by Jerry Jackson
Despite the fact that more and more people are buying notebooks to replace their desktop PCs, external keyboards remain a popular accessory for any laptop owner who is working at a desk. But what if you want a compact, notebook-like keyboard that offers the same typing experience of a larger desktop style keyboard? Logitech’s answer is the new diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks, a low-profile wireless keyboard that barely takes up any desk space … and can easily slide into your laptop bag for long business trips.
Build and Design
The Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks might look like an all new design, but anyone familiar with Logitech’s previous keyboard offerings will notice a striking similarity to the Logitech S510 keyboard. The S510 was a low-profile cordless keyboard that many laptop owners felt was a perfect match for notebooks when working at a desk. The new diNovo is something of a spiritual successor to the S510 in that it offers a similar low-profile construction, similar design, and appeals to notebook users.
Old Logitech S510 Keyboard
New Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks
- The Logitech diNovo Keyboard
- USB mini-receiver
- CD with software
- Comfort guidelines and User’s guide
- 5-year limited hardware warranty
As with the S510 keyboard, the diNovo doesn’t exactly look like an ergonomic keyboard but it is quite comfortable to use. The key strokes are quiet, much quieter than the clicky sound you get from cheap laptop keyboards or the included desktop keyboard that comes with a pre-built desktop. The key travel of feedback is more shallow than a typical desktop keyboard, similar to many notebooks. The layout is typical for a full-size keyboard. It also contains a built in wrist rest, which is slightly curved and works very well despite the fact it’s made of cold, hard metal (more on that later). The similarity of the keys to a notebook with better key spacing and a dedicated number pad make it very easy to transition between using your notebook keyboard and using the diNovo. The zero degree tilt of the low-profile design helps in this regard since it is similar to most laptop keyboards.
The included wireless receiver works well and we never encountered problems with lost signals during our testing. The only potential negative regarding the receiver is that since this keyboard is designed for notebook users we would have liked to see Logitech use their “Nano receiver” since this would have allowed notebook users to leave the receiver plugged into a USB port without having a long USB device sticking out of the USB port.
The ultra-slim form factor of this keyboard is really one of the main selling points. Not only does this make it a little less bulky on your desk but it also makes it easier to slide the diNovo into your notebook bag when traveling. The keys are extremely durable and shoud withstand the pressures of travel. The keys themselves are based on Logitech’s new “PerfectStroke” key system which uses precision micro-scissors behind each key to make each keystroke smooth, well-cushioned, and silent. The wrists also receive a large brushed aluminum palm rest, which gives a little more comfort and encourages better hand positioning.
The diNovo keyboard is powered by two AA batteries and battery life is expected to be an impressive 3 years! (We obviously couldn’t put that claim to the test in time to publish this review.) There is a low-battery warning light that glows when it’s time to replace the batteries.
As mentioned above, the diNovo is an exceptional keyboard, but there are two potential criticisms buyers might have with this keyboard. First, the metal palm rest, while beautiful, is both hard and cold on the wrists. Most keyboards with palm/wrist rests use padded material that cushions the palms or wrists and isn’t cold to the touch. In our 70-degree office the metal palm rest remained in the mid 60s unless it was warmed up from heavy use. That’s a little too cold for comfort.
Additionally, although the low-profile design is nice and promotes a more comfortable typing experience, some typists prefer a slight angle to their keyboards. The diNovo lacks any kind of risers to elevate the back of the keyboard … so get used to typing on a flat surface.
Time and time again we have trouble finding serious faults with Logitech’s keyboards and mice. The diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks is yet another great Logitech keyboard that does an excellent job at providing both a comfortable typing experience and meeting the needs of its intended audience. Notebook users who were looking for the spiritual successor to the popular Logitech S510 keyboard should find the diNovo to be the perfect fit for desktop replacement notebooks.
Overall, this keyboard provides a fantastic typing experience and takes up minimal space on a desk or inside a laptop bag … making it the ideal choice for notebook owners looking for a full-sized keyboard for desktop use. However, for the full MSRP of $99.99, this wireless keyboard might seem a little high priced since you can purchase a Logitech Alto Cordless keyboard and docking station for the same price as this keyboard alone.
- Low-profile design is both compact and makes it convenient for travel
- Quiet, well-cushioned key presses
- Fantastic advertised battery life with low battery indicator
- Flat profile without risers might be uncomfortable for some typists
- USB receiver is a little large, but not too bad
- Palm rest is hard and cold
Pricing and availability
The Logitech diNovo keyboard for notebooks is available at retail stores everywhere and has an MSRP of $99.99. Visit the Logitech website for more information about features and availability.