Logitech Illuminated keyboard

Logitech has abided by an ideology that is often known as KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid/Smartypants). Everyone knows now that it’s possible to get a keyboard that is crammed full of shortcut keys, hot keys and dress-me-in-the-morning-keys. But there’s a certain category of users out there who don’t miss and don’t care about these kinds of extras that are often found on many keyboard designs. Some, like me, just want a comfortable and quiet keyboard to type on.

I’ve spent the last few weeks using the Logitech Illuminated keyboard as my main typing peripheral. Previous to switching over, I was reviewing the wireless diNovo for Mac keyboard, which I applauded for its simplicity and comfortable use. Whilst they both share similarities, the Illuminated keyboard has its own unique take on what a keyboard should look and feel like.

The main attraction with the Logitech Illuminated is the fact that it has backlit keys, which can be activated using a dedicated shortcut key in the top right of the keyboard. Whilst there’s no ambient light sensor, you can adjust the brightness of the backlight with several levels of intensity, however more often than not, I’ve got it set on full.

You can get some really good typing speeds with this model, and I actually found it to be a bit more comfortable to type on than the diNovo. This was down to two things. Feedback from each key when you’re typing seems to be a fraction quicker and whilst the main keyboard layout is roughly the same as the diNovo, I found it to be a bit more spacious.

Along a reflective strip which separates the palm rest and the main keyboard area are the LED lights that you normally find along the top. The design cleverly hides these LEDs in this reflective strip until they’re activated when you hit the usual Caps Lock or Num Lock keys. Only then do they light up with their icon.

Surrounding the top and sides of the keyboard is a translucent plastic frame which adds a touch of class to the all-black design. The palm rest has a rubbery texture to it for comfort and grip.

In the tradition of laptop-style layouts, Logitech have doubled up the F1-F12 keys by giving them an alternative function when pressing the FN key near the spacebar. I’m not sure what decision-making process resulted in the FN key being placed there, but I personally preferred the position of the FN key on the diNovo, which is right by the backspace key. It’s a much more accessible location and can give me one hand access to the F8 to F12 shortcuts. This is especially important if you want quick control over your media player, as these are the shortcuts to the playback keys.

The real test for a keyboard is naturally how well it feels to type on. After about a day I was pretty comfortable with the layout and feel for the keys. Although the keys don’t travel very far due to the extremely thin design, I’m still able to type at my usual pace without making any more typos than usual. The number one benchmark for me when I’m testing a keyboard has to be the amount of noise it makes. The Logitech Illuminated passes the sound test with flying colours, as it remains reasonably quiet even with faster typing speeds.

From a review writer’s perspective, the Logitech Illuminated is a brilliant example of keyboard design in terms of form and function. The addition of a backlight, sleek design and comfortable yet quiet use makes for a killer ‘keyboard combo’ and that is the reason why I would choose this over the diNovo despite its wireless advantage.

2009-02-25 Onwah Tsang

0 comments - why not add yours

Post your comment