It’s not often that world of keyboards witnesses a new invention – but the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750′s name rather gives its secret away. And while the unit is solar-powered, it rather handily doesn’t need a lot of direct sunlight. Just as well, given that some folks have a computer room that sees about as much light as an Antarctic research station in mid-winter.
Here comes the sun
The room we used to test the K750 in does have a window. The sun even shines through it for a couple of hours a day – if it can beat its way past the clouds. But fortunately, even when the UK weather was dishing up persistent drizzle, the keyboard managed just fine on ambient indoor light. The K750 kept itself charged throughout our review period without a battery in sight. We left it on overnight without any issues – in fact, Logitech claims the peripheral can maintain a charge for at least three months in complete darkness.
Setting the K750 up is a breeze: just plug the receiver into your laptop or desktop (a miniature receiver is provided, which fits flush to a notebook’s USB port), flick the ‘on’ switch and you’re away.
The device uses 2.4GHz wireless technology, with your keystrokes sent securely to the PC thanks to 128-bit AES encryption. The keyboard has a standard layout, with only one exception – there’s no Windows key to the right of the spacebar, as it’s replaced by a function key.
That extra Function key triggers the alternative functions of the keys arrayed across the top, F1 to F12, which include shortcuts for the calculator and media player controls. There are no extra banks of shortcut buttons on this keyboard, save for a single one that’s used to test how strong the light levels are in your room. Press it, and a green light flashes to give you a thumbs-up, or a red one if levels are too dim and you’re gradually losing charge.
The K750′s major distinguishing feature in design terms, aside from the twin solar panels running along the top, is the fact that it’s very slim. At just 8mm thick, it’s positively anorexic as keyboards go. This means it’s easier to slip into a laptop bag if you fancy typing more comfortably when you’re out and about.
You needn’t worry about it getting knocked about, either. The K750 is solidly built – although it does have one weak spot. Its fold-out legs are a bit thin and flimsy feeling, and we can imagine them potentially getting broken. Thankfully, when you’re travelling with the unit, they’ll be folded away.
Pretty but pricey
Gracing the polished black finish of the K750 (a small black cloth is included in the box, incidentally, for polishing duties) is a bank of generously-spaced chiclet keys. Typing on them takes a little acclimatisation, but they’re responsive and have an enjoyably firm but not too stiff typing action. They’re also laudably quiet. Our only issue was that the Enter key and Backspace keys are rather too small (occasionally we found ourselves hitting F11 instead of Backspace).
Aside from those slightly-too-small-for-comfort keys – which became less of a problem as we got used to them – the K750′s only other potential sticking point is its price. £70 is more than most folks will generally stump up for a keyboard – but then, you’ll never need to fork out for batteries, or the electricity to charge them, again.
Contact: 01753 870900
The K750 carries enough charge to make an American football team jealous, and boasts a pleasant, quiet typing action. It's a compact device with a very thin profile, making it handy and portable. The price may give some pause for thought - but take into account years of battery-free wireless typing, and it's a much more reasonable proposition.