Hardware Review: Logitech DeNovo Edge Keyboard
What is it?: The worlds most advanced wireless keyboard
Who makes it?:Logitech
Features: Cordless, Multimedia Controls, Rechargeable, TouchDisc™ Scroll Pad, Bluetooth.
Logitech has always been known for quality products, so I was stoked when I was able to obtain their latest wireless keyboard for my car PC. The DiNovo Edge is billed as the most advanced keyboard in the world, and I have to say that it lives up to it's name. The keyboard comes with a base station for charging it, which i decided to keep at home. A single charge on the base station takes about 4 hours and runs the keyboard for quite some time. I've had mine for over a month and have yet to get a low battery warning on it.
One of the things that made me drool over the DiNovo Edge was it's built in touch pad (Touchdisc, as they like to call it). As any car PC enthusiast knows, sometimes you need a mouse, and theres never a good place to put one in a car. Not a problem with the DiNovo Edge. It delivers a fully functional keyboard and mouse in a form factor that is perfect for slipping under your seat. It also has a very cool buttonless volume control, and a fuction key that gives you access to a set of media keys that are programmable using Logitechs setpoint software. Setpoint is not required for the keyboard, touchpad, or volume slider to work, but if you want the media keys to function you will have to install it. The wireless is done by bluetooth, and the keyboard comes with a small dongle for it. I have occasionally had problems with the keyboard and USB dongle loosing sync with eachother after hibernation. The keyboard does not loose sync while it is in operation, and the sync loss only happened 3 or 4 times in the time I've owned it. I reccomend keeping the dongle somewhere you can reach it to resync the keyboard without taking your car apart.
The keyboard has a nice feel to it. It's light, but doesn't feel at all flimsy, or cheap. The keystroke's are solid and responsive, giving a good tactile feel, but I did run into some shrinkage problems when i accidently left the keyboard out on my seat in the sun (more on that in a bit). The touchdisc works as advertised and is much easier to use then a mouse, a trackball, or a Gyration home thearter remote (my previous attempts at mousing for a car PC). The volume slider looks very slick, and works beautifuly most of the time, but I have found that on occasion it will not respond to me moving my finger over the volume slider. I haven't verified why it does this, but it seems to be related to either being in direct sunlight, or putting my finger down in the middle of the slider, rather then sliding my finger across it. It's irritating, but not so irritating as to turn me off.
The only truely worrying thing I encountered with this keyboard is that it is not designed to withstand the heat of being left in a car in direct sunlight. Not many peices of hardware are designed to withstand these tempatures, but the results of my own stupidity are worth noting. I accidently left the keyboard on my passenger seat while i went to work for a day, leaving the keyboard to bake in the hot California sun. When I returned, I noticed that the space bar key was sticking. Upon further inspection the key had actually begun to deform and shrink under the intense heat. One of the shift keys had started to do the same, but not enough to impair your ability to press it. Thankfully, Logitech has a wonderfull warranty, so if it happens to you, getting a replacement shouldn't be hard. I was able to obtain a new space bar key, and the DiNovo edge will be living in my car for the forseeable future.
Pictures coming soon!
-Long battery life
-Slim form factor
-Integrated mouse and volume controls
-volume controls flaky at times
-do not leave in direct sunlight
-very occasionally loses sync with bluetooth reciever.