It’s funny, but for a company that ships products in emerald-tinged boxes, I’m surprised its taken Logitech this long to go ‘green’. In case you haven’t noticed, saving the planet and helping combat the evils of climate-change has become the latest trend in many of today’s most popular electronic brands, and with varying degrees of success (and honesty). But it seems that Logitech has indeed gone the extra (green) mile by releasing a wireless keyboard that feeds on light and promises you’ll have a never-ending supply of energy from our beloved yellow sun. The Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is here for a happier and more battery-free life, and while it may reduce your carbon footprint by a few inches, is it worth your time?
Logitech keeps things simple with the K750, as you won’t get more than than keyboard itself, Unifying USB micro-dongle, small USB extender adapter, and a cleaning cloth to help keep its solar panels clean from smudges. Installation is as easy as snapping in the Unifying receiver, the micro-USB dongle that allows multiple (Logitech) peripherals to share a single USB 2.0 port for extra keyboards and mice. You’ll want to download and install the necessary Solar app (see below) to help keep you informed when a recharge is necessary, but other than that, it’s all plug ‘n play.
The keyboard itself is a pretty slick piece of hardware that’s housed inside an astonishingly skinny 1/3″ profile, with a shiny glossy exterior and is light enough to easily move about. The keys themselves have a nice concave texture that looks great and are whisper-quiet when clicked, and sport the same spread out design that’s fast becoming the new standard in today’s typing world. A power-button near the top-right helps conserve precious energy, and everything is tied together with an attractive white trim that frames its outside quite nicely. If there’s any problem with the build, it would be the flimsy plastic kickstands that protrude out of the bottom to help give it an added incline boost; they almost feel like they could snap at any moment.
The biggest difference in its appearance comes from the two solar displays that are located on the top left and right corners on the surface, as these are what ‘powers’ the keyboard itself. Similar to calculators made since 1981, by exposing them to sunlight-rich areas (or adequate room lighting) they’ll keep your keyboard fully-powered and ready to work up to three months continually. Well, that’s the idea, anyway, as it was impossible to test this ambitious goal during my brief testing time. Two condition ‘faces’ icons show you if your current lighting conditions are adequate for charging (happy face for yes, frowning for no), and the Solar button lets you check your current status power by using Logitech’s own downloadable Solar App (on Windows) that displays how much power is left; pretty crafty of them to shift what might have been a power-gobbling feature to the computer itself.
Its solar-powered battery life may be excellent, but they’ve had to trim down the features, size, and even build quality to get such earthy performance from it. Apart from the usual secondary Function key hotkeys (mail, volume, calculator, etc.), the feature-set is pretty threadbare, meaning you won’t have access to one-button media or other programmable perks. Also, the keyboard may work with Apple’s Mac computers, but some critical keys will be mix-matched, and the necessary Solar app is currently Windows-only.
Also, its laptop-style keys won’t be for everyone, as they don’t employ Logitech’s own PerfectStroke system, meaning that while typing is a relatively smooth experience, those seeking a sturdier build and the fastest-possible typing speed may favor something else. Hardcore gamers (and typists) should probably stick to Logitech’s feature-rich Wireless Keyboard K350 instead, as what it lacks in earth-friendly solar goodness and style it more than makes up for in functionality.
If the thought of ditching batteries entirely or slightly reducing your carbon footprint sounds like a good deal, than you might want to give Logitech’s Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 a try. I’m certainly not the ‘greenest’ person out there, but I’ve actually grown to love its attractively thin appearance, comfortable form, and not having to change batteries – plus using a single USB dongle – have all really helped simplify my workspace quite a bit. Still, its laptop-style keys and lack of features won’t be for everyone, and heavy users may want to seek their keyboard duties elsewhere. Regardless, if future-proofing your electronic footprint for a nicer-looking and cleaner tomorrow, you’ll probably want to pick one up.
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