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. Patrick says:

    Hi there, great review, so great in fact I had to go out a buy one. The key set up video seems to be unavailable, is there anywhere else I can get this video from, I would just like a guide for getting all the keys to work – am I correct in understanding that I need a separate app called controllermate to do this?

    Thanks

  2. Robert says:

    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.

  3. leon coleman says:

    Question?
    Does the touchpad on the dinovo edge really works like a mouse or is it just some kind of scroller?
    Thanks!!

  4. Derek says:

    [quote comment=”56389″]Does the touchpad on the dinovo edge really works like a mouse or is it just some kind of scroller?[/quote]

    Yes, the touchpad on the keyboard does work like a normal trackpad – mouse functionality (similar to a laptop).

  5. Tom Holliger says:

    I actually like the way it works very much, but I must admit it took me two weeks to really get used to it. Today its the fastest scrolling device I have, and yes, it’s a trackpad too.

  6. dave says:

    Derek, thanks for this article. I brought 2 DiNovo keyboards for 2 of our machines and they have been great.

    The only glitch is after installing OSX Leopard the keyboard bluetooth connection is always lost and each time either computer is turned on we need to turn off bluetooth/turn it back on to resync.

    Hopefully this will be fixed with a Leopard update as from the Apple forums it’s an issue with not only DiNovo but other bluetooth keyboards too.

    Curious if anyone else experienced the same thing?

  7. Tom Holliger says:

    Dave, no! The contrary is true for me – I move my MacBook back and forth, and whenever I come home the Keyboard works – no pairing, no connecting, no on- and off- switching – I’m surprised myself. I use Leopard as well…

  8. Ivan says:

    Dave, tjhe same issue is happening to me too but even with Tiger. When I bought the Dinovo keyboard firstly paired during OSX startup (but a couple of times) and suddenly it started to fail.

    I´m using the same workaround as you mentioned, disabling/enabling BT will pair with the keyboard fast and smoothly.

    I took my Mac Mini to an Apple Store and their reply was: it is not a supported keyboard (after paying 50€)

    Digging a little into the web I found some guys which came across to similar scenarios and I´m using a solutoin I found somwhere. These are 2 scripts which will disable and enable BT, and you can use automator or any other way to get them running so you will be able to automate the workaround.

    These are the scripts which are working for me:

    BTOn:
    =====
    property bounceBlueD : “/usr/bin/killall -HUP blued”
    property bluetoothOn : “/usr/bin/defaults write com.apple.Bluetooth \”ControllerPowerState\” 1″

    do shell script bluetoothOn
    do shell script bounceBlueD with administrator privileges

    BTOff:
    =====
    property bounceBlueD : “/usr/bin/killall -HUP blued”
    property bluetoothOff : “/usr/bin/defaults write com.apple.Bluetooth \”ControllerPowerState\” 0″

    do shell script bluetoothOff
    do shell script bounceBlueD with administrator privileges

  9. Jason Houx says:

    I own two Di Novo Edge units. One is hooked up to my home entertainment (mac mini) and I liked it so much there I purchased one for my MBP. I have an issue though with my MBP that I am curious if anyone else is seeing. When I leave my computer for awhile and the MBP goes to password screen lock mode I can’t get the keyboard to reconnect. I have to turn off the bluetooth service via the bar at the top and then turn it back on, wait 5 seconds then turn the keyboard on and press connect.

    Its kinda annoying but I do it because I like the keyboard so much. Just curious if anyone else out there has the same issue. My Mac Mini doesn’t have this problem at all.

  10. Jason Houx says:

    ok I should have looked at the bottom two posts – looks like I am having the same problem. HUP’ing the bluetooth process during login would seem to work for me as well. I am using Leopord on both systems but I assume because the mini never goes to screen lock something is not shutting down that is on the MBP. grrr

  11. Derek says:

    JkOnTheRun shared something about a quick fix for the Bluetooth issue on MacBook Pro’s here: http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/12/macbook-pro-los.html

  12. Lungkisser says:

    Derek,

    I recently bought an MX Revolution to use with my new iMac (for one because the nice fragmat mousepads I was given for Christmas weren’t working so well with the included wired optical red-light Mighty Mouse, and for two because I’ve been using a VX Revolution on my Vista notebook for awhile now). I used to use a Logitech mouse on a Mini I owned last year and I knew that LCC caused kernal panics and did crazy things to Tiger … but the new Unibin 2.4.0 is actually working perfectly for me and has let me set up my MX R. with ease.

    Now, I’m considerin picking up the diNovo (maybe for my birthday next month as a gift?) because it’s quite sexy and I’m not a huge fan of the flat aluminum wired thing that came with the iMac so my question to you is this… now that I use 2.4.0 and it doesn’t ’cause my Leopard installation to go bananas, what is going to happen when I try connecting the diNovo to this thing? Does the LCC support it at all or can I still use ControllerMate while using LCC for my MX R.?

    Bonus question: does ControllerMate give 100% of the same features as LCC does for the MX R., i.e. complete controller over the speed at which the Microgear kicks in, etc.?

    tl:dr ver.: does LCC work with the diNovo now at v. 2.4.0 and does ControllerMate give complete control of the MX Revolution?

  13. Derek says:

    Last time that I had experimented with both LCC and ControllerMate installed on the same machine while using the MX and diNovo there were conflicts. I have not worked on a desktop for quite some time so I can’t go through and text in Leopard with the latest updates.

    ControllerMate allows you to customize all of the features on the mouse with the exception of the microgear. Unfortunate.

    Currently, my work setup consists of a MacBook Pro, external display, Apple aluminum keyboard, and MX Revolution. I actually prefer SteerMouse for the MX Revolution over ControllerMate. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

  14. Basu says:

    I have an old mirror door G4 PowerMac which I’ve outfitted with a USB 2.0 PCI card and hub. If I plug in the bluetooth-USB dongle that comes with this keyboard, will I be able to set it up in the same way?

  15. Jesse says:

    I also have the “lost pairing” issue with the dinovo edge. Sometimes it works fine for even a week or so. It finds the keyboard even after restart, shutdown or sleep. then for what seems like no reason at all it loses its pairing and i have to do the whole turn off/on bluetooth. Usually if i delete the connection and re pair it, it works for a while again. Which is not that big a deal except im using a mac mini and i have to keep a USB mouse always connected just to toggle the bluetooth off/on. I see above a script that will toggle that for me but unfortunately i dont know the first thing about running scripts or using automator. can anyone help? dont those scripts have to be initiated anyhow? for example if my dinovo has lost its connection, i have no mouse or keyboard to even initiate a script, so wouldnt i still have to keep a USB mouse connected?

    thanks anyone.

    ciao

  16. Jason Houx says:

    Jesse,

    I have a mac mini and don’t have any issues with it. I have another one of these keyboards though i use with my MBP and it i have to do this with all the time. Very strange you have the issue with your mini. Mine is a newer Intel Core 2 duo. I run video to a projector behind a wall i have my home entertainment stuff running through. That one works great. I did by that keyboard almost 8 months ago and wonder if its the keyboard. I might have to swap them to see if that changes anything.

  17. Jesse says:

    Hmm. Interesting, let me know if that changes anything. FYI my mac mini is a PPC G4 OSX 10.4.10

  18. Kevin says:

    My partner recently purchased a MacBook Pro and now a “Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser” (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard_mice_combos/devices/164&cl=us,en) and has been experiencing the same issue with the MBP not staying connected with the keyboard when waking from sleep mode (even though it still had the peripherals in the bluetooth settings panel).

    Tonight, after getting passed up to tier two of Apple Care support and staying on hold for a painfully long time (over an hour), I finally got a sequence of reset events that I was to try in order to make the computer behave. But first, make sure that you’ve set the computer to “wake from bluetooth devices” (tier one advice there).

    I haven’t had the time to see if this resolves the issue, but it’s the only advice I received that I didn’t find online already…maybe it will help someone.

    Here goes…

    Second tier of Apple Care support regarding the intermittent behavior around having bluetooth peripheral devices not-connected to the computer when coming out of sleep mode.

    First: Reset the ‘Power Management Unit’ (PMU)
    Apple article: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=14449

    1. Shut Down your computer
    2. Take out the battery
    3. Press and hold power button for 5 seconds
    4. Re-install the battery
    5. (normally you would reboot here…but wait)

    Next: Reset the ‘Parameter RAM’ (PRAM)
    Resets the video settings, system clock, bluetooth prefs*, etc.
    Apple article: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=2238

    Press and hold the following buttons all at the same time, while turning on the computer power…
    Keep these buttons held until you hear three (3) sets of boot-up-chimes.

    1. (Apple-Command) + (Option-Alt) + P + R + (Power-On Button to Boot up your computer)
    2. Keep holding the buttons until you here the chimes three times (what I was told).
    3. You’re now reset!

    Hope this helps me and anyone else on this quest out of frustration–peace

  19. slaingod says:

    One question I have for the Mac OS X users of this keyboard out there:

    Does the scrolling work the same way in OS X with the trackpad? Ie. In Windows, I can just start spinning my thumb clockwise (from the right side of the trackpad) and scroll forever, pause then continue, or even reverse directions and scroll up continuously going counterclockwise, all without having to lift my finger.

    Does this work the same on OS X? Or is it just side scrolling or two finger scrolling, etc?

  20. Derek says:

    If you place your finger on the small nub near the edge of the trackpad, you can follow the edge with your finger which will scroll your browser window. The same holds true for going in the other direction (opposite scroll direction).