Electronic Design

Logitech's Keyboard and Mouse Get Style Points

Logitech has split up its latest keyboard (Fig. 1) and mouse (Fig 2). On the plus side, buying both gives you a pair of Bluetooth USB dongles, one for your PC and one for your laptop. Either that or you have a hot spare.

The diNovo Edge keyboard is even spiffier than the diNovo Media Desktop Laser (Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser, ED Online ID 13408) we used recently in our Multimedia Home Control Center (EiED Online>> Building A Multimedia Home Control Center, Part 1, ED Online ID 13330). The diNovo Edge uses the PerfectStroke key system that utilizes a precision micro-scissor mechanism under each keypad to distribute the typing force evenly across key surface for a smooth keystroke.

The diNovo Edge overcomes one of the minor problems we had with the Laser: its batteries. The diNovo Edge comes with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and its own stylish charging station (Fig. 3). You don't have to put the keyboard up all the time. It should run for more than a month with a two-hour charge, and it definitely beats fumbling around for a pack of AAs.

The diNovo Edge has backlit controls like the Laser but these are even more elegant. Having a keyboard that is only 11 mm thick also adds to the ambiance and professional look.

The MX Revolution is an excellent counterpoint to the diNovo Edge. It also has its own charging station and lithium-ion batteries. You can use this mouse immediately but it will take a couple days to get used to the plethora of buttons and scroll wheels spread around its periphery. At its most basic, the MX Revolution is a two button, scroll wheel mouse.

The main MicroGear wheel is rather complex internally. It has a chassis that floats on a series of pin-like hinges and a tiny calibrated coil spring. The wheel is also designed to spin freely so you can give it a good flick and scroll through hundreds of lines instead of flipping your finger continually. The choice is yours. The main wheel has push to click switches and detects side-to-side movements. The SmartShift software support maps these movements to the active application.

The MX Revolution adds a search button behind the main buttons and there is a document flip scroll wheel and two more buttons on the left side for thumb initiated operations. The only thing I don't like about these is I don't have them available when I switch to another mouse that lacks these features.

The mouse fits nicely in your right hand. The laser sensor is very accurate and responsive. As with most wireless mice, the MX Revolution is light and easier to move without having a cord to tie you down. It works well on a wide range of surfaces.

The pair comes with Logitech's Logitech Control Center software and the Widcomm 5.1 Bluetooth stack. Installation is easy and it works with the latest Windows operating systems. The control center can map keys and scrolling to various functions and actions including starting applications. It was relatively easy to customize our system and it is tough to then re-adapt to other systems that lack these features. Time for diNovo's everywhere.

The MX Revolution is priced at $99. The diNovo Edge is priced at $199.

Related Links
Logitech
www.logitech.com


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