Logitech's diNovo Edge keyboard certainly looks like the best keyboard around. Taking the clean-lined design cues of its previous diNovo boards, Logitech's latest high-end keyboard is a remarkably attractive piece of hardware. It's a pleasure to type on, with a sturdiness that belies its thin profile. Logitech also added some innovation, making this the first wireless keyboard that's also rechargeable. Those factors alone make a compelling argument for the diNovo Edge. Our problem is that for its $200 price tag, it's not perfect; specifically it has a few touch-sensitive elements that don't work as well as they should. But for that fault, the diNovo Edge makes a strong statement against our long-standing aversion to keeping a keyboard in the living room.
Installing the diNovo edge is easy. We were also pleased to find that its batteries had juice right out of the box. All you need to do is connect the Bluetooth receiver to your PC, plug in the recharging station, and flip the keyboard's power switch. Windows XP recognized it instantly, and we began typing in seconds. You don't even really need to install the driver software. If you do, you'll find that you might wish it gave you some additional customization options. We'll explain why in a minute.
Along with its 84-key QWERTY layout, the diNovo Edge also has the usual assortment of hot keys to zoom in on an image, hibernate, play back media, and quickly access applications. There's no keypad on the right side, which helps keep the keyboard narrow. One novel feature that allows the diNovo Edge to maintain a clean image is that the media and application controls don't appear until you press the Fn key, which turns on orange-lit icons above the F1 to F12 keys, indicating an alternate set of functions.
Where you'd normally find the keypad on a standard keyboard, the diNovo Edge instead has a touch pad, a pair of cursor buttons, a touch-sensitive volume control slider, and a hard mute button. Unlike other diNovos, the Edge has neither a mouse nor a separate, detachable wireless keypad. You won't really miss those features, especially if you intend to connect the Edge to a living room PC. The problem is that the features Logitech included to replace those don't work that well.
We like that Logitech tried something different with its volume control, but both it and the touch pad have terrible responsiveness. Each time you drag your finger the full length of the volume bar, the sound level drops by only about 20 percent. We'd hoped that Logitech's software would let us adjust the sensitivity, but it has no such feature. Even if it had that control, we're not convinced it would help. The software lets you adjust the touch pad sensitivity, but we moved the bars all over the place, and still we weren't able to get the cursor to move more than a little bit at a time across our 1,280x1,024-resolution screen. If you think that's frustrating, imagine trying to control the cursor on a large television. It seems that similar to its Z-10 desktop speakers, Logitech's touch-sensitive technology also needs some work.
That's really our major complaint. We admit that the volume and the touch pad are ancillary features to a keyboard, especially if you intend to use it on your desk. If you do, you'll be surprised at how well this thin piece of hardware grips the work surface. Also, we liked that the keys fly up to meet your fingers, perhaps even better than the Razer Tarantula's do. If you intend to use this keyboard in the living room, though, you'll wish Logitech had spent some more time on fine-tuning, especially considering the $200 asking price.