updated 12:10 am EDT, Wed August 6, 2008
Logitech diNovo Edge
Every Mac needs a keyboard, but many people may not realize they have a choice. Most people settle with the keyboard that comes with their iMac while laptop users have no choice but to use their built-in keyboard. However, if you have a Mac mini or Mac Pro, or simply want a more flexible, full-size keyboard to control your iMac or laptop, then take a close look at Logitech's diNovo Edge Keyboard.
Like Apple's own wireless keyboard, this item also connects to your Mac through Bluetooth at a range up to 30 feet. Apple's keyboard is much less expensive ($79) compared to Logitech's keyboard ($159.99). However, Logitech's item offers far more features.
Apple's device requires three AAA batteries. Logitech's device contains a rechargeable Li-ion battery with a charging dock that doubles up as a keyboard holder to clear space off your desk. A five minute charge is enough to power the device for an entire day, while a longer four-hour charge can provide enough power to last for a month before recharging.
The Apple wireless model essentially gives you a truncated version of a normal keyboard, offering only typewriter keys, function keys at the top row, and tiny arrow keys squashed in the bottom right corner. The Logitech model offers a top row of function keys, typewriter keys, and a full size cursor keypad in addition to two Delete keys.
Pressing one Delete key erases characters to the left of the cursor while pressing the second Delete key erases characters to the right of the cursor. Both Delete keys are large enough to find and press comfortably, which makes text editing easier and faster.
Another unique feature of the Logitech offering is a built-in slider, which lets you slide your finger up or down to adjust the volume. Underneath this volume slider is an audio mute button.
The top right corner of the Logitech model includes a button for loading Front Row right away. Another dedicated button in the top right corner lets you eject a CD/DVD from your Mac.
The bottom right corner of the Logitech model provides a TouchDisc, which acts like a round trackpad for moving the mouse pointer. By sliding your finger around the edges of the TouchDisc, you can scroll both horizontally and vertically. Directly underneath this TouchDisc is a left and right mouse button.
Since sliding your finger along the TouchDisc and then trying to fumble for the left mouse button underneath can be clumsy, the device also offers a special left-click mouse button on the left edge of the keyboard. This lets you control the mouse pointer with your right hand using the TouchDisc and then select items with your left hand by pressing this special left-click button.
Additional dedicated buttons on the left edge allow you to play/pause, rewind, or fast forward in iTunes or the DVD Player. In the upper left corner, you'll find a button for turning your Mac on and off.
Touch typists may especially appreciate the keyboard's PerfectStroke feature. On most keyboards, you only need to press a key 2.2 mm to activate it. On the Logitech model, you must press a key 3.2 mm. This extra distance provides greater typing comfort when pressing each key.
Perhaps its greatest strength is the keyboard's Plexiglass construction. The review unit came crushed in its box, yet the keyboard remained unblemished although its docking station got smashed. To see how durable this keyboard really is, view this YouTube video that shows someone tossing the keyboard off a cliff and on to a concrete road as well as using the keyboard as a club to bash across somebody's head.
If you just want a wireless keyboard, you can find plenty of alternatives. However, if you want a wireless keyboard that's durable, thin, and offers built-in buttons and features for making your Mac easier to use, then your only choice may be Logitech's diNovo Edge keyboard.