Tech Talk: Two great new keyboards from Logitech

Posted on November 23, 2012

Murray Hill Tech Talk

A washable keyboard? What a great idea! I can’t remember the number of keyboards  destroyed at the newspaper over the years because someone dumped a cup of coffee or a coke on their keyboard.

Logitech K310 Washable Keyboard

Photo: Logitech – Logitech K310 Washable Keyboard

Now Logitech’s new $39.99 CAD K310 Washable Keyboard pretty much has solved that particular problem.

The PC-only, K310 has drainage holes in the back to let liquid out, and even the USB connector comes with a waterproof cap attached.

Wash the Logitech K310 in the sink to clean up spills

Photo: Logitech – Wash the Logitech K310 in the sink to clean up spills

The K310 is submersible in up to 30cm of water for up to 24 hours at 25 degrees. You can use standard dishwasher soap, as long as it doesn’t contain any alcohol, and a soft sponge or brush. The K310 will drain itself from the holes in the back and needs to dry naturally – ie: no hair dryer. You can’t stick the thing in the dishwasher to clean it, no matter how tempting it might be to try.

The keys are laser etched and use rubber dome technology to keep the moisture out and the tough UV coating will help keep the printing on the keys from fading. It’s a very tough keyboard and even the key travel (the distance the key gets depressed when you push on it) itself suggests that this is a robust keyboard. Compared to my favourite Logitech DiNovo keyboard, the K310’s keys are very distinctly separate and the throw is much greater. This isn’t necessarily a problem at all – it simply means that it has a different feel when typing on it.

Although the Logitech K310 isn’t wireless, the ability to dunk it to clean it out and the robustness of it make this a good keyboard for an office application. It’ll certainly handle any spills – as long as they’re dealt with promptly, and it’ll hold up to the workload an office brings.

PROS: Washable, rugged and cheap – those are the three big deals with this keyboard.

CONS: Only works with PCs; it’s a wired keyboard – it’d be great if it was wireless.

The Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard

Photo: Logitech – The Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard

The Logitech K810 Wireless Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard is an entirely different type of keyboard than their K310.

The $99.99 CAD K810 keyboard works with Windows, iOS and Android equally well, and the backlit keys make it a very useful keyboard for low light conditions.

Powered by rechargeable Lithium batteries, the K810 is a compact keyboard perfect to carry in the computer bag to use with your iPad or Android tablet. Bluetooth is what makes this keyboard so versatile, and the keyboard itself, and the key throw, is very comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

The Logitech K810 keyboard will connect with up to three Bluetooth devices. Each is assigned an Easy-Switch key, so that once you’ve connected the keyboard to each device, to use that particular device with the keyboard from that point on, all you need do is select the correct Easy-Switch key corresponding to that device.

The Backlight keys on the Logitech K810

Photo: Logitech – The Backlight keys on the Logitech K810

I’ve been using this keyboard quite a lot the past while and have really come to like the portability, backlighting and ease of use. It has a black brushed aluminum case, and is very thin, and even though there are no supports on the bottom to lift it off the desktop, it’s very easy to type on. I actually have been using it on my lap quite a bit and it’s great.

The Logitech K810 uses hand proximity detection which turns the backlight on or off as your hands approach or leave the keyboard. This, of course, saves battery life. The laser-etched keys automatically adjust the backlighting to fit whatever lighting conditions you might be in and I can tell you from experience that’s a piece of cake to type in a dark room with this keyboard.

The keyboard is charged via USB from your computer and a charge will last anywhere from ten hours of use in the dark to up to a year. It depends greatly on the lighting conditions you use it in – the less light the shorter period of time the charge lasts.

PROS: Great compact size for road warriors; works great with tablets; very comfortable keyboard and the backlighting is terrific.

CONS: Although the K810 will work with iOS devices, it doesn’t have the command and option keys that Mac users need, so it doesn’t work perfectly with Macs;.

TO SUM IT UP:  An inexpensive, robust, washable keyboard is great for the messy folks who tend to spill drinks, and a portable, backlit Bluetooth keyboard is just the ticket for the road warrior. If you’re in the market for either of these types of keyboards, then take a look and the widely available Logitech K310 and K810.

Murray Hill is lead tech writer at communicatto.com. You can reach Murray by email at murray@communicatto.com or on Twitter at @MurrayDHill

About Murray Hill

Murray Hill has been a freelance columnist appearing regularly in some of the most prominent Canadian newspapers since 1974. He began writing about technology over twenty-four years ago and he still maintains the belief that there's a gadget or gizmo for every situation and application. His fascination with technology and gadgets has endured for over fifty years, and has led to many familial discussions about the the difference between the words "need" and "want" when referring to tech. Based in Saskatoon, connect with Murray at: murray@communicatto.com Author's Note: I write a column on a single product, rather than comparing products. I do this because what I write is my personal opinion on a particular product. Sometimes I get something sent to me automatically, but mostly I ask manufacturers for a particular product to review. I usually have these products for a period of a few weeks to a few months, then they are returned. I get to keep some products - usually the ones that would cost more to ship back than they are worth - and most of those items get given away. I do get an honorarium from Communicatto for writing, but get no compensation from manufacturers or the firms representing them - so nobody buys my opinion! I also try to use photos and graphics provided, mostly because I'm a terrible photographer!

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