On the surface, there isn’t much to distinguish the K250 Wireless Keyboard from any number of wireless keyboards, as it packs the basic and most essential functions of most barebones Windows-centric keyboards into a fully wireless option for those looking to cut the wires without breaking the bank. Pick one up and you’ll get a full-sized QWERTY-style keyboard, complete with number pad and some bonus media-ready hotkey buttons in one of the most compact, lightest wireless packages currently available. Logitech’s done a good job trying to balance the needs of your typing duties with the needs of your pocketbook, and that attention definitely deserves a closer look.
As with all of Logitech’s recent wireless products tied to their Unifying receiver platform, setting up the K250 was literally a snap – just plug the itty-bitty micro-USB dongle into a spare port and you’re good to go on any Windows system (XP – 7), as well as Mac and Linux operating-systems. Yes, having to rely on a single ‘unifying’ dongle for all your wireless keyboard and mice options may marry you into the family of Logitech, but that’s really a small price to pay for such a fast and relatively hassle-free 2.4 GHz setup that eliminates the need for USB-stealing dongles.
There have been some reports of some hardware, specifically other members of the Unifying receiver family, not playing nice with the K250 out-of-the box, which I wasn’t able to verify for myself. But I do know that Logitech offers a free software download on their website to help sort out whatever kinks a fully-connected ‘family’ of devices means.
Powering the keyboard are two AAA batteries (included), which Logitech promises will work up to 15 months (or two million keystrokes). I would have preferred to see AA batteries instead, or even a micro-USB charging option, but if the extended battery-life even comes close to what they’re promising I think I can live with them.
As I mentioned above the keyboard is light – almost featherweight. My first thought was about how cheap and flimsy it felt, but after spending some quality time with it I realized how wrong I was. Flimsy, yes, but most definitely not cheap. Also, the left and right sides feature Logitech’s rock ‘n roll inspired Dark Fleur pattern, which is part of the company’s own Dark Fantasy series of designs and colors. Whether you’ll appreciate these little flourishes is entirely up to your own sense and sensibilities when it comes to graffiti-inspired artwork, but it’s definitely modern and looks nice to my eyeballs.
Don’t expect much in the way of thrills and frills with the K250 Wireless Keyboard, as its design seems based on Logitech’s more budget-conscious designs, specifically the ultra-cheap K120 (a personal favorite), though I found the K250’s keys a bit softer and incredibly silent, and featured incredibly smooth clicks and a response time – neither which you’d normally associate with a budget keyboard, wireless or otherwise. True, the butter-smooth keystrokes of Logitech’s exquisite PerfectStroke system (like those featured on the K800) is missing, but so is the higher-price tag you’ll usually find on those premium keyboards. For its relatively low price, I found the compromise between luxury and functionality a satisfactory one, and definitely worth a look to fellow aggressive typists out there.
It seems Logitech couldn’t resist sneaking just a little bit of media controls into the K250, as a few of the most basic music functions (volume adjust/mute, forward/back, play/pause) join browsing functions (internet browser, email, search) and even calculator hot-keys via the new Function key (which replaces the second Windows key to the right of the spacebar). The dedicated right-click menu button is missing, as are lights for the Caps/Number lock (presumably to conserve battery life).
My only real issues with its design come from the two plastic stands which can be flipped out to increase its incline slightly, as they just feel cheap and flimsy, adding a slight unnecessary wobble when in use. I think most users may actually prefer to use the K250 laying flat and supported by its five smaller rubber circular bumpers instead, as its rock-steady and stable enough for even the most intense key-pounding sessions.
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