Thanks to a couple of survey sites I found myself with some spare Amazon vouchers just before Christmas and instead of doing the normal thing and using them for the family, I decided to treat myself to a new keyboard and mouse. I had a good look around, as there are so many to choose from these days. I basically wanted to get one of the cordless keyboards and an optical mouse to go with it but I'd heard about problems with always having to constantly replace the batteries for the mouse so when I saw this rechargeable one I was delighted, especially at the price it was selling for.
This company was founded in 1981 and celebrates it's 25th anniversary this year. It has offices and manufacturing facilities worldwide and I have never really heard any major complaints about them.
They sell a wide range of products including other items of hardware for your pc such as web cams and headsets. As well as these though, they also supply items for gaming systems such as steering wheels for the PS2 and XBox, and MP3 accessories such as speakers for the Ipod.
My desktop system looks a little bit different to the one pictured above, as instead of midnight black and silver, it is coloured sea grey and silver. It is a light grey that tones in well with my grey computer, which is why I picked that one instead of the black. I was also aware that black shows up every little bit of dust around whereas this one can get away with being dusted once a week instead of every day. Yes I admit I am lazy when it comes to that.
The model number isn't shown at the top of the page but it is the Y-RK49 just in case you're trying to find it.
The keyboard and mouse are both cordless and they link up through wireless connection to the rechargeable mouse holder. This separate unit connects to the back of your pc via 2 cables - one plugs into your mouse port and the other connects to your keyboard port. Very simple and just like what you would do with separate keyboard and mouse, corded varieties. The other cable attached plugs into your power socket.
Both units operate using 2 x AA batteries. The batteries in the keyboard that came included in the pack are still working perfectly with no cutouts of power despite many hours of daily use of the keyboard by my family and myself. The mouse also has the capacity to take 2 x AA normal batteries - I suppose this is in case you forget to recharge it - but it comes already supplied with a rechargeable battery pack. When fully charged we get between 18 and 24 hours of usage. This is good as I must admit I sometimes forget to set it up on the charging unit at the end of a day if I'm rushing about.
There is easy to use software called Set Point included with your product and it guides you through the installation and set up of your plug and play mouse and keyboard settings in a fool proof way. If you aren't sure of anything there is the handy help section that tells you more about each option.
This hardware comes with a detachable wrist support that is very comfortable and I find myself using it quite a lot as I am one of the old school of touch typists where we had to learn the keys of the old manual typewriters of by heart as the keys were covered with coloured dots. It was a nightmare at the time but is a skill that has remained with me ever since. Enough of the history lesson though and back to the review.
On the silver bit at the top there are a number of hotkeys and you can change 4 of these to suit your needs. They are set up to connect to your homepage, your email, your favourites and your media player of choice. Of course you can customise these to open a specific file or folders such as my documents or to open a program of your choice. There are also the 12 F keys that can also be customised to your needs.
There are also 4 other buttons on the keyboard, a play/pause button for use with your media player and volume up and down buttons as well as a mute button. When any of these buttons are pressed you will get a message on the screen indicating the function you have selected. This will also happen if you press number lock or capital lock, which I find really useful as I know there have been many times in the past when using my numbers that my finger has slipped and I've wondered why the numbers aren't working.
On really good function of this keyboard in these days of worrying about spyware and suchlike is the keyboard security system. When you type your keystrokes will be encrypted so that they cannot be detected by anyone looking in on you. This is great for use with some of those websites that maybe don't carry the secure sign at the bottom right of their page.
The last function of the Set Point software is the battery level section so you can check to see how your batteries are doing.
This is an optical, tailless mouse with a few more buttons on it than the standard one that I had before. As well as the left and right click buttons, it also has the scroll button between them for easy scanning in document or on web pages. As well as these though it has 2 buttons on the side where the thumb of your right hand will rest. This may not be so handy for those of you who are left-handed out there. These can be customized as can the scroll button but I find them very useful for going forward or back a page when online. This saves always having to put the pointer up to the appropriate spot on the browser.
The optical function works through a laser instead of the usual roller ball that tends to get jammed up with dust over time. No such problems with this one.
As with most computer mice you can adjust the speed of scrolling, the pointer and whether you have long or short pointer trails. There is also the same battery check function as the keyboard too and if your battery is running low you will get warning up on your screen.
All in all I have to say that I give this product 5 stars without any hesitation as it suits my needs perfectly. The keyboard is comfortable to use and looks stylish too. The benefit of not having lots of cables is great too. This is extremely useful when my son wants to use his Smartronics over the top keyboard (see my other review if you're not sure what this is) as I can move this keyboard onto a smaller table and he can sit on his own chair too whilst he plays. This saves any unnecessary swinging back and forward on my computer chair. This is one thing that has caused many battles in the past.
The hotkeys and special buttons are easy to set up to my needs and I've found them very useful for opening up specific programs or going to a specific website. It took a bit of getting used to as some of the functions are different to those on my old keyboard but I found that I was soon pressing them without having to look at the wording on the top of them.
As a touch typist it's always handy to have the little raised bits on the F and J keys to feel that my fingers are on the correct home set of keys and this is one thing that I think is a little bit lacking as the design of them puts the ridges at the very bottom of the keys instead of a more central position so sometimes I will miss them and start typing a load of gobbledygook. That's my excuse anyway.
The mouse is stylish and very easy to use and adjust to your own settings. I can't have mine to fast as my son uses this from time to time when he is on Cbeebies although I could change it, as it is easy to do although again I'm a bit lazy like that. The up and down buttons are a bit annoying at times if you press one accidentally. For example the first time I started typing this review on the Ciao site my finger caught the back button my mistake and I lost a few paragraphs. Luckily I had saved a bit of it so didn't lose everything but I very quickly moved over to Word to type it up there instead. They are very handy when going back and forward between websites though, once you get used to the fact that they are there.
The battery life is great on both units and I've only found the mouse battery warning appearing a couple of times when I first got it as I kept forgetting to place it back on the charging unit. My own fault really, expecting it to still work after 2 days. The cord on the rechargeable unit is quite a good length so I'm able have it set higher up on a shelf out of the way as I don't have much room on the top of my workspace despite getting a lovely little TFT monitor for Christmas (another review done already) to replace my beast that I had previously.
There is also a 3 year warranty on this product and the details of the company should I need them came along with the unit although there are help pages on the software too. After 4 months of use I can happily say I've had no problems either in setting up or in any of the workings of it.
***Price and Availability***
I got this from Amazon for £35, which was the best price I could find at the time. This included free super saver delivery too and as I already had £25 of vouchers this was a bargain for £10.
Well its refreshing to be able to position my keyboard and mouse exactly where I want them without having to relocate all my hardware cabling to compensate. A small tip would be to monitor the batteries u put in so as too not lose your mouse pointer at tha vital moment. The keyboard is well designed and comfortable to use with short cut keys easy to understand. An exceptional product from a market leader in wireless keyboards and mouse combinations.
I've reviewed the mouse separately (not a scam to get more dooyoo miles - I didn't realise I could review the pair), search for Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical if you're interested. Everyone uses a keyboard, and most people probably think along the lines that spending £40+ on a keyboard is a bit much, when you can get one for around a tenner that does exactly the same thing. To those people, I say, "Yeah, you're probably right". After all, you're probably not using the computer enough to warrant a £40 investment. But for those of you that want a bit more from a keyboard, read on............ Firstly, Logitech have done a top-notch job with this keyboard. The build quality is high, it's very comfortable to use, and it's wireless so you have no wires cluttering up your desktop. It takes 4 AA batteries, which last for a good time. Easily 6 months with heavy usage. The range of the wireless communication is good. I can sit up to about 3 metres away (so I can barely read the screen) and key presses are still read accurately. Also the communication can be in "secure mode" to stop others trapping your typing. I don't use this personally, but for the paranoid amongst you, it's an option. NB Something I have realised since writing the review for the mouse is that when you have a lot of cards in your machine, and your power supply is struggling to keep up. The range can fall dramatically. So if you have a lot of PCI cards, or a few USB devices, then it might be worth trying before you buy (if possible). So, to the extras that this keyboard offers. For starters, by far the 2 most used buttons are the volume control and the mute button. These come in really handy for when the phone rings, or the music is too loud/quite. Alongside these are several keys that allow you to control multimedia programs (such as windows media player). Only basic function mi
nd, like skip track, play/pause and stop. But surprisingly useful none the less. There are also 9 other buttons that provide nice shortcuts to the most commonly used tasks. These are : Finance, My Sites, Community, Favourites, iTouch, E-Mail, Shopping, Search, My Hone. These are all configurable, so if you don't like the settings you can change them. You can set them to load a web page or even certain programs. For example, if your favourite chat client isn't MSN Messenger any more, you can change the "Community" button to automatically load Yahoo Instant Messenger instead. These buttons aren't essential, but do make navigating to your favourite website that little quicker. Another nice button on the left hand side of the keyboard is a small mouse wheel. Nice for viewing the web, cause you don't really have to move your hand to the mouse! Basically, I wouldn't say this product is an essential purchase, purely because you can buy something to do the basics just as well. The wireless connection is very nice, but again not exclusive to this model. But for those of you thinking it would be nice to control the sound/jump to certain web pages instantly at the push of a keyboard button, I would recommend this strongly.