by Jonathan Varga-Szabo on September 26, 2008 in Peripherals
Logitech’s diNovo Edge is undeniably a great-looking keyboard, but it’s also undeniably expensive. The new Illuminated Keyboard promises to deliver a lot of the same features, such as a thin frame, backlit keys, smooth key presses and a slick design – but for close to half the price of the Edge. Should you be getting ready to pick one up at launch?
Logitech has shown its expertise in peripheral development for years. Durability, comfort, and usability are always their top priority. When all is said and done, Logitech makes a very solid product. The Illuminated Keyboard is no exception. I had been looking for a keyboard with regular backlighting for a while, without the obnoxious glare of a nauseating color, like orange or blue.
Although Logitech has a few gaming products, this product belongs to their “Professional/Entertainment” line of peripherals. It’s supposed to have a sleek, mature look to it, with functional elements to increase the comfort and efficiency to the user, and a medium price tag. In this case, the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard is the ideal candidate for the job.
The keyboard comes in an attractive, glossy box, but what surprised me most was just how thin it was – hardly an inch thick. Upon removing the lid, the keyboard is presented in a clear plastic cellophane, which keeps the keyboard protected while in storage, but does not impair your view of the keyboard when you unwrap. The USB cable is hidden in a separate compartment in the box, and the drivers CD is underneath the keyboard, making the package-opening almost a ceremony in itself.
The keyboard has a lovely textured look to it, except for the wrist-rest, which is coated in a matte rubber surface, and the line of glossy plastic between the wrist-rest and keyboard. The wrist-rest surface is great in that it is anti-slip, and almost feels slightly soft on your wrists. The keyboard also has a clear plastic border around it.
The USB cable is roughly 6 feet long; enough to reach your desktop whether it is underneath your desk or on top of it. The cable also seems especially durable, with a non-sticky, matte rubber coating. The keyboard is very thin, 9.3mm at its thickest point, and it also has an integrated number pad, which was previously absent on Logitech’s diNovo Edge ultra-thin Bluetooth keyboard.
Once I plugged in the keyboard, the keys began to glow white, but then soon shut off, due to Windows’ process of installing the drivers. Because I already owned the diNovo Edge, the drivers provided from Logitech in the keyboard’s box merely updated the very helpful Logitech SetPoint software.
Installation was a no-brainer, and the keyboard, while usable without the software, is much more capable and customizable with the SetPoint drivers. SetPoint enables you to customize the settings of the function keys, which includes setting the key to launch an application, perform a macro, or open a web page.
The software also enables you to have multiple Logitech SetPoint enabled peripherals customized in the same driver software. To use the function keys, a function-shift key must be held, similar to a laptop. The tabs at the top of the user interface help you customize not only your keyboard, but your Logitech mouse as well, if you’ve purchased one.