when one is spending this sort of money on a keyboard, one truly does expect it to come with all the bells and whistles! So now, I'm going to comment on the two key (pun not intended) features of the diNovo Edge. The Trackpad and Keys.

The keys, although full desktop size feel exactly like those found on laptops. Where it differs is the mechanism underneath, which is set to require a 60g force from each keypress and what Logitech call as Scissor switch technology. To the user, this may also seem like marketing schpiel but what's clear is that the keys feel firm, durable and despite the nature of the keys being similar to those on a laptop, the force seems to be distributed fairly evenly. It should be mentioned however that the labels on the keyboard don't seem to be laser etched so they may start to wear out from years and years of excessive use. It would have also been a nice touch to have offered backlit illumination from behind the keys.

Next, is the integrated Trackpad. At just 38mm in diameter, you would think that it's likely to be a bit useless surely? Wrong. Despite it's circular shape, it is possible to reach any region of the screen with just one stroke and it is also possible to select items with a slightly heavier tap of the trackpad, just like on a conventional laptop. The most interesting part about the Trackpad is Logitech's Touchdisc Scroll function. By placing your index finger eastwise on the Trackpad and dragging it around it's circumference, it is possible to scroll up and down without touching arrow buttons or even a mouse. As shown in the screenshots above, it is possible to tweak it's sensitivity but regardless it is very responsive and combined with the included left and right click buttons below it, it is technically possible to carry out general media and web browsing without a mouse at all! Very impressive, logitech

Testing - Range Test



Other than commenting on the keyboard's ability to carry out every day tasks, testing a keyboard is a little iffy as there are no real quantitive results that can be made. What I've done is formulated a short story for me to type without using correcting errors. This has it's flaws of course as it's possible to make a spelling error purely out of human error. The short story will involve at least one sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet, one sentence that includes all numerical characters and a short method in java syntax, which contains a mixture of characters, numbers and symbols.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Story Sample
Hi, I'm Mul. And I'm a member of OC3D Forums. I know the phonetic alphabet because I'm the next best thing since sliced bread. Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-Ray Yankee Zulu. Note that the phonetic alphabet only involves letters and not numbers such as 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9. Watch me as I write a simple recursive method in java that will take a number and find it's factorial:

public static int findFactorial(int n)

{

if(n<=1)

{

return 1;

}

else

{

return n * factorial(n-1);

}

}

I hope you enjoyed this award winning short story.

This was the end result from typing with the Logitech diNovo, roughly 45cm from the Bluetooth USB Dongle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 45cm Distance


Hi, I'm Mul. And I'm a member of OC3D Forums. I know the phonetic alphabet because I'm the next best thing since sliced bread. Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-Ray Yankee Zulu. Note that the phonetic alphabet only involves letters and not numbers such as 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9. Watch me as I write a simple recursive method in java that will take a number and find it's factorial:

public static int findFactorial(int n)

{

if(n<=1)

{

return 1;

}

else

{

return n * factorial(n-1);

}

}

I hope you enjoyed this award winning short story.
Without surprise, it completed the test without showing any sign of poor signal. The diNovo is rated to function up to 30ft away from the supplied usb bluetooth dongle. I however live in halls of residence so I can't really fully test that without stepping out into the corridor and being subjected to unnecessary banter! The best that I could do was at a total distance of 11ft (4.4m) from the bluetooth dongle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4.4m Distance
Hi, I'm Mul. And I'm a member of OC3D Forums. I know the phonetic alphabet because I'm the next best thing since sliced bread. Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-Ray Yankee Zulu. Note that the phonetic alphabet only involves letters and not numbers such as 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9. Watch me as I write a simple recursive method in java that will take a number and find it's factorial:

public static int findFactorial(int n)

{

if(n<=1)

{

return 1;

}

else

{

return n * factorial(n-1);

}

}

I hope you enjoyed this award winning short story.
As you can see, there is absolutely no difference between the sample text, what I wrote separately from a desk and from 11ft (4.4m) away. I will not deny that I was particularly careful with typing it out though but the idea was to find spelling errors that appear due to a weakness in the keyboard's wireless capability, which from the limited testing environment shows that there wasn't.

Testing - Typing Speed

Again, this is a bit of a flawed test as the inconsistent factor remains to be the not so electronic, organic blob that's sitting behind the keyboard (the user) as the exact result cannot be reproduced every time. I'll be using an online typing test that will calculate how many words I can type per minute based on a story that I have to type and I'll compare it against a simpler PS/2 keyboard that I have lying around. The test will be repeated with each keyboard until concordant results are found.

Logitech diNovo Edge – 69wpm avg over 3 consecutive results

Dell Standard PS/2 Keyboard – 67wpm avg over 3 consecutive results



The results imply that on average, I as the user can type 2 words per minute faster with the Logitech diNovo Edge than the Dell Standard PS/2 Keyboard. I think that we have to be sensible about what these results mean however as I mentioned before that it's a rather unreliable test. Frankly I was left surprised that I supposedly typed faster with a keyboard that I had owned for a day than a keyboard that I've been using since 2003. Even if we were to ignore about which keyboard resulted in faster typig speeds, it's fair to say that the test shows how intuitive the diNovo Edge's layout is despite it's spacings being a tad different to a conventional keyboard. At least you can purchase this keyboard knowing that it won't require much adjustment of any sort.

Conclusion

From the vibes that I may have given so far, it would stand to reason that I'm going to end this review on a very positive note. Pretty much so, yes. The keyboard has proven to be fantastic piece of engineering, from it's aesthetics to it's functionality. I will unfortunately have to return to my initial question. Is it really worth 92 of your finest pound sterling? This is where I'm going to have to sit on the fence on this one and say that it depends on what your needs are. It's clear that a lot of the money that you'll be spending on this keyboard goes towards LED's, Hotkeys and Trackpads that you may not need. If you do not need these, the major two advantages going for the diNovo Edge is it's long wireless range and it's integrated Lithium ION battery, which means that you will no longer be spending any money on AA batteries. Full size bluetooth keyboards will cost circa £45-65 and it'll take some thrifty calculations to work out how much you'll be saving on batteries to recover from the remaining cost.

To me, I believe that to fully justify this keyboard not only must you be able to appreciate and utilise all of the features that it offers but also be able to take advantage of the fact that it's something to show off if you will. A logitech diNovo in a sophisticated office or media lounge is like an all aluminium Macbook Pro in starbucks. A stunning pair of cufflinks on a Savile Row suit. The Mercedes S Class parked proudly outside a Stately Home. You would buy one of these not just for it's functionality and build quality but finally by it's looks and this is a feature, which doesn't have a defined value on it. All in all, a fantastic keyboard and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who can justify it's pricetag. I would also like to thank eBuyer.com for offering this keyboard at the fine price of £91.99 Delivered.

The Good

- Looks the business

- Durable

- Trackpad facility that works very well

- Reliable software package with great versatility

- Rechargeable battery offering express and long duration charges

The Mediocre

- Laser Etched Keys and an Illuminated Keypad would've been nice

- Price!

The Bad

- None.

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  #2  
Old 20-05-09, 07:34 AM
JN JN is offline
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Posts: 13,678
Amazing review Mul. Really well structured and a very easy read.

I've been hovering over the 'Buy' button on one of these keyboards for about 3 months now and I think you may have just made me press the left mouse button
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  #3  
Old 20-05-09, 09:12 AM
monkey7 monkey7 is offline
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Posts: 2,085
Great review.

Have been looking at this keyboard, but it's just too expensive for me to justify. Also, missing the numpad is a major handicap for me while CADing.

I think this 'scissor' technology is used on all of Logitech's laptop like keyboards. I'm currently using the logitech ultrax premium and it indeed has a scissor like system under the keys.

Love your pics mate, good to see you've started using white background
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Old 20-05-09, 09:30 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Many thanks for the comments guys. Indeed I am back to using a white background. As mentioned in my last review by a number of people, it does indeed make the photos look much tidier
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  #5  
Old 20-05-09, 10:09 AM
Marcus Marcus is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 654
I got one of these off eBay for £70 delivered (As New condition) and i've not been let down by it at all.

Took me a week or so to get used to it after using an old Logitech multimedia keyboard with huge chunky keys for the last 2 years but now I know my way around it, it's a cracking piece of kit.

The touchpad is a great function to have for when your in bed watchin a film etc.

Initially the volume control didn't work with my E-Mu card, just like my old Logitech, but once I installed the Software it made it work and now I couldn't do without it.

My only gripe is that there is no way to keep the LEDs illuminated, they only come on when you press the Function key, hardly a major point but the option would have been nice.



EDIT: Couple more pics of it for you





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Old 20-05-09, 10:14 AM
JN JN is offline
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Just wondering if either of you guys have used it in gaming yet at all? Even tho I hardly do any myself these days it'd be good to know if you get any lag from it at all?
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  #7  
Old 20-05-09, 10:20 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Posts: 492
Excellent photos Marcus. On a sidenote, I know someone from another forum who I think had their Antec P182 modded for watercooling by you. Looked awesome

I'd agree that it would've been nice for Logitech to have left an option to leave the keyboard's LEDs running. Personally however, I like it all hidden to maintain it's minimalistic look

I haven't yet used it with a game but I'm hoping to give FarCry 2 a try tonight. I bought it a few months ago but it's still sitting in my drawer!
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Old 20-05-09, 10:22 AM
Marcus Marcus is offline
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Have used it for 2142 & COD1 (yeah i'm old school baby ) but thats about it, rarely get time to game now and when I do get the time I want to be as far as away from a computer as possible!

No noticable lag / problems though, I still whoop ass on 2142.

EDIT: Jumping back to the LED comment, I think that if they did put the option on I'd have it switched off most of the time anyway, I just want the otpion to switch them on for when showing it off to friends, hehe.

PS: Forgot to say in my first post, cracking review mate and some decent photos there!
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Old 20-05-09, 04:23 PM
sammytomjohn sammytomjohn is offline
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i have this keyboard i paid £65 for mine and yet like Mul it is still stuck in my draw waitin for my main rig to be finished to compliment it!!
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  #10  
Old 20-05-09, 04:26 PM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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£65 is a fantastic price for it. I wish I got mine for that much!
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