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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

There are various choices when it comes to wireless keyboards and most of them come with rechargeable batteries that last a couple of weeks (depending on your usage) and always require a recharge or a new set of batteries. But Logitech has tackled this issue by introducing a new solar-powered wireless keyboard that makes using wireless keyboards as hassle-free as possible with zero operating cost...

The Logitech K750 is a solar-powered wireless keyboard that offers convenience and style in a sleek form factor. The keyboard recharges wherever there is light - be it sunlight or indoor light, and still better, it recharges even when it is switched off. Logitech claims that the keyboard, when fully charged, offers up to three months of usage even in total darkness which we think is a winning feature for a wireless device. For Windows PCs, there is a handy program called Solar App that you can download. It displays information like how much battery power is left and the amount of light (in lux) the keyboard is receiving. Conveniently, the app can be launched using a dedicated shortcut on the keyboard.

The K750 offers a sleek form factor that resembles a Mac wired keyboard. It is just 1/3-inch thick and has a black glossy body with the white plastic on the underside. The glossy black body attracts dust, smudges and fingerprints though and this definitely requires frequent cleaning which is a downer.
The K750 is equipped with Logitech’s 2.4GHz wireless technology which Logitech claims offers reliability, 128-bit AES keyboard encryption for high levels of security and eliminates delays and dropouts while optimizing battery life. It also comes with a plug-and-play feature which enables the keyboard to work as soon as you plug it into the PC without a driver installation. One interesting and also very useful feature is the tiny USB receiver which Logitech calls the unifying receiver - it plugs into the USB-port on the PC and it receives signals not only from the Logitech K750 but also from other Logitech Wireless mice or devices. You can find the list of compatible devices here. The unifying function is another convenient feature that will set the K750 apart from other wireless keyboards. The Logitech K750 offers a lot of promising features but misses out on a backlight feature which would have made using the keyboard much easier in the dark.

Design & Usability
The white plastic back that extends to the top bezel adds to the aesthetic and makes the keyboard look good. Apart from having a slim design, the keyboard has a compact form factor that makes it resemble a laptop keyboard than a full-fledged standard PC keyboard. There is no palm rest which is a complaint for some but again this is something that many compact-size keyboards avoid to save space these days. The keyboard has two foldable stands at the back but they are flimsy and are at a fixed angle. The back has a removable button-cell battery.  The keyboard has two solar panels on the top row and there is a dedicated power on and off switch on the right corner as well.

The chiclet keyboard has a concave key cap design which actually provides more comfortable typing than the plain-flat cap design. The keyboard has a traditional keys arrangement plus the right function key with rows of function keys at the top. The bottom row has a long control key followed by a Windows and Alt key. The keys are not overly large or inconveniently small; they are sized similarly to that of a standard laptop. The positioning of the function key on the right side of the spacebar is convenient and the Num-pad keys on the right side are also nicely spread out. The keys may not be as big as those found on traditional keyboards, but constant notebook users would find using the keyboard comfortable while those who were used to traditional keyboard would take just a little time to get used to. Gamers may find the missing macro keys as a disadvantage though. And unlike many ergonomic keyboards which come with dedicated shortcuts for different functions, the Logitech K750 offers function keys by dual pressing the function key and the upper row keys. Using this dual function keys, there are options like Home, Mail, Search, Calculator, Music playback controls, etc.

It did not take even a minute for our PC running on Windows 7 Ultimate to recognize the Logitech K750. All we had to do was plug in the tiny USB receiver and start typing. The keys offered a nice spring-like feedback and they did not make much noise while typing which is a good thing for offices or late-night use. We found typing on the keypad comfortable although we made a few typos during our first use, but again, it was easy to get used to typing on the Logitech K750.

The Solar-powered K750 offered stellar battery life and during our 3 weeks of usage, the Solar App always showed excellent battery life and the light measure ranged from 160 to 200 lux indoors. While we can’t say whether the fully charged battery will last up to three months as Logitech claims, chances are that as long as you use the keyboard where there is sunlight or indoor light, it will never run out. Anyways you probably won’t be able to use the keyboard in a completely dark environment because there is no backlighting.

Bottom Line

The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is a well-made compact keyboard that charges using any kind of light. We found typing on the keyboard comfortable and its wireless range worked well as expected. However, the solar-powered feature comes at Rs 5,995 which is expensive for a wireless keyboard. Unless you really need a stellar battery life with minimum operating cost, you can find a better wireless keyboard at half its price.


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