by David Li
Although appearance is subjective, Logitech’s Illuminated Keyboard is without a doubt, one of the sleekest keyboards commercially available I have seen to date. With an ultra-thin design, coupled with clean minimalist aesthetics, there’s no reason why this keyboard can’t visually attract any modern-day computer user. Using laser-etched backlit keys and Logitech’s very own “PerfectStroke” key system, this keyboard provides an excellent balance between a glistening complexion and admirable comfort.
- Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
- CD with software
- Quick-start guide
- Comfort guidelines
- Three-year limited hardware warranty
MSPR: $79.99 from Logitech.com
Build and Design
Aimed for users seeking a backlit typing experience, this keyboard also shares similar features and form with its Logitech diNovo notebook keyboard sibling. According to Logitech, the PerfectStoke key system offers “a typing experience that’s comfortable, fluid and silent…is designed to create longer key travel – 3.2 mm compared to 2.2 mm – than that of typical notebook keyboards; as a result, the distance your fingers have to travel to activate a key is optimized for your comfort. Micro-scissors distribute force evenly across key surfaces – even if you strike the edge of a key, the key stroke still feels the same.”
While the individual keys provide exceptional tactile feedback and excellent travel, the overall typing experience is somewhat limited which will be explained later.
With a maximum height of 0.366″ (9.3mm) the low-profile design is also Logitech’s thinnest keyboard thus far (that’s slightly slimmer than an Apple iPhone!).
Left – Apple iPhone (non-3G); Right – Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
Top – standard size Dell keyboard; Bottom – Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
The transparent frame, as reported by Logitech, adds an “elegant touch to any desk“; I respectfully disagree. The clear plastic frame adds a hint of “cheapness” in my eyes, and I would have preferred a frame in the same black matte color like the rest of the keyboard or no frame at all.
The backlight keyboards offer 4 brightness settings (100%, 50%, 25% and 0%). While most of the keys light up fairly evenly, the left SHIFT and ENTER keys do not. Although this doesn’t affect the keyboard’s usability in any way, it would be nice to see properly lit keys on the entire keyboard.
The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard is not designed as an ergonomic keyboard, yet it still provides an enjoyable and comfortable typing experience. Keys are remarkably responsive, providing instantaneous returns and the media controls offer a decent selection of customizable functions via Logitech’s SetPoint software. Media controls include My home, e-mail, open web page, messenger, document flip, gadgets, calculator, eject drive, media player, volume control and keyboard brightness.
Due to the ultra-thin design, the palm rest offers limited support for your wrists and are relatively shorter that the average palm rest observed in most keyboards – nevertheless, it is still very pleasant to use. Another feature that I found a little awkward are the elevated keys on the bottom row of the keyboard. This is the same feature found in the diNovo notebook keyboard, yet coming from a notebook standpoint, this feature feels slightly unwieldy.
Most veteran typists will mention how a sloping keyboard can provide additional comfort; unlike the diNovo Notebook Keyboard, the Illuminated Keyboard does provide flip-down risers which offers better wrist support for some people.
While the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard is not quite the crème de la crème of keyboards, it still ranks as one of the top most pleasurable and eye-pleasing keyboards I have used for a while. The ultra-thin form factor coupled with Logitech’s PerfectStoke key system and backlit keys makes this keyboard an ideal candidate for most home notebook and desktop PCs. People who are night owls or are already accustomed to backlit keyboards on their notebooks will surly appreciate the illuminated keyboard and the features it brings. Since backlit keyboards can be purchased for as low as $20, most people will have to justify if the $60 premium is worth the better quality and in vogue design.
- Excellent tactile feedback
- Sleek and modern design
- Comfortable usage
- More quiet than average keyboards
- Uneven backlight on a couple keys
- No USB or other I/O ports
- No wireless option
- Cheap-looking plastic frame
- Elevated keys on bottom row of keyboard feels awkward