Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Review

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
Reviewer: Tyler DeGiacomo
Category: 
Peripherals
Model: 
920-001259
Price: 
$55

Before we begin, allow me to paint a mental picture for you. Do you remember those mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that when pressed, cause ink to be printed on a medium, usually paper? Yeah, that's right, a typewriter!

Take a moment to look down at your keyboard. Is it reminiscent of a typewriter interface? If so, perhaps its time for a peripheral upgrade like the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard.

This ultra-thin keyboard with LED back-lighting is sleek, with a minimalist design offering an ideal combination of form and function. Let's take a look at what it has to offer.

Features

  • Bright backlit keys
  • Minimalist design
  • PerfectStroke key system
  • Comfortable full-size layout
  • Easy-access controls
  • 3-year limited hardware warranty

Box Contents

  • Logitech illuminated keyboard
  • Quick-start guide
  • CD with software and comfort guidelines

The Keyboard

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Top Profile

Aesthetically the first thing you'll notice is its low profile and ultra-slim design. Measuring in at only 9.3mm in thickness, the Logitech illuminated keyboard is very slender. No tacky graphic prints of dragons or gimmicky features are present. Just an extremely stylish black and white keyboard with a slight bit of orange to indicate one-touch functions. The outer housing is made from plastic with a rubber like coating on the palm rest and a thin band of transparent plastic around its edge. Legs are present on the back-side to provide a little lift, but have only one position which adjust the vertical angle slightly.

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard

The layout is what you'd expect from most modern keyboards, however, there is some minor consolidation incorporated in the design which takes some getting use to. For example, the DELETE key has doubled in size vertically and positioned to take up what normally is the DELETE and INSERT keys. The INSERT key has relocated above the DELETE key, in the F1-F12 row, where usually the PrintScreen key normally lies.

Search, browser, mail and multimedia quick keys are bound to F1-F12 and PrintScreen & Pause. To evoke these functions you need to use the single FN key. This is something I really dislike. I'd prefer the FN key was on the left-side, swapped with the single Windows key.

Speaking of function keys, this reminds me of another gripe I have. When illuminated, only the quick key icon is lit. It would be beneficial if the F1-F12 characters were lit too.

Laser Etched Illuminated Keys

Illuminated laser-etched keys are what set this keyboard apart from standard keyboards and the competition. I've seen a lot of products that try to incorporate back-lighting into their products and fail miserably. That isn't the case here though. With 3-levels of illumination, the white LED lighting provides a perfect amount of luminosity for low-light or complete black out environmental conditions. Visually, each key appears to be lit up individually, with a soft over-flow of light running between the key spacings. I should also mention that back-lighting can be disabled completely if necessary.

This keyboard utilized a technology called PerfectStroke Key System. Typing is silent and soft to the touch, kind of like a laptop keyboard. If you're looking for the clickity-clack of a train on the tracks, this isn't the keyboard for you. But if you appreciate smooth and shallow key presses then buy this product now!

Linux Compatibility

As expected, this Logitech Illuminated Keyboard works perfectly fine under Ubuntu 10.10 and Debian 5. Out of the box only the Search/Find and mail quick keys work. To fix this all you need to do is adjust your key mappings under System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Gallery

Conclusion

The Good - Pros
  • Illuminated laser-etched keys
  • Excellent form factor if you like slim peripherals
  • Long USB cord
  • Silent and short key depresses
The Bad - Cons
  • Function keys do not illuminate
  • Legs could use more than one position
The Ugly - Problems
  • N/A
The Verdict - Opinion
  • This is a great keyboard for everyday computing in any environment lighting. Granted it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does offer a perfect blend of function and style. Most retail stores are still selling this keyboard for over $100. Shop smart, as it can be found online for around $55 now.

Innovation: 
3/5
Performance: 
5/5
Compatibility: 
5/5
Cost / Value: 
4/5

17/20

Overall score


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