Are you in the market for a new keyboard? It has to have functions such as internet navigation, volume controls, and all those ease of use accessories that we have come to depend on. Today we are looking at an Illuminated Office Pro keyboard from Logisys; letâ€™s see if it stands up in our tests.
At first glance this keyboard looks like most others. The major difference are the clear keys that light up blue when the computer is turned on. This keyboard has a very slim design and rest on 4 small feet instead of lying flat on the desk. According to Logisys this is to prevent damage to the keyboard if liquid is spilled on the desk. Included in the box was a driver CD and a USB to PS2 adapter.
Installation of the software was a snap; there were absolutely no problems at all. However when I first began connecting the keyboard there was some difficulty getting the battery cover off the back of the keyboard. I needed to use 2 flat headed screwdrivers to pry off the battery cover. After this initial fight to remove the battery cover was won, all other attempts to remove the cover went smoothly and without the need of tools.
This keyboard works very well in comparison to other media keyboards I have used in the past. All the hotkeys work as they were supposed to. There are 6 keys that work with Microsoft office only. 3 launch keys that launch Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and the other 3 keys are used for Cut, Copy and Paste commands (the cut, copy and paste commands also work for all other programs, not just office). On the left hand side of the keyboard there is a scroll wheel, however I have just found it easier to use the wheel provided on the mouse.
The typical internet navigation keys are provided; back, forward, refresh and e-mail. There is also a key that launches your default web browser; even though the key has the Internet Explorer icon [Ed: GAH!] on it. This I find is a very good feature because I have had media keyboards in the past that have only launched IE despite efforts to launch Firefox instead.
Some other useful keys are the Toggle and Close keys. The Toggle key will allow you to toggle between all your programs that are currently running and the close key will close program running in the active window. I found that the positioning of the Close key at the bottom of the keyboard below the right arrow was a bit awkward. You have to be careful when using the arrows not to hit that key cause it only takes a light tap and you may loose any unsaved info in that program.
With that being said about the Close key, almost the same can be said about the Power key. This key immediately shuts down your PC and it doesnâ€™t take a lot of force to press it, at least it is far enough away to make an accidental keystroke unlikely. There are also a Log Off key and a Sleep Mode key.
The feature I liked most about this keyboard even though they are available on most keyboards like this, are the music keys. I always listen to my tunes while online chatting or working on product reviews and I really like just being able to press a button on the keyboard to change to the next song or turn the volume up or down. This keyboard also has a mute feature for those interrupting phone calls or people barging in.
I really liked this keyboard. The battery pack was a bit tricky to open and without the battery pack the lights wonâ€™t work. The features are many and work well without a lot of time spent customizing it, once the drivers are installed the hot keys work like they are supposed to no going into the keyboard options and tweaking the settings. With a price tag of only $26.85 CAD (NCIX.com as of Oct. 17, 2005) this keyboard is worth the investment. It has good looks and great functionality. I give this keyboard an 8 out of 10 rating.
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