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Hands on: Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard for Apple users

updated 05:43 am EST, Wed December 5, 2012

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 works with Mac, iPad, iPhone

The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760is the most recent in a line of Logitech keyboards that can be powered by any light source. It is aimed squarely at Apple users and does not offer support for Windows- or Android-based systems. MacNN has been using one for the past week and we have been impressed by the functionality it offers.

The K760 uses photovoltaic cells to convert any light source into power that it uses to keep its in-built battery charged. The device is also extremely power efficient; Logitech says that even in complete darkness, the K760 can work for up to three months on a full charge. This means that you can use it in low light situations without concern that it will ever run out of power, nor will you ever have to worry about replacing batteries in your wireless keyboard again.



That alone makes it a tempting proposition for many people. However, that is not its only trick. Logitech has incorporated its 'Easy-Switch' Bluetooth capabilty allowing users to quickly and easily switch between up to three devices without having to go through the hassle of having to re-pair between them each time. There are three function keys specially marked to enable the fast device switching, as the video embedded below highlights. The function makes it really useful for tossing into a backpack and taking it with you each time you need to hit the road and leave the desktop behind and switch to an iPad or iPhone for typing.



From a design perspective, it seems obvious that Logitech has taken its design inspiration from Apple's Wireless Keyboard with its particular blend of brushed aluminum finish coupled with white chiclet keys as exhibited on the K760. Finicky Mac users will feel that it blends seamlessly into the aesthetic of their user experience. However, in reality, the device is really quite different when studied closely. The underside has curved sides making it nice to pick up for use on the go, while it also has a two raised feet proping it up for typing.



The typing experience is also very pleasant. The Apple Wireless Keyboard has a relatively flat surface on its keys, making it possible for fingers to slide off them at times. This is not the case with the keys that Logitech has chosen to use on the K760, which include a scallop ensuring that fingertips don't slip off providing for an improved accuracy. The travel of the keystrokes is also longer, ultimately making for a more comfortable typing experience with aclimatization. Also included are a few OS X-friendly keyboard shortcuts built in for launching Mission Control and Launchpad.



At $80, the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard (K760) provides good value compared to the Apple Wireless Keyboard, which retails for $69. You will quickly make back the difference in money saved on batteries. While the Apple Wireless Keyboard offers space and weight savings, the K760 offers users more overall utility and ultimately a more satisyfing typing experience. The only thing that really lets it down is its lack of Windows support, meaning that Bootcamp users on Mac will end up having to hook up a different keyboard. Otherwise, it's definitely worth considering.







by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jmonty12

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-02-03

    I've been using the full-size version of this keyboard for several months now and I love it! At work there is always so much light that my battery always shows as 100%, so energy is just never a problem. Highly recommended!

  1. Minnecootpolis

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-29-08

    I also have the full size keyboard and love it except for ONE thing -- the markings on the keys wear off (so far on this keyboard only the "A" and "S" -- I used the Windows version of this keyboard prior to the Mac version being released and had even more keys that rubbed off over time).

    Would be great if Logitech would sell replacement keys to keep this in service longer. Makes no sense to go "green" with a solar keyboard, but then have to replace it because of something silly like the markings on keys wearing off.

    Other than that the keyboard has been outstanding. I wish Logitech (or Apple) would make a solar version of the Magic Trackpad -- then I could ditch batteries forever.

  1. Inkling

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Sounds marvelous. Alas, I already have two Apple BT keyboards that I hardly ever use. When Scrivener for iDevices comes out--hopefully next month--I'd be using one with my iPad, but that still leaves the other as a spare.

    Has any third-party created a keyboard with lighted keys, either USB or Bluetooth? The former wouldn't have power issues and solar cells might create enough charge to make a lit BT keyboard practical. In late evening, I'd like to me able to work in near-dark conditions.

  1. NotarySojac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-29-09

    I would be on this keyboard like white on rice if it only had an integrated trackpad. Wouldn't need a big one - just enough to mouse around a bit.
    Going to try an ioGear multi-link Bluetooth keyboard w Touchpad. Not solar, and ioGear quality is sometimes iffy, but it appears to be the only keyboard made with all 3 requirements (Bluetooth, multi-link & trackpad).

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