Logitech Elite   
 

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Date: September 12th, 2002

Pros: Good price; easy installation; plenty of customizable hotkeys; attractive design; comfortable design.
Cons: Multimedia keys prove troublesome; volume wheel lags entire function key layout; inadequate rubber feet.
Verdict: The Logitech Elite Keyboard offers users a comfortable keyboarding experience along with a good price and plethora of hotkeys, although a few minor issues detract from the experience.
 
With the exception of monitors, the keyboard is probably the most used and least upgraded device for a PC; it also takes the most abuse of any other component. Yet despite this neglect, Logitech saw fit to introduce a boat-load of new keyboards including the Elite Keyboard, featured here.



Overview & Installation
Installing the Elite Keyboard is simple: Plug it in an available USB port and it's ready to go. Logitech also provided a PS2 adaptor for users that choose not to occupy a USB port with a keyboard. The provided Logitech iTouch software should also be installed to allow customization of the many function keys the Elite Keyboard offers.

The design of the Elite Keyboard is a smooth black design with silver accents. Logitech's 'zero-degree tilt' design also adds to the ergonomic, smooth look of the keyboard; giving it a very flat shape. Logitech also provided a removable wrist rest with Elite.

Function Keys & Functionality
The main features of the Elite Keyboard are the plethora of 'function keys'. Adorned along the top of the Elite are the main function keys, including e-mail; messenger/SMS; web cam; full multimedia hotkeys and web search/favorites. Along the left side is another small grouping of keys including a customizable scroll wheel/button, a 'Go' button for launching web pages and a back button. Last but not least, the F1-F12 keys also double as word processor, e-mail & other application functions (The 'F-Lock' key on the left top of the keyboard must be disabled before these keys are accessible).

The iTouch software allows a good amount of customization to the hotkeys, and also features a helpful help dialogue the first time the key is pressed. Unfortunately, there's a few nagging issues specifically with the multimedia hotkeys. First, the 'Media' key which is supposed to launch the program of your choice is impossible to customize. While the help file provides instructions, they result in no success. The next annoyance are the oddly shaped forward/backward/play/stop keys for switching tracks. While they're nicely set into the design of the keyboard, the keys are difficult to find when not looking and feel awkward when pressed. Last but not least, the neat volume wheel in the centre is cool, but if turned too much or too quickly, the entire keyboard hotkeys lag and will not respond until the volume slowly finishes reacting; not good. The wheel and minor internet navigation keys on the left side are a neat addition but would benefit from a forward key to accompany the back key.

The attractive look of the keyboard complements the soft feel and 'just-right' key press sound. While some keyboards sound like a thousand hammers slamming into the keys, the Elite Keyboard responds well, with solid keys and a nice sound. The zero-degree tilt design also makes typing fairly comfortable and the keys easier to access than the older style keyboards. Also, the small rubber feet on the bottom of the keyboard are inadequate in keeping the keyboard still and it moves around fairly easily.

The Bottom Line
With a street price of $35, the Logitech Elite Keyboard offers plenty of bang for the buck, with an attractive black design and comfortable typing; unfortunately, a few minor flaws and troublesome multimedia hotkeys detract from the intended functionality.


Elite KeyboardWork, Play, Communicate

Date: 13.11.2002

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.


Ahhhh, remember those typing drills? I sure do and for some reason that one was always my favorite. I didn’t really care what color or how fast the fox was, nor did I like the fact he was jumping over the dog. Also who was to say that the dog was lazy? Perhaps he spent the night with those good men, and needed to recover from the festivities.

The reason I am rambling about typing drills, other than the fact that I am a little “offside” in the normality department, is because of the review we are all here to see. Set up on the bench today is Logitech’s Elite Keyboard - their black beauty.


I know many of you are like I used to be, and that being the keyboard was the one component of the system that was given the shaft. My thought process used to be, if I buy a POS sub-twenty dollar keyboard, this leaves more money for a faster CPU or perhaps enough to go one up on the video card. I used to think a keyboard was a keyboard. That was until two memorable events happened and caused me to rethink my whole philosophy on keyboards.

A buddy was over playing a little NHL2002 and he kept complaining that he couldn’t get the game to pickup on him pressing two buttons at once; he continually blamed the keyboard. I assumed this was just a cheap excuse for me crushing him in most games. The next time we played, he brought over his own keyboard, and we pretty much split 50/50 on the wins that night.

The second event was when a person I do computer work for wanted to get a cordless keyboard and mouse combination. I told him I read good things about Logitech’s Cordless Freedom Optical, but I didn’t have any personal experience with them so I couldn't say for sure. Being that, I hadn’t steered him wrong before he asked me to pick one up for him. As luck would have it, I picked up the combo and he was away for a few days which gave me an ideal opportunity to test the board out at my place. Now this was of course to make sure …umm…, that he would like it… yeah that’ll fly.

It was then and there after a few quick keystrokes I knew that I had to get something like this to review and see if my limited time with the keyboard would still have the overall happiness feeling I was now having.


If you actually think about it, how many different systems you will end up using the same keyboard with? Assuming you are still like I was, long gone is the CPU or Video Card bought from the saving of the cheap keyboard. If the cheap keyboard didn’t brake on you, you are still probably using it. With actually giving thought to the keyboard, it probably will last you as long or longer than a monitor, which also usually makes it intact through the upgrades. If money is well spent on a keyboard, it will last as long as you can find a way to plug it in to the system.

Likewise, if you're a frequent e-mail, chat, or word-processing typer, a decent keyboard with a comfortable feel will extend your health by not being a detriment to the way your spine and wrists are curved or angled, and you'll probably have fewer typographical errors in the process.

So with a new philosophy towards keyboards in general and what priority it should have in the building of a system I give to you the Logitech Elite Keyboard review.

Right out of the box, the Elite keyboard grabs your attention with its sharp looking contrasts of silver and black. Sporting those standout colors and a zero-degree tilt option, the keyboard looks like it has been tested in a wind tunnel for the least amount of drag possible. yes, my Elite can do 0 to 60 words in 20 seconds...

The Box & Keyboard
Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge
The Box The Instructions and CD The Keyboard

Connecting the Elite Keyboard is standard fare, as it has both USB and PS/2 connection options. The USB connection is what is connected at the end of a very long cable, and PS/2 comes your way via the USB to PS/2 dongle. The length of the cord itself is also a nice feature, as it gives you a lot of room to move the keyboard around. Also with the dual connection options you will have no problems using this Keyboard on a fresh setup.

When I had the keyboard plugged in, I not only had no problems getting up and running right away but I was mildly surprised that many of the “enhanced buttons” were functional. Now of course if you want to use all the features of this keyboard and for that matter, customize the controls, you just need to “plop” in the included CD, install the iTouch software, and away you go.

Quick Launch Keys
Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge
Scroll Wheel and buttons Quick-Access Keys Audio Controls More Quck-Access Keys

On the top left and right of the keyboard, you can find your “one touch” keys for most of the commonly used items such as:

  • Search
  • Favorites
  • My Home
  • Email
  • Messenger


Some less common options are also there but you can easily map them over to programs that you personally would use. As an example, I do not have a web cam and I mapped that button over to my banking program. You have total freedom to map all the “one touch” buttons to any programs you like. This is a nice feature as people out there can have what THEY want at the touch of a single button.

Function Keys
Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge
Functionm Keys - first set Function Keys - second set Function Keys- third set

Another step into the one key world is the 'F'-keys all along the watchtower - err sorry Jimmy Hendrix flashback there - all along the top. Where once sat rather unused F1-12 keys is a whole new world of one-touch wonders. Again you have total freedom to change these to anything you would like, but I find the options used as default very handy. What is nice about these is that the commonly used menu items work with any program that has those options. One such example would be the “new/F1” button, when I was using explorer, it would open a new browser window, when in word a new document. I really find the keys F9-F12 handy as I use those features a lot, especially when I am doing reviews.

Hidden beside the “Esc” key is a black button almost flush with the keyboard, I assume this is so you cannot accidentally press it. This button switches you over to one of the other users you have set up on your computer. On that note and an excellent segue if I do say so, if you have multiple user setup on your OS (Windows XP Pro in my case), each of them can have their own setup and this makes the choice of these keys all the more personal and useful.

Elite Keyboard
Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge
Spacebar row configuration Spacebar row, another view USB to PS2 dongle

The scrolling wheel on the left-side is also an addition that I ended up using quite frequently, and as the other options you do have some control in the way it functions. The wheel is very handy, just like what's found on newer mice, to scroll through pages and web sites. However, having a second one is really nice touch in case you use an application that requires you to have your hands of the keyboard nearly all the time and seldom on the mouse. The keyboard wheel would let you shift your left hand pinky over to scroll through tools in a palette, rotate a camera in a 3D-rendering package, etc.

Elite Keyboard
Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge
Removable wrist rest The Keyboard, one last look

Lastly, and the only feature I really wanted the keyboard for, we look at the media/sound control. I have a set of speakers that happen to have the volume control built onto one of the speakers. This is not exactly easy to adjust while fraggin' away against people, when a delay can cause you to be nothing more than a pile of gibs on the floor. With the volume control spinner/wheel in the center of the keyboard, it’s as easy as switching weapons. I end up using this mostly, when the children are sleeping and I need to see if I have heard them, or if the “better half” is calling upstairs to me. I am not going to say if I turn it way up or down, as that would be self-incrimination…. I would have liked to have control over the sensitivity of the volume control, to fine-tune it as I could the other options. I should point out that you do have control over what media player it opens which is really handy since people have preferences of one over another.

I have been using this keyboard for around two weeks now, and if a keyboard is going to change the way you think about keyboards, a keyboard like this is what will do it. I would like to say that it is like typing on clouds, but you may think that the keys are soft, and un-responsive. Although something like this is somewhat subjective, I found the tactile feel and response of the keys were what I wanted in keyboard. If I was pounding away at the keys releasing my rage from killing another motherboard, or caressing them like they were caressing my fingers, I was satisfied.


Special thanks to Logitech for sending this keyboard my way. Between the aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic design, the smooth touch and instant response time and the sheer customizability of this keyboard there’s almost no room for disappointment. About the only thing you can’t adjust is the volume wheel’s sensitivity, but when that’s the only issue, there’s not much else to say.

Well, there is one thing. I think I now have a new typing drill:

Now is the time for all good keyboards to come to the aid of the typist.
Now is the time for all good keyboards to come to the aid of the typist.
Now is the time for all good keyboards to come to the aid of the typist.

 

  • Stylish Color combination
  • Feel and response
  • One touch controls
  • Affordable & black!
  • No sensitivity control over volume

                

 

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Copyright © 2002 Øyvind Haugland
Sist endret:  13 januar 2019
 

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