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Tuesday
Jun262012

Logitech K760 Wireless Solar Keyboard Review

Oh no Logitech didn't just roll out a brand spanking new wireless Bluetooth keyboard for the Mac. We're just messing with you, because yes Logitech did. The K760 is the company's most anticipated keyboard to feature Bluetooth wireless connectivity that's designed to work with both Mac and iOS devices without much of a technical know-how sweat on your part. The K760 continues Logitech's solar powered keyboard lineup with its Apple-esque figure and giant solar panel strip so you could literally be free of wires and batteries. How well does it compare to the rest? We find out after this break!

We last reviewed Logitech's ($60) K750 solar keyboard for the Mac, a full sized numpad featuring piece of kit that we thought was simply brilliant. This time Logitech has created a sleeker, more compact wireless solar version of its Mac compatible K series keyboards that loses the reliably iconic 2.4GHz Unifying micro USB receiver and features an even larger solar panel at the top in order to provide enough juicy energy to help power the new Bluetooth chip. And because nothing else is required to get started, the K760 only comes with some quick setup instructions leaving behind the cleaning cloth which was included with the K750.

Aesthetically speaking? The K760 is the best looking solar Bluetooth keyboard out right now. It's as good looking and well designed as Apple's Wireless Keyboard, which is coincidentally the K760's evil battery munching rival. And let's be honest, Logitech took a lot from the Wireless Keyboard but also went on forward with a more modern flowing design and future thinking. Things with solar panels on them rarely look this good. So big props to Logitech's design know-how. The K760 is as slim when proudly presented on your desk as Apple's Wireless Keyboard, however, it does take slightly more desk space. But that's an insignificant caveat worth taking if you want to throw batteries out of the equation.

Build quality speaking? Well it isn't too impressive we must say. The all-plastic construction isn't as good as the less expensive all-aluminum Wireless Keyboard. Heck, Logitech's K760 keyboard feels like it has been put together in a hurry, feeling a bit out of place. Some of the keys on my review unit didn't work very well and required forceful pressing to register input. And looking at the keyboard from a side point of view we see that the two-piece connection isn't even. But hey, it may be just our luck that we got a keyboard that was sat on by a baby elephant before we got our hands on it.

Around the bottom side of the keyboard are multiple rubber feet for traction, a Bluetooth pairing button and fixed raised feet that angle the keyboard at a perfect typing angle. Unlike the K750 keyboard which has flip-out risers that allow for two different typing angles, flat and slanted, the K760 shares the same fixed slanted angle as Apple's Wireless Keyboard that makes for a very rigid typing experience.

With the K760 you get less keyboardness, but pay more at $80. The K760 is the first wireless Bluetooth keyboard that we know of to be powered solely on solar energy. Logitech has done an incredible job with its solar keyboards, and the K760's large sensitive solar panels work indoors and outdoors requiring the bare minimal of light to run of off, even if it means using your bright computer display aura. While there are rechargeable batteries on the inside making sure you've got constant power even when you're at defcon 1 darkness for a full month, you'll never have to worry about feeding this keyboard any.

Besides the sparkling, shiny silver finish surrounding the white chiclet style keys, the K760 will disappoint you if you like controlling your music playback with your keyboard. There are no back and forward skip buttons, but there is a play/pause button along with all the familiar brightness, volume, eject/keyboard-hide, Mission Control and Launchpad/Home Button buttons to complete the Mac and iOS keyboard layout.

Typing on the K760 feels pretty great and undeniably comfortable. The keys are very springy and tactile, more so than the Apple Wireless Keyboard and the K750 combined. But there is a downside to the new springy key layout. The keys rattle quite a bit and aren't at all as silent as Logitech described them to be, nor do they feel as good to type on as the K750. In fact they're so noisy you might think this is a mechanical keyboard. Just lightly tapping on the keys makes an annoying sound as if they were assembled to pop out any second. Of course this isn't anything new, there are other keyboards with the same type of noisy keys, so if that bothers you this isn't the right keyboard for you.

And if that wasn't annoying enough, the K760's battery saving mode is completely unnecessary considering it runs off of light very easily with rechargeable batteries as a backup. It goes to sleep after only an hour of inactivity, and needs a few seconds to connect when brought back from sleep mode. But perhaps the most ridiculous battery saving feature is the fact that the green LED light that turns on when pressing the caps lock button turns off after just three seconds leaving you at a confusing stance as to whether or not you have the caps lock activated or not. I've lost count how many times I continued to type completely forgetting the caps lock is still on, but the light is actually turned off. Really Logitech? Still, it's a step up considering the K750 has no caps lock light at all.

Logitech clearly wanted to target Mac users who also happen to be iOS users, naturally, with the K760 by implementing Bluetooth connectivity as well as a dedicated Mac keyboard layout with familiar keys that make switching between the Mac and iOS devices really quite amazing.

Setting up the K760 takes a matter of seconds if you've ever paired a Bluetooth device. The K760 features three Bluetooth hot keys for switching between multiple Bluetooth devices that you'd be using the K760 with. That means you can pair the K760 to your Mac, iPad and insert said third device here, and switch between them on the fly by pressing one of the three dedicated Bluetooth buttons at the top. To my surprise, the Bluetooth switching is instant and works flawlessly in switching between multiple sources once you've paired them once.

The K760's obvious selling point is that it's completely solar energy dependent and allows multitasking users to quickly switch between three different Bluetooth supporting devices with a click of a button. That all works better than expected and we love the fact that we never have to use batteries ever again. Logitech's K760 wireless solar keyboard has its drawbacks, and if you don't mind not having ninja silent keys, the K760 is a worthy Apple Wireless Keyboard replacer with some advantages that justify those extra $10. We think the K760 is worth our general recommendation, but due to the noisier keys and a perplexed caps lock button we aren't going to award it with our Editors' Choice award like we have for the K750.

Logitech.com

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