Apr 03 2007

Typing with Style

With the diNovo Edge, Logitech offers sleek wireless keyboard.

Whether you’re the executive who spares no amenity in your office or just someone who has to have the latest gadget, Logitech has the wireless keyboard for you. With its attractive gloss black and brushed aluminum casing, the diNovo Edge is an impressive showpiece that’s as sleek as it is fun to use — as prestigious as it is high-tech.

Although wireless keyboards are nothing new, it goes without saying that they’ve become a necessity for both the boardroom and the home. The diNovo Edge keyboard is easy to set up and start using right out of the box. It comes with its own USB Bluetooth adapter and installation software to get you up and typing quickly.

End-User Advantages

Once installed, you’ll immediately notice its comfortable, natural feel. The keys are shallow like a notebook keyboard, and they hinge smoothly, returning to their default positions promptly after every stroke. It’s also rugged and well-suited to be your daily drive — a high compliment for a wireless model.

The 11-millimeter-thick keyboard has a rubberized back, making it convenient to rest on your lap because there’s no slipping. The back also features two hinges to adjust the angle of the keyboard when resting on a table surface. The hinges fold flush into the base — the only disadvantage is that they can be a challenge to pull out of the parked position.

One of the more unique features of this model is its TouchDisc, a round pad in the lower right corner that serves both as a touch-pad mouse and a scrolling device. To scroll, you place your finger over one of two home positions and then move your finger around the disc (similar to adjusting the volume on an iPod). You can scroll either up and down or side to side within a document, image viewer or Web browser.

This keyboard works because of its all-around rugged design so it’s both attractive and functional. I found it could hold its own, even during the most demanding use — from heavily key-command-driven applications to fast copywriting. The diNovo Edge has a solid body; it’s not rickety like some less expensive wireless keyboards. It also has a long battery life. Logitech claims it can go two months between chargings.

A Few Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage is the use of Bluetooth technology, which limits the range of the keyboard to within 30 feet of your PC. This works for most rooms but could become an inconvenience in large theaters or conference and presentation rooms. There’s also the fact that the keyboard must be upright when it’s in the charging base. I’m mixed on how I feel about this, and I imagine this feature really depends on personal taste. The configuration has its functional advantage because standing the unit upright assures a small footprint.

Finally, I offer one aesthetic disadvantage: For all this keyboard’s cool lights, the keys themselves aren’t backlit. That’s is a bummer, considering the most likely places to use it are dim-lit settings such as conference rooms and media centers. Backlit keys that clearly display characters and commands would put this sleek tech gear over the top, both for less-capable typists and for sheer coolness factor alone.

CDW Price: $169.99

Tim Courtney handles marketing for XNet Information Systems (www.xnet.com), an online services company in Lisle, Ill.