Review: Logitech diNovoEdge Keyboard

Usability: 8

Features: 8

Appearance: 9

Overall: 8

Well, after a thoroughly disappointing time with the Logitech Gaming Keyboard, I replaced it last week with the diNovoEdge.  I’d read some reviews of it and it seemed to be getting positive responses, so after some consideration I decided to give Logitech a chance to redeem itself.  After a week, I can say that yes, this is a really decent piece of hardware.  I’ve been wanting to do a lot of writing on my main desktop, and the sticky “O” area on my other keyboard was becoming an enormous pain in the ass.

On the con side – the keys are small.  Not Herve’ Villachez small, but small.  Left shift and Enter most notably are narrow.  In a form factor as wide as this, I don’t really understand why they didn’t spread out a little more and carry the keys closer to the edges.  This is not a major buzz-kill, more just a feature that causes me to wonder a bit about its design.

The mouse buttons take a solid press to activate.  Don’t like that.  When I click something, I want it clicked now, not after my third try.  To counter this, the trackpad’s sensitivity is pretty standard, so I can get things done there when I don’t want to deal with the mouse buttons.

Number pad:  this is my biggest beef with this keyboard.  I like number pads.  A lot.  Enough that I’m considering buying one anyway to sit on my desk, since this keyboard doesn’t have one.  Sigh.  Could have been a 10 with a number pad.

Charging:  charging’s fine.  It recharges when put in its cradle.  However, for some reason leaving the keyboard in the charger (which is powered by its own electrical cord, not by USB) causes the computer to wake up from Sleep mode.  That’s a pain.  I put my PC to sleep when I stop using it most of the time, not shut down.  Having my keyboard keep the machine awake is not optimal.  I don’t even know why it’s doing that.  I would have thought the programmers at Logitech would have said “Keyboard is charging, send the message to the driver and then stop sending messages until I’m picked up out of the charger, or unless the driver asks me specifically what my charge level is.”  Instead, I suspect what’s happening is that the keyboard is doing the equivalent of the Microsoft Clippy-the-Paperclip:  “Hey, looks like I’m charging!”…”Hey, looks like I’m charging!”…”Hey, I’m still charging!” etc.

Pros: I’ll start with the fact that it’s pretty.  Very pretty.  Aluminum base and wrist-rest, black something elsewhere, and good non-intrusive lighting (orange, which doesn’t freak out my night-vision if I’m up late).  It looks very cool, and sits low on the table even with legs extended.

Keystroke travel is short – about on par with an average notebook – and very smooth.  The keyboard itself, while thin, has a satisfactory weight to it that gives it a good “heft”, as well.  It is wireless, which I am unsure about (I don’t like the idea of my keyboard running out of charge at an inopportune moment, but that hasn’t happened yet, so I may be worried about nothing).  I haven’t yet figured out the distance at which it loses its ability to talk to the included Bluetooth hub, but it seems fine within my living room, which is probably about all that matters.

Having a built-in track pad is a pretty nice feature – though it’s mounted on the right rather than in the “notebook standard” center beneath the keys…so I find myself occasionally going after it with my thumb only to find it isn’t there.  This is actually a benefit, because with notebooks I am constantly cursing them for letting my thumb accidentally swipe a select across entire paragraphs of text, which then get wiped out with the next keystroke.  Just having the track pad there on the keyboard saves me from switching to a mouse all the time, which is itself really good when I’m just navigating on the desktop.  Wouldn’t use it in a game, but it does the job.  The touch-volume control is also pretty nice, even if it is “gadgety” (read: I don’t really know why they went with this metaphor – it’s cool, but it takes up a lot of space that could have been better served with some extra key space).

The included software (used for re-mapping certain keys) installs okay, but is a pretty awful UI for its intended purpose.  Someone needs to clue in the folks at Logitech that they can use a bigger chunk of my screen if it’ll help me figure out how to use their apps better.  I won’t be running their config tool that often that a big screen footprint will bother me.

Charger has a really small footprint, and can be set on a tower case without blocking the ventilation grille.  No problem.  Dropping the keyboard in there gives you both an audio and visual cue that the board is now charging.  Good on both fronts.

Overall: 8 out of 10.  I’m glad I bought it, and I’d recommend buying it to practically anyone.  I certainly am looking forward to doing a lot of writing on it.

 

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