Logitech Cordless   
 

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Introduction

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

Throughout the years many keyboard and mouse packages have been introduced that have been lacking all the new technologies and pure innovation. Logitech has broken the ice and released their Cordless Freedom Optical package. This combo includes the Logitech Cordless Desktop Navigator Keyboard and the Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical. The pure style and innovation in design of the two is stunning, it uses a very appealing color scheme of black and gray, it has perfect comfort lines and contours, and finally not only does it pack the finest looks but it is the most useful and easy to use combo yet seen on the market with all of the shortcut buttons, controllers and control panels.

The Logitech Cordless Freedom OpticalSince the introduction of the first MouseMan® Cordless in 1991, Logitech has been a pioneer in bringing cordless products to market. Cordless devices yield many benefits for users, such as freedom from tangled cables and increased comfort while using the computer. Over the past ten years, Logitech has produced over 13 million cordless products (mice, trackballs, keyboards), attaining the highest level of expertise in that field.

Logitech has started this package off with the Cordless Desktop Navigator Keyboard, it packs all of the style, quality, innovation and helpful control panels and shortcuts to be the best keyboard out and truly amaze any user. Now when you buy a wireless mouse, you will be taking it away from the immediate front of your desk assumingly, whenever you do anything with your mouse you are most likely going to need your keyboard as well. So you will not only need to have the mouse, but the keyboard as well. In site of this Logitech has compiled the perfect combo, a Cordless MouseMan Optical and a Cordless Desktop Navigator Keyboard. With the new age of software including email, web pages, movies, games, graphic production, web design, and others there is a need for a way to easily access all the functions of these things without having to manually do every step, or else having a shortcut. In this new combo rather than giving you a junky old white standard issue keyboard with the minimal keys, they gave you the Cordless Desktop Navigator Keyboard that has all the options you could ever dream of for any use of software.

The Cordless MouseMan Optical on MadOnion's Ratzpad - Click to EnlargeThe Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical is a fairly new but very innovative, comfortable and useful mouse. It uses two of the most recent technologies used in mouse's rather than only one, which is a good combination Logitech has made this mouse with not only the latest and best technologies but with a very nice structure with amazing contours and support pads on the sides where your fingers are in order to not get any discomfort at all. This mouse also has 4 buttons, the normal left and right button, the scroll bar in the middle that is customizable and then a button for your thumb on the side, which is also customizable. Now before going more into the review lets look into how these technologies work.

The Technologies

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

First, lets look at what comes with all this and what you will need to run it.

  1. Optical
    Optical technology is a very big step in pointing device technology. By replacing all the moving parts within a normal ball mouse with the optical tracking system this technology eliminates many of the problems brought by the normal ball mouse. The optical technology eliminates sticking, brings more precise tracking, greater durability, less maintenance, and flexibility to use the mouse on a wider variety of surfaces, without a mouse pad. This technology works by utilizing solid-state optical navigation technology from Agilest Technologies. With this changes in the position of the mouse are measured using an optical sensor and lens. These optically acquire sequential surface images or frames, and then mathematically determine direction and magnitude of movement. The structure of the optical tracking system is comprised of an optical sensor, lens, LED assembly clip and an LED.
    • RF Receiver Range- Click to EnlargeOptical Sensor
      The optical sensor being the main part of the optical tracking engine incorporates three major functional blocks: an Image Acquisition System (IAS), Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). The IAS acquires images from the lens; from there the images are processed by the DSP to determine direction and distance of motion. The DSP generates a stream of ^x and ^y relative displacement values that are then communicated to the SPI. The SPI allows bi-directional communications between the mouse processor and the sensor.
    • Lens
      The lens provides the optical path for the system and achieves three functions:
      1. Illumination: ensure optical illumination of the desk surface monitored by the sensor.
      2. Focus: accurate focusing of the desk image on the surface of the sensor.
      3. Electro-Static Discharge protection: protect the sensor from any risk of ESD.
    • Clip
      The assembly clip provides snap-in housing for the LED. It also interlocks to the top of the sensor and to light the pipe out of the lens.
    • LED
      An LED is necessary to provide illumination needed by the sensor for proper tracking wherever the mouse is. The LED must deliver light for the sensor to function on a full range of surfaces and the brighter the illumination the more surfaces the sensor will work on.
    • Surfaces
      The optical sensor works on a wide variety of surfaces. The sensor uses microscopic features of the surface to register motion. These features may come from fine texture in the surface and/or from color contrast. The sensor acquires surface images and compares successive images to determine motion.
  2. RF ReceiverWireless
    Logitech is a pioneer in the cordless mouse business since they released their first one in 92', the MouseMan Cordless. Cordless mice bring many benefits to people these being you no longer have to worry about not having enough slack on your cord, having a cord get caught up on something on your desk, having the cord get tangles and knots, and finally increased comfort and ease in use. The Logitech cordless products are based on radio transmission, a proven technology used in a lot of products out. The mouse acts as an emitter, sending signals to a receiver plugged into the computer. Then you can use the mouse within six feet of the receiver. The cordless mouse can be used in the same area as other cordless devices you may have in your home without creating interference between the two. The Logitech mouse communicates over the 27 MHz ISM (industry scientific and medical) band. If you have both a cordless mouse and keyboard, they both work independently. The mouse communicates with the receiver on the 27.045 MHz band while the keyboard works on the 27.145 MHz. What this means is that they can both be used at the same time without any problems at all.
    • Radio Frequency Comparison
      There are two primary frequency bands used in RF cordless devices today: 27 MHz and 900Mhz. Logitech chose 27 MHz as it offers many advantages over 900 MHz:
      1. 27 MHz is a frequency not used by other common cordless devices in or around the computer. 900 MHz is very commonly used in telephones. As a result, the risk of interference or cross-talk in a home or office is significant with 900 MHz and virtually non-existent with Logitech's 27 MHz technology.
      2. Multiple concurrent device support is possible without "jamming" effect at low cost with 27Mhz. 900Mhz requires expensive TDMA or "spread spectrum technology" to achieve an equal level of performance.
      3. 27 MHz is an approved frequency available worldwide for use in cordless devices for the computer. 900 MHz is available only in select countries.

Cordless MouseMan Optical - The true Cordless Technology! - Click to Enlarge Using the mouse in  action! - The true Cordless Technology! - Click to Enlarge The cover of the mouse - Click to Enlarge The front of the mouse - Click to Enlarge

Specifications

The Big Box! - Click to Enlarge

  • For Internet browser control:
    An Internet account & Netscape Navigator 3.0 (or higher), AOL 4.0 (or higher), Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 (or higher)

     

  • For Multimedia control:
    Sound card and speakers
  • Fun on Bed!The package includes:
    - Logitech Cordless Desktop Navigator Keyboard
    - Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical
    - Compact RF receiver
    - 1 PS/2 adapter
    - 6 AA batteries
    - iTouch software and user´s guide on CD-ROM
    - Quickstart card
    - Comfort guidelines on CD-ROM
    - 5-year guarantee
    - Full product support
    - Battery life is 6-12 months for the keyboard and 2-3 months for the mouse.

     

  • System Requirements
    - IBM or compatible system
    - Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0 and 2000
    - Available USB port or PS/2 keyboard port and PS/2 mouse port (USB requires Windows 98, Me or 2000)
    - CD-ROM drive

The Big Box! - Click to Enlarge The Big Box! - Click to Enlarge

The Big Box! - Click to Enlarge The Big Box! - Click to Enlarge

From looking at the specs on this combo you will see it is a very nice package. Most would have thought you would be changing the batteries of the keyboard around every 2-3 weeks but double that number and change it to months and you have the correct answer.

Keyboard Style

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

The Logitech Cordless Freedom OpticalPast are the days of boring and beige, standard and square keyboards. The latest generation of Logitech products breaks all barriers: an ultra-thin profile, zero degree tilt, sexy contours and cool colors transform this basic piece of office equipment into a fashion statement. For your comfort, style and freedom.

The Cordless Freedom Optical is designed to transform the look and feel of your desktop, the new Logitech keyboards come in an inspired, refreshing form. The curved, zero degree tilt™ key frame eases every keystroke. Their low, racy profile adds a stylish, sophisticated look to your home or office environment.

RF Receiver- Click to EnlargeAs we saw above with the bad and good keyboard, this keyboard packs some of the sweetest looks I have seen. The sleek black with the shiny silver compliments all of this keyboard's features and also is the same color scheme of the mouse so the two will blend in perfectly on your desk. Whether you are in a messy sloppy room or a very neat and organized business area this combo will suit you in the area of help and it will blend in with your current environment. The keyboard also has a wrist pad that is black, soft and blends in with the texture of the keyboard, this is a very good thing for all you geeks who are at your computer 24 / 7 and have your wrists getting sores because of the edge of your desk. Taking a look at all the extra buttons you will notice that they are not your normal boxy boring buttons, they are all silver and designed to flow with the rest of the keyboards design and they surely have succeeded.

 

Internet zone - left

The four keys in the second Internet zone, on the top left-hand side of the keyboard, help you follow all your personal interests, such as e-banking or your favorite web chat site.

Internet zone - right

Closest to your reach on the top right-hand side of the keyboard, this zone gives you immediate access to the functions you use most often, such as your e-mail or a search engine.

iNav™

Many tasks require clicking and scrolling actions for which you only use your mouse, leaving your left hand idle. With the iNav zone on the left side of the keyboard, you can speed up your actions by combining left and right-handed navigation: switch between open applications; scroll, zoom and select; cut, copy and paste or rapidly open your MP3 files and pictures.

Multimedia zone

The section in the top centre of the keyboard gives you direct control of your multimedia applications. No more twiddling tiny buttons in awkward interfaces: all the main functions are at your fingertips. Cordless Desktop Optical even features a volume dial for precise sound adjustment.

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

Keyboard Detail

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

Now that we have a good picture of what the keyboard looks like and all of the extra features it provides we can find out exactly what they can do. In the top left corner we have the Internet buttons - the buttons are as follows: Internet Zone (Left) - Click to Enlarge

  • Favorites - Your list of you favorites like Hardware Extreme.com
  • Community - Customize to a forum, chat or whatever you want it to go to like Extreme-Forums.com
  • My Sites - List of sites constructed by you
  • Finance - Open your money managing site or program or web sites
  • Suspend - A suspend key is set apart from other functions and in-set to prevent accidental usage. Suspend, restart and shut sown easily!

This panel is very helpful because rather than typing in all your web addresses you can simply click these buttons and get where you want right away, not only that but you don't have to mess around with your favorites folder as much with organizing your financing section, chatting sections and your personal favorites because it is all manageable on this control panel.

Next we have this small silver tab that is built from the left side of the keyboard. This panel contains: iNav™ - Click to Enlarge

  • Auto-scroll bar - A universal scroll bar, can be customized to almost anything like getting around your favourite web sites, multimedia and photos or even switch between open applications as simple as roling the wheel.
  • iNav back button - Customize to perform commonly used tasks in one click
  • iNav go button - Customize to perform instant access to any website

The iNav panel is in heavy competition for the most useful control panel on the keyboard, but it only gets 2nd most useful for me. You can make it load music lists, open the registry, you can make it do anything you want. The universal scroll is also helpful when in folders or browsing the web it is a quick way to find what you need quickly.

Now we are onto the right control panel that contains: Internet Zone (Right) - Click to Enlarge

  • iTouch - The software to customize and set everything your way like to the iTouch's web site
  • E-Mail - Opens your email program of choice like Outlook or your free email provider's website
  • Shopping - Opens your favorite shopping site
  • Search - Opens your favorite search engine to search the web
  • My Home - Opens up your home page like setting Hardware Extreme.com as the home page!

This panel has more of the internet quick keys so you don't have to jumble up your favorites with tons of links that you can just attach to buttons now. Also checking your email is much easier because you don't have to go through your start menu or do any work at all (assuming moving your hand 3 inches is work.) Now most of us geeks would probably link the Shopping button to PriceWatch, no more stressing your eyes out looking through an endless list of favorites to find it, and this means buying hardware is easier.

In the center of this keyboard we have the media center. These buttons include: Multimedia Zone - Click to Enlarge

  • Volume Control - Adjust volume level
  • Play / Pause button - Pause or play the selection
  • Stop Button - Stops the selection
  • Mute Button - Mute the selection
  • Next Track Buttons - Skips forward in the selection
  • Previous Track Buttons - Skips back in the selection
  • Media Select Button - Customize to play music, video or any media file

These selections are very handy as in most programs like Winamp, Media Player and most others they do not require any customization for the buttons actions to be applicable, it already will work upon installation. The ease at which you can play music and sort through tracks is very nice, rather than taking a break ever 3-4 minutes to select the next song while working which gets rather irritating very quickly you can just move your finger up and smack the next button to browse through your music selection.

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

Mouse Style & Details

The Cordless MouseMan Optical

The Receiver with the Cordless Freedom - Click to EnlargeTaking the mouse out of the box you want to take a look at all the contours of this mouse and how sleek the design is of the entire mouse combined with the comfort pads if you call them on either side of the mouse in order to have maximum comfort on all the fingers. On the top of the mouse is a gel pad with a labeling of Logitech, which is slightly good feeling but mainly to add looks. After that you have the shape of the mouse, it is shaped to fit not only perfectly, but very comfortable as well inside your palm and the contours around all the stress points of the fingers and knuckles it is one very comfortable mouse. Where your thumb and other fingers that are not in use while using the mouse go is perfectly placed with comfort pads as shown in the picture to the left. The style of this mouse is also very nice because it is attracting the eye with just a glimpse. The sleek bends and curves and the color scheme of gray and blue along with the gel pad imprinted with the Logitech logo are all attributes which make this mouse look very appealing. Other than that this mouse is like eye candy, compared to a normal white ball mouse the looks and comfort levels which are increased are tremendous. The Cordless MouseMan Optical on MadOnion's Ratzpad - Click to Enlarge

Just looking at the mouse you might think it is light, though this is wrong. Without the batteries the mouse is extremely light yes, but once you put the batteries in the mouse becomes very heavy compared to a normal mouse

Just from looking at the graph of specs you will be surprised, the point of the weight becomes obvious now though the receiver is not heavy at all because the computer via a USB port powers it. Some people, mainly the gaming enthusiasts will dislike the weight factor because when they are playing a tournament for example they cant have to lug around a heavy mouse to target in on a guy. Or if you are working hard on web design or graphics you will not want to put up with having a more difficult time moving it. Though in reality the difference is almost non-existent and you may only notice a slight difference from your current mouse, possibly not any at all. When hooking the mouse up to your computer it is rather simple, plug in the receiver anywhere within 6 feet of your computer keeping in mind if it is behind tons of things it will not matter, then put the batteries in the mouse and your done. Next you install the software, pop in the CD when you boot up, click next a few times, restart and viola, your done. In terms of using the mouse while at your computer you will no longer have to worry about having a cord to get tangled on things in its path from the computer to your surface. You then have the ball inside of the mouse to get dirty along with the roller bars inside the mouse, and lastly you have the immobility of a normal mouse, you are secluded to the one area where it is. If you want to maximize the use of your ball and wire mouse or even be able to use it comfortably then you will have to buy many expensive accessories such as a Mouse Bungee, a very high quality mouse pad, cleaning kit for the ball and roller bars inside and a few other things. Though when you have this mouse your good with it how it comes, it will work on just about any surface other than glass or mirror. This means if you want to work on the couch and you have any surface or even the arm of the couch you could operate like that. Now that we have gone over the specs, use and installation of this mouse we will look into its customability.

Logitech delivers a new level of products that eliminate many issues typically associated with ball-based pointing devices. With optical technology there is no sticking, less maintenance, and more flexibility. So, leave your mouse pad behind! Use your optical pointing device to get smoother gliding on most surfaces and precision performance everywhere.

Cordless MouseMan Optical - The true Cordless! - Click to Enlarge  Using the mouse in  action! - The true Cordless! - Click to Enlarge
The back of the mouse - Click to Enlarge The Side of the mouse with one button - Click to Enlarge

Customization

MouseWare

With this mouse and all of the extra features it has you would want to be able to make them do exactly what you want with your computer. The Logitech MouseMan software allows you to fully customize every button on the mouse to your likings. This is a very appreciated thing as it would be annoying to be forced to use a set of default button commands.

iTouch

After taking a brief look at 2 screenshots of the MouseWare and iTouch you see there is tons of options covering everything on the mouse and keyboard. You can change what each button does to just about any command you want. For the web-scrolling bar (or whatever you choose the scroll bars command to be) you are able to change it to scroll 0,1, 3, 6 lines or the whole page. If you are someone who alternates mouse's like if you use the Cordless MouseMan Optical at a further spot than in front of the computer and then a normal mouse at the computer you can use the same software to change that mouse's buttons as well. All of these customization options are very handy when gaming of course, but while working on web designs, graphics, graphs, and in any situation were you are working on your computer it has proven to be the most operable mouse. Another thing you can look at with this software up is the battery level, this is quite handy so you can check up on it rather than find out in the middle of an important assignment when you can't move your mouse pointer anymore. The batteries in the mouse will not have to be changed very often at all, the specific reasons stated above that Logitech used make this mouse something that is much easier to use, because you would not want to have to change the batteries every couple weeks. Something that may irritate some people about this mouse is that if you do not have the MouseWare software open/running then any of the customizations you did will apply and they will all go back to normal. The button for your thumb will not even work unless you have the software open.

Zero Degree Tilt

Co-Functionality & Durability

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

iNavThe mouse and the keyboard are said to work perfectly together, not causing any problems what so ever. This seems to be false as when installed sometimes the mouse will lag and not pick up my movement. This is something that can be very annoying to a gamer that is trying to aim a snipe on someone but ends up missing because his mouse was lagging. This is a main occurrence when the mouse is a bit far away or not in a straight path of the receiver, but again this should not alter the mouse's condition at all because the keyboard and mouse use radio frequency. This could be a sign of low batteries though they are almost new. Something not thought of very much is if the characters printed on the buttons are sold and will stay on.

The keys on this keyboard after continuous use seem to be losing some color of the characters on the keys, even though most people do not really look at the keyboard when typing that is not acceptable. Other than those two things this combo has everything it takes to be the best mouse and keyboard combo out. If you leave out the fact of the low quality print to the keys then this thing is great, made of tough, solid plastic that can be dropped and still remain intact. The keyboard takes batteries as well as the mouse though the life expectancy on the batteries for the keyboard is much more - every 6-12 months stated by Logitech. Also when companies list dates and life expectancies for things it is usually a bit under what they really can last just to be safe and to protect them from any problems.

Neat without any cables with Altec Lansing Speaker - Click to Enlarge Words fading off after 1 month if extreme use - Click to Enlarge
The whole computer looks even neater than before!- Click to Enlarge The Desk View- Click to Enlarge

Conclusion

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard

Looking back at the details on this keyboard, it has the looks and style that can make anyone speechless, it has so many options and buttons to customize that no matter what you are doing on the computer you can make it easier with this keyboard, and finally the overall great quality and helpfulness brought to you from Logitech. All this makes this mouse able to look incredible and still perform outstanding under almost any situation, I have chosen 1 thing to leave you all with, I think the picture speaks for itself.

Cordlessness brings versatility, convenience and comfort. As there are no cables, your desk surface remains neat and clean. You'll be free to work the way you want and move your keyboard and mouse according to your current task. Logitech cordless products use digital radio technology, which guarantees reliable communication even if your desk is crowded with cups, books and piles of paper.

In sum this mouse has all the great looks with its sleek blue and gray color scheme and the nice logo embedded on top, the top 2 technologies (optical and cordless) in one mouse with a range of 6 feet combined with the technology that saves the lives of your batteries so you barely ever have to change them, the MouseWare's customization options and the ease of use while working or gaming, all of these make this mouse the leading one on the market and the most comfortable and useful mouse I have ever used. Now here is some final picture of the whole bundle the mouse comes with.

The Cordless Freedom with Klipsch 4.1 THX Speaker - Click to EnlargePros

- Attractive & Stylish
- Cordless Freedom!
- iTouch multimedia functions are grouped together in a familiar layout that's easy to use
- iNav wheel switch between open appliacations as simple as rooling the wheel - Available in beige and black
- Easy installation with USB and PS/2 ports
- Use all 6 AA bateries
- Palm rest included for even extra comfort and style
- Optical cordless mouse which means it doesn't have parts that get gummed up or broken
- Customizable iTouch buttons

Cons

- Semi High price to be affordable by everyone
- Keys losing some color after continuous use
- Life expectancy of the batteries is only about a month for serious gamers
- Keyboard cannot be bought seperately
- Rechargeble batteries are not included
- Mouse is not suitable for left hand users
- Mouse only have 4 buttons instead of 5 which can be used for "Back" and "Forward"
- Not suitable for office use as all the extra buttons are for internet and multimedia

 

The Cordless Freedom Keyboard - Click to Enlarge

 

  Keyboard Mouse
Features 100% 90%
Style 95% 95%
Technology 90% 90%
Value of Money 80% 75%
Quality 70% 75%
Performance 95% 80%
Bateries Life 95% 70%
Ease of use 100% 100%
Overall Rating 91% 84%

Because of the improved on the original product, the stylish and technology, I’ll award Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical FULL 5 stars award and our editor's choice award!.

 

5 Stars Award Editor's Choice Award


Modification of Logitech Wireless Optical Mouse
Cost Of Mod:
$5.00 - $15.00
 

June 14, 2002

Introduction

There’s no mistaking it… That big ugly optical led is clashing with your stylin’ blue-led-laden Lian Li! In this article, eliteHW will show you how to properly change that ugly led to a color of your choice! Warning, neither I nor eliteHW are accountable if you mess up your mouse! On we go!

What You Will Need


What Is Needed

• Soldering iron/solder
• Led (minimum 2500mcd @ 3v)
• Time and soldering skills


Original LED

I was not entirely impressed with the red glow of my Logitech Wireless Optical Mouse. So, in order to match my case I wanted a blue colored led. This proved to be a relatively simple mod! On we go!


Remove All Screws

The first thing I did was to take out the batteries and open the shell of the mouse.


This is a picture of the very top layer of the mouse. It’s basically what you will see as soon as the cover has been taken off.


Mouse Contents

This is when I noticed that there were three distinct levels of circuitry in the mouse. The bottom level was what I was interested in as it contained the led circuitry. Therefore, I had to unscrew and take out the other two. The red dot (the one on the left) in the picture shows where the led is located.

Replacing The LED

This is a close-up of the third level. This is where the fun begins! The first thing to do is pop off that white (beige if you prefer) led holder. It has a special locking mechanism so a small screwdriver is required to get it loose.


3rd Level

Now you can start unsoldering. The process itself is very easy; however, if you do not have steady hands it may be difficult. The unsoldering should be done as quickly as possible to minimize possible heat damage. Please note, if your particular mouse does not have markings for + and – on the circuit board, you may want to investigate the position of the led. As in the picture below, the shorter lead is negative. However, this may not be applicable because the leads will be cut even with the circuit board. To find out + or – look inside the led bulb and check the filament position. The side with the shorter filament side is positive.

Now, its time to solder in your new led! Please take note, that my particular optical mouse is only supplied with 3v of power. Therefore, a typical 5v blue led rated at 2600mcd would not be bright enough. However, for those of you using a wired optical mouse, 5v will probably work well! (USB provides 5v of power) My mouse was clearly marked (on the circuit board) with a positive and negative so I just soldered in a new one. Always remember, the short lead is negative! I chose this from BGmicro.com because it was blue and fit my needs for brightness and voltage. However, I have had trouble locating this led anywhere anymore. Please email me if you know of a reputable supplier selling 3v 2500mcd (or higher) blue led’s.

After you have soldered in your choice of led, cut the leads down to size and put it all back together. This is not hard and you just reverse the process by which you took it apart!

Now you’re done! Have fun mesmerizing your friends with a cool modded mouse!


Date :13.08.2002

 



When many people buy a keyboard they generally opt for the cheap, Chinese beige keyboard and save a few bucks. Some spend a little more and buy a (still beige) Microsoft keyboard. Some however go all out and buy a sexy black Logitech keyboard.

I had suffered long enough at the hands of my two year old Packard bell keyboard so I went out and picked up the Logitech 'Elite' Keyboard. It set me back $99. I got mine from Harvey Norman but I am sure there are other places which sell it. It is similar to the keyboard found in the cordless mouse and keyboard combo but the 'Elite' version well.. has a cord and dosen't come with a mouse.

The box is fairly plain for a keyboard of its calibare (but its whats on the inside that counts). It comes with the keyboard itself, a detatchable wrist rest and the software. It also came with some other loose papers but I didn't take much notice.

Installation

The Installation of the keyboard was pretty simple (it being a keyboard), it came with a USB to ps2 adaptor preinstalled but I just ripped it off and shoved the USB in. You will also have to rip off the "WARNING excessive use of this keyboard will turn you into a nerd with wrist problems sticker" as it detracts from the sexyness of this beast.

The little legs that prop the keyboard up seemed quite flimsy at first but they have proven to be incredibly sturdy.

The add-on wrist rest simply slides under the keyboard and clips into place. Not only does this rest make it easier and more comfortable to type with, it makes the keyboard look bigger :).

Special Features

The keyboard is essentially divided into four different sections.
      - The keys
      - The media controller
      - The 'hot' keys
      - The I-Nav

The Keys You would think that there wouldn’t be much to say about the keys but Logitech have done such an excellent job that they are almost perfect. Not only are they silky smooth to touch. The spacebar is quite large (allowing for big hands) and the backspace key isn't tiny.

Another extremely useful aspect of the keys is that they have standard windows shortcuts printed on the sides of them. For example there is copy written on the side of the C key and paste printed on the V key.

The F keys have also been improved. They have two modes, Flock and well… no F-lock. With Flock disabled the F-keys turn into fully customizable shortcut keys. I have them all programmed to websites I visit every day. You can program them to literally everything you could dream of (see the software section for more info). With F-Lock enabled the keys revert back to the standard F-1 to F-12 keys.

 

The Media Controller

 



The Media Controller consists of 7 buttons/dials
  -Fast Forward
  -Rewind
  -Play/Pause
  -Stop
  -Mute
  -Volume Dial
  -And a shortcut key to your favorite media program

While these controls could be useful to some people I don’t tend to use them much.

The one really bad point of the "media controls" was the volume dial. It was extremely laggy and therefore becomes unusable. Even the slightest bump of the volume dial will lag all of the other buttons on the keyboard for at least 30 seconds. (This becomes even worse when ryda decides to spin it around and around just to piss me off)


The 'Hot' Keys
 




Out of the box most of these buttons are useless (there being buttons for E-Mail Messenger, Webcam, The Included Software, Windows Search, Online Shopping, Favorites, and Home.) but with customization with the included software they become extremely useful.


The I-Nav
 




The I-Nav is a small 'bubble' protruding from the side of the keyboard it consists of a scroll wheel and two small buttons (Back and GO/Enter) It is used by scrolling the wheel up to choose an option and pressing the GO key to activate it.

The I-Nav can be set to a multitude of modes through the software. The mode that was most appealing to me was the ability to scroll through my enormous collection of music simply and easily. Unfortunately there is a problem within the software that makes this impossible.

 



Above is the I-Nav browsing the directory I keep my music in. The I-Nav will browse the top four folders properly but it will not display the bottom ones. This makes it unable to browse large collections of pretty much anything.

The I-Nav can also be used for effective multitasking, scrolling through favorites or as a volume control among others.


Software


The keyboard (and most function buttons) work perfectly without the software but it is useful if you want to dictate the functions of the special keys. Installation of the software is incredibly easy as it employs a PhD (Press Here Dickhead) wizard interface. The one thing that bugged me was it asked me if I wanted to install some other bundled software (like attune, bonzai buddy, or ebay companion) I really can't remember what it was but I do remember it was something I didn’t want on my PC. Once the software is installed it sits in your tray until you wish to change some of the keys functions.


'Hot' Keys

 



As you can see I have customized the 'Hot' Keys. The process required to change them is incredibly simple. However the range of customization is relatively simple compared to the F Keys.


F-Keys


 



As you can see the format is the same as the customization of the 'Hot' Keys. But one click of the modify button opens a myriad of possibilities.


 



So many in fact that they don’t all fit on one menu.


I-Nav

The I-Nav tab employs a few more fields but it is still incredibly simple to use.


 



Options

The options section is so poor it doesn't warrant a screenshot. It only consists of two Tick-boxes one to turn 'On Screen Messages' on and off, and the other to toggle the icon in the taskbar on/off.

Conclusion

This beasty keyboard was an extremely valuable addition to my beasty pc. The only major downfall (the media controlls) isn't that much of a problem as the keys are rarely used.

Having an uber keyboard dosent contribute to the performance of your pc but it sure makes it look better. It also makes it a lot easier for lazy people (like me) to do things that you do all the time (like visit certain websites).

If you have the little extra required to get this keyboard then I definitely recommend it. In fact I thing you would be insane not to. :)

Final Score

Pros : It's Black
Keys are silky smooth
Lots and lots of shortcut buttons
It's Black
Cons : Laggy media controls
Dysfunctional I-Nav Menu
Overall : 9

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Copyright © 2002 Øyvind Haugland
Sist endret:  25 mars 2017
 

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