by Rob Williams on December 19, 2011 in Peripherals
Looking for a new keyboard on the cheap, but would love to go wireless? Enter the K360 from Logitech. Sporting a compact design, the K360 offers a reliable wireless connection and is touted as being able to last up to three years on a single set of batteries. It’s not perfect, but at $20, it’s impossible to go wrong with this keyboard.
A lot can be accomplished in three years. You could start a business, get married, have a child, build a house, watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy and walk across the entire United States. Or for the less ambitious, you could simply photograph yourself everyday.
However you plan to spend your next three years, you can be confident of one thing: your Logitech K360 wireless keyboard will be on the same set of batteries through it all. At least, that’s Logitech’s claim, and from using the keyboard the past couple of months, I have no reason not to believe it.
It can be said that an office keyboard is just an office keyboard, but that’s not the case. I was at a Walmart a few months ago and spotted a $12 Logitech keyboard on the shelf, and thus figured it’d be a great purchase to tide me over until I could settle on a new gaming offering. For that $12, I received a solid keyboard, but the design was lacking and void of media buttons.
It’s too bad that I didn’t know about the K360, a once-$30-but-now-$20 offering that does include media controls, is completely wireless and is said to last an entire three years on a single set of batteries. Wait – a wireless media keyboard for $20? That’s right.
I highlighted the important bits above, so for the rest of the page we’ll take a tour around the K360 and discuss its design and features. First and foremost though, it must be said that this is a small keyboard; most others will be at least 20% wider. I don’t exactly have the smallest of hands, so at first the keyboard’s size was a little difficult to get used to, but as I mentioned above, I’ve been using this for two months, so you could say I’ve gotten used to it.
As seen in the shot above, the K360 is simple in design overall. Unlike a standard Logitech office keyboard, this one minimizes the amount of space between the keys and the inside, so getting it dirty on the inside with food crumbs or other dirt is going to be minimized. This design results in a different feel but an overall good one – it’s most comparable to a laptop keyboard although it is a bit louder than most of those. A close-up:
Looking at the keys this way offers an interesting perspective. While they may look a wee bit too high above the plane (at least to me), they’ve for the most part felt perfect. If anything, I wish they were a bit quieter to type on, but that’s a minor niggle in the grand scheme of things. The K360 isn’t loud by any stretch (it’s on par to a regular keyboard, I’d say), but with this design I expected it to be a bit quieter.
To the top-left are three media functions; previous/rewind pause/play and next/fast-forward:
On the opposite side are three more buttons, all related to volume control. As this is a wireless option, there’s a button to turn the K360 off if you wish to save as much battery as possible. The keyboard does not go to sleep, so it’s ready whenever you are. As a sub-$30 offering, it seems petty to complain about the lack of a “Stop” media button, but it is one I wish was included, because I’ve often needed it.
Because the K360 features a compact design, not all of the key arrangements are going to please everyone. If you make use of the arrow keys often, the non-standard size of the keys is likely to drive you up the wall. It’s a rare day when I actually need one of these, but when I did (to move through a document with precision), I found myself hitting the wrong keys by accident without looking – so for some, using these might be a hands-on endeavor.
The F1-F12 and numpad top buttons all feature alternate functions that can be used in conjunction with the “FN” (Function) key. Similar to most notebooks, you must use the FN key along with another key in order to screenshot your desktop (Print Screen). All of the functions for F1-F12 can be customized.
The K360 takes advantage of two AA batteries (thanks, Logitech, for not making them AAA), which happen to be included. As the keyboard makes use of a small USB wireless adapter, it can be stored in the free area here in the event you need to travel with it.
Speaking of, here’s the adapter in all its super-small glory:
You won’t be pulling a muscle lifting this thing out of the box, but it’s obvious that with its small size, it’s going to be easy to lose. There’s no easy solution there, so my advice is quite simply: don’t lose it!
On the next page, we’ll take a look at the SetPoint software used to configure the K360 and also close things up with my final thoughts.