Burney's Legal Tech Reviews: Gadgets for Legal Pros A Keyboard to Show Off to your Friends and Safely Jogging with MusicBy Brett Burney, Published on July 27, 2007
A Keyboard to Show Off to your Friends
If you're looking for a slick wireless keyboard to go with your brand new 19" flat panel monitor, the Logitech diNovo Edge is as good as it gets.
Logitech is a company known for a slew of great products ranging from speakers to headsets to webcams to mice. The diNovo Edge keyboard is a pricey chap, but its like typing on a glistening piece of art. The diNovo edge is slim, glossy, and just plain beautiful.
The diNovo Edge keyboard is less than a half-inch thick, and measures 16" by 8". The whole unit is cut from a single piece of high-gloss black Plexiglas and then set in an aluminum frame. The wrist-rest is about 2 inches of brushed aluminum.
The reflective finish shows fingerprints fairly easier, but Logitech kindly includes a cloth with the keyboard to wipe off the smudges.
No cable is needed to connect the diNovo Edge to your computer - it connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. The only thing that plugs into your computer is a small adapter that is the size of a USB memory key.
Because the keyboard can't draw power from a computer's USB port, the diNovo Edge contains a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. There is no option for using conventional batteries. To recharge the keyboard, you slide it front-side down into a black, glossy charging base that must be plugged into an outlet.
When I first saw the charging base, I was a little perturbed because I was afraid I would forget to charge the keyboard every night and be left with a shiny brick on my desk. Fortunately, you can go several days on the keyboard without having to recharge it. Logitech claims that a short 5 minute charging session can power the keyboard for a whole day, and they say that 2 hours will get you 2 months. I didn't personally test these times, but I've never had the battery go out on me even after several days of no-charge use in a row.
The diNovo Edge keyboard was powered up and ready to go right out of the box. I simply plugged in the Bluetooth adapter and starting typing. Windows XP recognized the keyboard right away and I did not even need to install the software.
Once I did get around to installing the software, I was able to customize a host of features on the keyboard and the built-in touchpad.
While Logitech recommends partnering the diNovo Edge keyboard with their MX Revolution mouse (which is indeed a gorgeous wireless mouse), you could theoretically use the keyboard's built-in touchpad (called the "TouchDisc") which operates similar to touchpads found in laptops.
The TouchDisc is located in the bottom right corner of the keyboard, in the spot where a number keypad would usually live on a full-size keyboard. The TouchDisc is small and round with two buttons underneath that act as your left and right mouse buttons. When you move your finger around the top or right side of the TouchDisc, it will scroll your page left/right and up/down respectively.
While I really enjoy using the TouchDisc, I wouldn't recommend it for everyday use since it wasn't always the most responsive. I will use it to scroll a Webpage or a long Word document, but I still keep a bona fide wireless mouse to the side.
The keyboard feels very similar to typing on a nice laptop, except that you have more room. Instead of going with a traditional click-clackety keyboard, the diNovo Edge features a "scissor-switch" under each key (think ironing board) that dramatically cuts down the sound and work required to press a key. The keys have a professional, "squishy" feel to them while still providing a nice tactile feedback when they're hit.
The coolest feature of the diNovo Edge keyboard is what I call the "Star Trek effect." Under the reflective glossy black finish hide several warm glowy orange lights. For example, at the top of the keyboard live the 12 Function buttons. When you hold down the Fn (Function) key at the bottom of the keyboard, orange lights above the 12 Function keys bloom alive to reveal each key's alternate function. I kept tapping the Fn button just to watch the cool factor happen.
Several of the Function buttons can be programmed through the keyboard's software, although four of them are hard-coded for media player controls (play/pause, previous, next, etc.).
The same orange glow encirlces the TouchDisc whenever you use it, and all the orange lights on the keyboard light up for a second when you place it in the charging base.
Above the TouchDisc on the right side of the keyboard is a touch-sensitive volume slide. You can simply slide your finger up and down to manipulate the volume. Again, warm orange lights follow your finger.
I mostly used the diNovo Edge keyboard with a Windows XP system, although it works just fine with Windows Vista. I also had no problem connecting the keyboard to an iMac and a MacBook Pro since both of those machines have built-in Bluetooth. The only issue with using the keyboard on a Mac is that you will not get some of the bells and whistles from the software which has only been programmed for Windows.
The biggest drawback for me on the keyboard is a lack of a number keypad. I hardly ever do a lot of calculations in Excel, but I apparently use the keypad several times during the day to enter things like zip codes and credit card numbers. I didn't realize this until my hand kept going for the right side of the keyboard reaching for the missing keypad.
I can see why Logitech left off the keypad - it keeps the size of the keyboard small and manageable. Regular keyboards are two to four inches longer than the diNovo Edge, and they're always much, much bulkier.
Many people will be immediately turned off by a $200 keyboard (although I have found it less expensive online), but you are definitely paying for style and functionality. If you're the type that will spend several hundred dollars on a good office chair and nice art for your office walls, then the diNovo Edge keyboard will fit right in sitting on your desk.
Safely Jogging with Music
I enjoy jogging and listening to music but the two activities aren't always safe to do at the same time. If you wear in-the-ear earbuds like I do, it's hard to hear a car driving up behind you or a dog yapping at your heels.
There's really not much to the JogPhones, but they sound surprisingly good and don't bother your ears after a sweat breaks out. I usually don't like earphones that clip over the ear because they tend to pinch. But the JogPhones weigh almost nothing and I forgot they were on my ears after running only a few yards.
The main feature the JogPhones provide for runners is the five crocodile-style clips that can position the wire out of the way of your flailing arms. The audio cord plugs into any standard 3.5 mm stereo jack which are found on just about every digital music player. The cord is only 30 inches, but the package includes an additional 17 inch extension.
I found the 30 inch cable perfect for connecting to my iPod shuffle clipped to my shirt collar or shirt sleeve. If you prefer your music player clipped to your hip or in your pocket, you'll need to use the 17 inch extension.
The JogPhones are pricey at $40 (purchased from here) but you'll be much safer listening to music while exercising.
|Logitech MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse (Black)|
List price: $99.99 USD
Amazon price: $144.99 USD
|Logitech diNovo Edge Keyboard (Black)|
List price: $199.99 USD
Amazon price: $170.67 USD