Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks

Have you ever noticed that anything comfortable is almost always big? Your favourite jumper, that sofa you sink into or a hug from a sumo wrestler. The smaller you go, the less comfortable it becomes and therefore the less time you can use it.

Desktops are built for use day-in day-out, while at the other end of the spectrum, a 7-inch netbook is only good enough for a few hours at a time. Stuck in the middle are notebooks, which are designed to be portable but aren't designed for extensive use – with harsh edges that dig into wrists and displays so close that a permanent hunch is developed in mere days.

The problem is that most people are moving towards notebooks for day-to-day use, thanks to lower prices, equivalent performance, wireless technology and decent battery life. Although the technology has caught up – the comfort certainly hasn't.

The obvious solution is to get an external keyboard and Logitech thinks it has the answer with the diNovo for Notebooks.

What you have is a full-sized QWERTY keyboard with number pad - something most notebooks lack. It uses the same type of keys as a notebook, i.e., individually sprung scissor-switch keys. A benefit to this is that you can make the keyboard very slim - and it is. Most of it is less than 10mm thick and it tapers to make for smooth edges. It gets larger towards the back where it's around 25mm. This helps set the angle of the keyboard and doubles up as an area for the 3 AAA batteries to fit.

At first, we thought the multimedia keys were missing, but there is a thin strip above the number keypad for volume control and launching the calculator. There is also a function button (Fn) which doubles up the F1-F12 keys as extra controls such as zooming, e-mail and multimedia playback.

You'll notice there is a brushed aluminium wrist rest that is non-detachable. Naturally, the keyboard is wireless, with a small dongle about the size of a USB flash drive.

The keyboard itself is nice to use: a standard layout with decent action and a comfortable typing position. But there were two main problems.

The first problem was that with your notebook now further away, you can no longer reach your touch pad. You need an external mouse or it gets very annoying very quickly. What would have been great, is an integrated touch pad into the silver wrist rest. That way a single device could double up as both and also tackle our second complaint – portability.

Although there is no denying this is slimmer than most wireless keyboards, it's still not small enough to be carried around with your notebook - especially as you now need an external mouse to go with it.

Because of this you will probably find yourself leaving it at your desk. In which case why have a notebook-specific keyboard at all?

Verdict

The Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks is well built and slim. Although a little more portable than a standard desktop keyboard, it's still not enough that you'd want it in your laptop bag.

At £59.99 there are a lot of options available if you were to simply buy a desktop keyboard and many of these will also come with a mouse. Don't get suckered in by the "for Notebooks" marketing strategy.



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