Logitech Illuminated Keyboard

Featuring bright, laser-etched, backlit keys, the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard adds a touch of elegance to your desk & even in the dark. The layout of the keys was designed to provide easy access to common tasks and functions while maintaining a clean, uncluttered look. And the ultra-thin profile combines with Logitech's PerfectStroke key system to let you type comfortably.

Key Features

Bright, Laser-Etched, Backlit Keys that Let You Type Easily--Even in the Dark 
Bright, laser-etched, backlit keys provide precise illumination that can be adjusted to suit your needs. And only the characters are illuminated, so you get just the right amount of light.

Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Thin Profile (9.3 mm) that Adds an Elegant Touch to Any Desk 
The ultra-thin, 9.3 mm profile and transparent frame make a bold statement and add an elegant touch to any desk. It's a cutting-edge design with an incredibly thin profile.

PerfectStroke Key System for Typing that's Silent, Natural and Fluid 
The PerfectStroke key system features a precision micro-scissor mechanism that distributes force evenly across the surface of the keys, eliminating slippage and making every stroke natural and fluid.

Sleek, Minimalist Design for the Ideal Combination of Form and Function 
The layout of the keys was designed to provide easy access to common tasks and functions while maintaining a clean, uncluttered look. It's the ideal combination of form and function.

Soft-Touch Palm Rest and Full-Size Key Layout for Enhanced Comfort 
The soft-touch palm rest provides extra support and can help reduce fatigue, and the full-size key layout helps you type comfortably--even after extended use.

Instant Access to Your Music, the Internet, and More 
Convenient one-touch controls for volume and media playback are easily within reach.

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard

I needed a new keyboard for my laptop computer docking station when the old one died. I use an HP laptop, and I really don't like mushy laptop keys, even though they are "full size". I used to often buy OEM style large keyboards. However, the quality of the simplest keyboards (no gadgets) has decreased in recent years. To get quality, you have to buy the more expensive keyboards. But having issues with my laptop keyboard, I was very skeptical about buying a keyboard advertised as being like a laptop. However, when I looked at top of the line keyboards at BestBuy, a few things struck me. 

First, many keyboards are wireless today. I have owned wireless keyboards for my other PC's, and I never find them as responsive as I would like. Wireless mice are fine and quite an improvement, but what's the point of a wireless keyboard? It's supposed to sit on your desk and not move. A mouse moves, so no wire is good. For the keyboard, I found wireless models tend to lose keys in my RF interference heavy office environment. 

Second, the best keyboards (best key action) are tricked out gaming keyboards or multimedia keyboards. Gaming keyboards have so many special keys that I have no use for, and also have LCD displays to show you your hitpoints. These would be cool if I could customize the LCD with stock quotes or the weather, but no such thing exists. Multimedia keyboards give me hotkeys for e-mail, volume control, etc. You have to install all these new drivers, get everything working, and I never end up using them. I want a simple keyboard like a $10 OEM, but I want the key action of an expensive gaming keyboard. 

Third, many top keyboards are just odd "ergonomic" shapes. I just want a normal keyboard, designed for the pure joy of typing.

Fourth, illuminated sounded intriguing, but the ones I saw before were uneven, were weird colors, and mostly were gaming keyboards (see above). 

Logitech got it 100% right with the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard

Why do I like it? 
1) Keys are literally a joy to push. They are not big chunky keys like old style keyboards, but are also not mushy like my laptop. I find they have a perfect travel and really satisfying click to make me type really fast, but still be able to tell the difference between keys with touch. I can't exactly explain it, but you will be able to tell as soon as you sit down and start to type. I've never felt like a keyboard manufacturer got it quite so right until I tried this keyboard. 

2) Wrist pad is perfect. Not one of those big cushions that gets gross with wrist sweat and is too soft. This is what I've been wanting---soft surface (not hard plastic), but not "stuffed". 

3) It's wired! Thank you for making a high end keyboard that is not wireless! 

4) It looks cool on my desk..... 

5) Illuminated was not a requirement, but I have noticed that the letters have worn off my old keyboards, and since I have had an illuminated keyboard, I have appreciated it for quickly finding my bearings (although I do touch type). My only nitpick is that the illumination is not 100% smooth (and the F keys are not illuminated). However, it's the best illuminated keyboard I have seen. Plus, it's white, which is exactly what I wanted. 

All in all, I'd say it's worth every penny if you spend any appreciable amount of time at your computer. I type faster, more comfortably, and more accurately. What else could I want from a keyboard? Amazing that with the dozens of keyboards available, this is the only one I've found that finally got it right.

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Review

The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard (LIK) is the latest premium keyboard offered by the long-time peripheral maker. Logitech touts cutting-edge design with first-class comfort and control. The primary feature of course is provided in the name of the keyboard. Laser-etched illuminated keys set this keyboard apart from the standard keyboards of today. 

- 3-levels of illumination 
- Extremely thin 
- Stylish looks 
- Reasonably comfortable 
- Uncluttered key layout 
- Quality construction 
- 3 year warranty 

- Small palm rest 
- Some keys not fully lit 
- F keys not lit at all 

The first thing I noticed when I received the shipping box was how thin and light the Logitech packaging was to the LIK. Upon opening the outside box and sliding the inner box out, I immediately noticed the deep black cardboard boxing. Nearly all keyboards I have ever unboxed, have either had a white or brown OEM-type box. The black cardboard box reminded me a little of how iPods and other premium accessories are being packaged these days. 

Installing the LIK was a breeze. I just plugged it into a free USB port directly to my PC. Within a couple of minutes, my PC recognized the new peripheral and the keyboard lit up brightly. I went to the Logitech website and installed the latest SetPoint software (4.60), which incidentally was the version in the included CD-ROM. 

The key layout is pretty much what Logitech has been using for their keyboards of late. The DELETE key is oversized and takes up vertically what normally is the DELETE and INSERT keys. The INSERT key is now located above the DELETE key, in the F1-F12 row, where usually the PRINT SCRN key normally lies. This takes a little getting used to but it's not a big deal, for me anyways. It should be noted that in order to make this keyboard as thin as it is, 9.3mm, Logitech used keys like that of a laptop. If you find typing on laptop keyboards uncomfortable, you may not like this keyboard. The feedback is about as good as the best laptop keyboards I've used, including Dell Inspiron and IBM Thinkpads. They are quiet too, as most laptop keyboards tend to be. All the keys are flat, except the space bar row. The space bar row of keys, including the CTRL, Window key, ALT, and FN keys are rounded at the top. I guess this may make the keys feel larger so that they are easier to press. I found using the CTRL key to be a bit slippery and somewhat easy to miss without looking down. But if I did have to look down, it would be very easy for me to find the keys, even in the dark. 

The main selling point of this keyboard for me was the illumination. There are several options for people looking for illuminated keyboards, but most are gaming keyboards with lots of features and macros that the average user does not need. The only actual extra keys on the LIK are above the keypad - Mute, Volume Down/Up, and the backlight control. The F1-F12 row also double as shortcut keys with the use of the FN key located between the ALT and CTRL keys on the right side of the space bar. It is nice to have the minimalistic layout and still have the option to have shortcuts with the press of one additional key. Still, I do miss the one press calculator button. Most of the keyboard is lit white while the F1-F12 row's shortcut icons are lit orange. The F1-F12 characters are not actually lit however. I'm not sure why it would have been difficult to have them lit as well, but since they are laid out in 3 groups of 4, I know which F-keys are which. Many illuminated keyboards have a problem with the keys not actually being lit up very well. Compared to those I've seen, the LIK is very good. Remember that just the characters are lit, not the keys themselves. A very faint light also surrounds each key so you recognize the borders of each key. I did notice however that the ENTER key, left SHIFT key and the CAPS LOCK keys are not lit solid like most of the rest of the keyboard. A dim bulb or improper placement? I'm not sure, but you can still see those keys just fine. The characters etched into the keys are GINORMOUS. They are many times the size of other normal keyboards, which make them even easier to see with the backlighting. The backlight control key allows you to switch between 3 different levels of lighting or to turn the backlighting off altogether. 

I want to mention also that I have not had any issues with the phantom key blocking that a reviewer mentioned and demonstrated by video. Which is not to say that the key blocking does not exist. But from what I understand, nearly all modern keyboards use phantom key blocking as a feature to prevent phantom input. And yes, there is a drawback when certain key combinations are pressed, you must lift one of the depressed keys in order for the next key to register. I type between 70-85WPM on average. Maybe I'm not a fast enough typist but I tried typing the problem combinations as fast as I possibly could and did not once register a problem. I read a few professional reviews online and did not see a mention at all of key blocking being different on this keyboard compared to others. I used keyscan and can verify that the blocking combinations that the other reviewer found do exist but they did not cause any errors for me. I can't see this being an issue for a majority of users personally. I wrote this entire review with it and I intend to keep it. 

The palm rest is nice and soft, but not in the least cushy. I'm used to the soft cushioned, leatherette-type palm rest on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000. Also, the palm rest on the LIK is not nearly large enough to allow my entire palm to rest on it. My hands are small so I can imagine someone with larger hands finding the palm rest useless. 

The LIK was a very expensive for a non-gaming, corded keyboard. It's now a fantastic bargain. If you're looking for an illuminated keyboard, don't mind the laptop-style keys or even prefer them, and find a simple design without the clutter of extra keys appealing, this might just be the keyboard for you. The palm rest and lack of backlighting on F keys, plus the few keys which were not fully lit, kept me from giving the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard 5 stars. I do consider it a solid 4.5 though and is my new desktop keyboard of choice. 

** UPDATE 01/13/2010 ** 
The keyboard is still going strong with no problems. No stuck or failed keys. The illumination still shines brightly. I often browse new peripherals to see if something better has come along but I have not been tempted in the least to look at other keyboards since I received the LIK. I did find an instance of keyblocking that finally started to annoy me. "Mine" I play Warcraft III (yes, still) on occasion and whenever I type "mine" to a teammate, I just get "min." Other than that, it's still my favorite keyboard. 

** UPDATE 11/27/2010 ** 
I am still loving the LIK. No problems. Also, there have been some fantastic deals of late and I've been tempted to pick up a spare. There have been a few other illuminated keyboards released of late to compete with the LIK, including Logitech's own wireless version. I still feel the LIK is the best however.