I go through a lot keyboards and mice; seems like I can never find a set that I'm completely happy with for one reason or another. And thus far in my search for the perfect set up, I've returned every wireless set I've ever had that wasn't Bluetooth due to the occasionally delays in reaction time that would occur. While I know that's not a big issue for a lot of people, it made me crazy and I've always gone back to wired setups.
Now, I've always liked the quality of Logitech keyboards (I use a wired Wave at my office) and love the freewheel mice they make, so when I had an opportunity to test out the new MK700 wireless desktop from Logitech, I jumped at the chance to see if any progress had been made in what I considered problem areas. The short answer is a definite yes; though is it enough for me to give up my beloved Sidewinder keyboard and mouse? Read on.....
SETUP: Lets start with setup: it honestly could not be easier. Three steps: plug in the USB wireless receiver (not a compact, though smaller than a USB drive), remove the plastic tabs hanging out of the battery covers on the keyboard and mouse, and get to work. That's it. It's a total relief to see a manufacturer finally get this right and not force you to install their controller software if you don't want to. And the batteries already installed? Are you kidding? Fantastic. Makes it easy as pie to move the entire setup to any computer I want (Windows only according to Logitech, sorry Mac folk), and that's a great thing.
THE KEYBOARD: The keyboard is very low profile and has two sets of props under the back to allow for three levels of tilt. The wrist rest is sufficiently large and very comfortable with firm padding. The keys themselves are slightly concave (Logitech calls them "Incurve Keys") though not as much as some keyboards I've used (among them my Sidewinder) and the home keys are well marked with prominent (though not intrusive) plastic tabs. The action is quite good, with a slight bit more travel than I like, but certainly not obtrusive. It's also silent. Personally, I like clicky keyboards, so that's a downside for me and I perfer the action on my Sidewinder, but for those that like soft, quiet keyboards, you couldn't ask for more.
Layout is fairly traditional, with a few nice touches, among them a power switch. Why this isn't more common is a mystery to me, but I was glad to see it on this keyboard (there's one on the mouse, too). Layout is pretty traditional, with a row of customizable (with installation of included SetPoint software) dual function keys above the keyboard. Above that are controls for a music player, volume and mute controls, and an LCD display with six status icons: battery power, lock indicators for caps, scroll, and num, and indicators for FN (since there's not way to lock the FN key except through software, this seems a bit useless in my opinion) and mute.
Function buttons include the the standard F1-F12, plus Screen Print, Scroll Lock, Pause/Break and Disc Eject. All of these with the exception of the Scroll Lock and the Eject buttons are dual function: just hold the FN key down when you hit them to get them to perform their alternate function. Many of these are functional out of the box (preprogrammed for things ranging from search to zoom to launching programs), but are fully customizable with the SetPoint software.
Negatives? The FN button (which you need to hit to use the alternate programming on the function keys) is on the right of the keyboard only, meaning you need to use two hands to trigger many of those keys. Of course, using the software you can set it up so that the F keys trigger the alternate functions without hitting the FN button, but you'd need to hit it if you wanted the F keys to work in the default way. Also, the LCD is not back lit, and is not very readable in dimly lit rooms. I didn't find the LCD particularly useful anyway, so that didn't bother me much. The only other issue I had is that I prefer backlit keyboards. However, they're few and far between (I have one in my sidewinder) and it's really a personal thing.
THE MOUSE: The mouse is a common Logitech shape that I've seen before: curved to allow for comfort and allowing your thumb to tuck underneath a bit. This makes it very comfortable, but only useful for right hand use. In addition to the two traditional mouse buttons and scroll wheel, there are two easy to reach thumb buttons on the edge and a fifth button to the left of the left click button on top. The mouse wheel can also be pushed down, effectively making it a sixth button. All buttons are programmable using the SetPoint software, but come set up for page forward/back, search, and mouse scroll-lock (allowing you to scroll by moving the mouse) respectively.
The scroll wheel is one of my favorites on any mouse I've ever used: not only does it tilt left and right to allow for sideways scrolling, it's weighted, allowing it to spin free with a single stroke. Logitech calls this "hyper-fast" scrolling, and it is: spin it once and it zips up or down the page until you stop it. If you prefer traditional scrolling action, there's a toggle switch that engages what Logitech calls "micro-gears," which add resistance and keep the wheel from running free. I love the hyper-fast feature, but I don't love the fact that the toggle switch is on the bottom of the mouse, making it a pain to change back and forth between modes easily. Fortunately, that's not necessary very often: I leave it in hyper-fast mode most of the time, engaging the gears when I need the precision to do design work or photo editing. Overall, a fantastically functional and extremely comfortable mouse. I love it.
CONNECTIVITY: As I mentioned in the setup section, connections are quick and easy. Plug the USB receiver in and get to work. But the really great thing about this set is that I've had no connection delays yet. Every time I reach for the mouse it moves immediately. That, for me, is the difference between a mouse I can use and one I cannot. Whatever they've done with this set to improve connectivity, well, it worked.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first wireless desktop that I'll actually continue to use. The keyboard action is good, the mouse is fantastic, and connectivity is solid. The ease of setup makes it simple to move the set from one computer to another, which means I can use it with my laptop whenever I want. Battery life is supposedly great: up to a year on the mouse, and up to three on the keyboard. Is that accurate? I don't know, but check back in three years and ask me then: I think I'll still be using this set.
I've owned Microsoft and other Logitech keyboards. In fact, I was using a Logitech before trying this one. The first two things that bugged me about the switch: the almost flat keys took getting used to and there were no single key buttons to open an app or something). All the programmable buttons -- except the calculator button -- require pressing Fn. Previous keyboards had this, but they ALSO had stand-alone buttons. I miss this feature. Though the previous keyboard was … more
My background is in the arts; I designed and ran a television station in the 80's, was a record producer and independent engineer in the late 80's and early 90's, then formed one of the first online advertising … more
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The Logitech Wireless Desktop MK700. Where comfort and productivity go hand-in-hand. Concave keys position your fingers properly, and their softly rounded edges invite your fingertips to glide from key to key, hour after hour.