Use the Logitech diNovo Edge with Mac OS X

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.

Discuss - 103 Comments

  1. slaingod says:

    Ok, that almost sounds like what I said. To be specfic:

    * In Windows you don’t need to start ‘on’ the nub, just near it. Strictly speaking, I think the nub is actually non-responsive altogether (not part of the touchpad), so starting near it is good enough.

    * Also in Windows, you don’t need to ‘follow the edge’ of the trackpad, just spin you finger in a circular motion once you’ve started on the right side of the pad. By ‘follow the edge’ do you mean just until you hit the bottom, or indefinitely?

    * You can keep spinning indefinitely, then pause and then continue spinning which will continue scrolling in Windows, no matter where in the trackpad you happen to pause. You can also reverse directions and start scrolling the opposite direction without having to start on the right side of the trackpad. It behaves exactly like one of those old amplifier knobs with a little thumb circle cut into it.

    For me these features make the diNovo Edge Touchpad the best in the business, which is why I am looking for specifics. I tend to use my Edge in a way that lets me use my thumb on the touchpad, so control is very accurate and easy.

    Thanks.

  2. Shady says:

    [quote comment="53114"]Under Leopard, it is possible to swap Command and Alt on a per keyboard basis. I also noticed that it was easy to swap the keycaps of the Windows and Alt keys on the Logitech keyboard, giving me the standard Mac key arrangement (i.e. Ctrl – Option – Cmd). The only other thing I need is a command sticker that fits on top of the round Windows logo key (and a couple for insert/print screen/scroll lock).

    The battery life on this keyboard is amazing.[/quote]

    Anyone know how to remove a key on the dinovo media keyboard without ruining it? i can’t really see how the mechanism works in there and I’m afraid to break one of the small moving parts. I noticed the person above did it.

  3. Robert says:

    @Shady: The keys popped right off for me with not too much leverage. Of course I’m not sure that all keyboards are built alike.

  4. Mary says:

    How do you use Controllermate to make the %zoom key on the left side reset the screen?

  5. Anon says:

    Hey Gang,

    Has anyone come up with a fix for the pairing issue that Ivan, Derek and friends are facing? I’m in the same boat. Must power off/on the integrated BT on my Intel Core Duo Mac Mini and then browse for the diNovo Edge. If the computer restarts or sleeps, forced to repeat the process.

    Running 10.5.2 fully patched.

    Thanks!

  6. E.T.Cook says:

    Thanks for some of your suggestions. Based on this post, I actually did a bit more research and found a much better alternative than DoubleCommand called KeyRemap4MacBook. Since I am on a MBP, I had to keep switching the profiles for DoubleCommand because it would remap both the internal keyboard as well as the Dinovo. With KeyRemap4Macbook, you can actually tell it to forgo remapping the internal keyboard, thus leaving those settings intact! It also has a LOT more functionality as well as downloadable profiles.

    Try it out!

  7. Mike says:

    Why not just buy the super-thin mac wireless keyboard & a bluetooth kensington mouse?

  8. slaingod says:

    @Mike: Ever try and hold a mouse in your lap?

  9. Don G. says:

    I’m also experiencing the problem with losing the BT connection.

    I know that the Apple Wireless BT keyboards has a “power” button on the side (http://www.apple.com/keyboard/), and I assume that does the trick of reconnecting/not losing the connection and thus being able to waking the OS again.

    Would it be possible to map that key/function to the Edge?

  10. dinoman22 says:

    Awesome guide, Thank you to all who worked to put this together, i finally got an unbelievable deal on this keyboard, and the mapping with CM was super helpful
    some setbacks, but definitely can live with

  11. B. says:

    With the release (8/2008) of the Mac version of the diNovo Edge keyboard (ships with Logitech Mac LCC software and no Bluetooth dongle) the question has come: Can I download the new software (LCC 2.6.1) and use it with the old keyboard? The answer from Logitech technical support is “no, that doesn’t work”. Apparently it’s using model info to decide. Sigh. Of course, there are those detractors who say the LCC is such a beastly junker, you’re better off without it, and sticking with ControllerMate!

  12. Dave Griffiths says:

    Hi… good revie. I’m thinking about buying the Edge keyboard to run my MacMini as a media centre… Do you have any info on the range of the keyboard. My Armchair is about 10 feet away from the Mac and TV and USB wireless keyboards struggle with that range and also struggle because of the number of wired devices connected around my Mac and TV

  13. Derek says:

    Dave, other electronic interference will really depend on your own entertainment system setup. If it is of any help, this picture was the setup that I was running with the keyboard. The couch was against the back wall which was about 12′ from the TV. I usually kept the front door of the tv stand closed (Mini – right bottom). Didn’t have any interference with the doors closed and other electronics around it.

  14. Promo says:

    amazing post))

  15. Shady says:

    Hey all, I’ve got a brand new dinovo media laser for sale on ebay right now (user eb-sfh) if anyone is interested. Ends in 30 hours. Make an offer if interested. Cheers.

  16. Gabriel says:

    Did someone make the phone and Fn A-D buttons work??? they would be very useful

  17. caesar says:

    Hi there, excellent post you have here. However I tried to use the controllermate to make the dinovo edge work on my macbook unibody and in the controllers the logitech says “general access unavailable” and no buttons appear under it.
    any idea how to fix this?

    • Nick says:

      I have this same issue. discovered it right after I purchased controllermate.

    • Craig says:

      Uninstall LCC, I had the same issue. LCC seems to block the diNovo from CM but didn’t affect my IR mouse or keyboard.

  18. jason searcy says:

    currently i have a mac mini connected to my home television. I also connect my windows
    laptop to the television. Will the dinovo Edge Mac edition work with both Mac and Windows
    the way the original dinovo edge will?

    • Derek says:

      The Mac version will work with Windows. I’ve seen it work with Vista, so I’m assuming it will work with XP as well.

  19. BeanTech says:

    Windows to Mac….works.

  20. mo says:

    you said “Mac OS X supports the integrated trackpad – tweak settings using System Preferences.” but how do I change acceleration?