Use the Logitech diNovo Edge with Mac OS X

  • January 21st, 2007

Low profile of the Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard

Earlier this week I took delivery of Logitech’s ultra sexy diNovo Edge keyboard. Unfortunately, the keyboard ships assuming its customers are of the Windows variant with zero support for OS X or Linux users. Surprising? Not at all. I’ll outline the installation process, the Pro’s and Con’s of using the Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard with Mac OS X, and a short video walk-through. You decide if the the “advantages” outweigh the minor “inconveniences” or missing functionality.

Installed – Does style outweigh missing support?

There is no question that the Logitech diNovo Edge has a unique style unmatched by any other keyboard. The diNovo Edge would compliment any desktop or home entertainment setup thanks to its glossy black finish, brushed aluminum palm rests, touch sensitive volume control, integrated mini-trackpad, and super thin profile (aptly named diNovo “Edge”) [Visit the official Logitech product page]. With no official OS X support from Logitech, is the diNovo Edge worth the $200 premium?

Shipped, Logitech includes the following items: diNovo Edge keyboard, USB Bluetooth adapter, charging unit, soft buffing cloth, warranty info, instructions, and CD-ROM (Windows drivers). In order to enjoy the keyboard with Mac OS X, the only items required are the the actual diNovo Edge and charging unit. The rest can be placed back into the box and kicked under the bed.

  • Assuming that the keyboard has had ample time to charge, remove the diNovo Edge from the charging unit and move the power switch to the ‘on’ position. The power icon at the top right corner will have an orange indicator.
  • Flip the keyboard over and press the ‘connect’ button. The Bluetooth indicator on the front will blink in green.
  • Ensure that Bluetooth is enabled in Mac OS X and open System Preferences > Bluetooth > Set Up New Device. Continue through the setup prompts selecting ‘Keyboard’ as the device type.
  • The setup utility will search and recognize the keyboard as “Logitech diNovo Edge”.
  • Keyboard Setup Assistant will notify you that “The keyboard cannot be identified and will not be usable until it is identified.” Pause. Thank Logitech for making this a Windows keyboard. Press ‘Continue’ and follow each step to setup the keyboard as ANSI, ISO, or JIS. Select ‘ANSI’.
  • Once the Setup Assistant receives your settings, the keyboard has completed the pairing process and will pair on restarts.
  • Due to the fact that this is a Windows keyboard, the Windows key will represent the CMD / Apple key. This means that your Option & CMD keys will be swapped. A minor annoyance considering the fact that I have Quicksilver configured to use CMD+Spacebar. Swap these keys, as well as configure a few other Windows defaults, using the open-source DoubleCommand System Preference utility.

Once pairing is complete, your keyboard will function as any other Apple keyboard with the only difference being that the Windows key represents the CMD / Apple key. Although the extra buttons along the left side will fail to function properly, the illuminated trackpad, volume control, and sleep button work. Check the Pro’s & Con’s list for additional feedback.

Note that I am unable to confirm if the following installation tips will result in similar performance under Mac OS X 10.3. All tests were conducted with Mac OS X 10.4. I imagine / hope that additional [official or third-party] support will arrive by the time 10.5 lands.

Pro’s & Con’s of the diNovo Edge with Mac OS X

What’s not so good when using the diNovo Edge with Mac OS X?

  • No official Mac OS X driver support from Logitech means limited functionality (see update below for a workaround)
  • Lack of numeric keypad.
  • Large charging unit (why not offer the option to plug the cable straight into the keyboard?).
  • Placing or removing the keyboard into the charger does not automatically turn the unit off or on.
  • No official driver support. Did I say that already? Hopefully 3rd party vendors step-up.
  • Windows key. Why do keyboard manufacturers assume users want that button?
  • Price. The suggested $200 retail price is on the steep side. Amazon offers $30-off.
  • What happens when dirt gets between the keys?

What’s good about using the diNovo Edge with Mac OS X?

  • Firm, yet not too firm typing feedback.
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity. Un-clutter your desktop workspace by going wireless.
  • On-touch Bluetooth pairing button.
  • Razor thin profile. You can finally say “My keyboard is thinner than a cellphone”. My BlackBerry is jealous.
  • Great battery life. No surprise as the MX Revolution offers similar wireless usage performance.
  • Mac OS X supports the integrated trackpad – tweak settings using System Preferences.
  • Mac OS X supports the illuminated volume control.
  • Extremely light and quality workmanship / materials. No twisting or bending.

Weighed the Pro’s & Con’s? With 3rd party developers picking up the slack with other Logitech devices like the MX Revolution (SteerMouse), additional support for the diNovo Edge may be just around the corner.

Images do not do this keyboard justice

A short unedited video walk-through of the Logitech diNovo Edge. Excuse the shaky footage – recorded using a Sony DSC-T10. I acknowledge the error concerning the F12 being the ‘Expose’ key, I meant ‘Dashboard’.

So what are your new impressions of the Logitech diNovo Edge? I’m definitely digging the style, profile, and build quality. No qualms as of yet after a few days of regular use. After swapping the CMD & Option key using DoubleCommand, there is little to complain about. By the way, check out Indigo Clothing. I’m thinking there may be some 531 t-shirts somewhere down the road. [Digg this]

Mapping diNovo Edge buttons with ControllerMate

I realized that much of the functionality of the media keys and extra buttons can be restored by mapping funtions using a shareware utility known as ControllerMate. The diNovo Edge media keys are now configured with the following settings:

  • Sidebar zoom: + zooms screen in, – zooms screen out, % resets screen
  • Search – Opens Spotlight
  • Mail – Opens Gmail
  • Home – Opens User directory
  • Media Controls – Basic Play, Stop, Forward, and Back functionality of iTunes / DVD Player / VLC

Note that configuring each button required a bit of trial and error. Ultimately, diNovo users can restore full fuctionality without Logitech’s help. Let me know if a video tutorial is in order or wanted and I’ll work on getting a screencast thrown together. Apologies for the low volumes during the recording. I am by no means a video buff and used the iSight mic.