The Apple Wireless Keyboard is a great piece of kit. Arguably one of the best keyboards to type on for extended periods of time, while also looking great and taking up a minimal amount of your desktop real estate. But if you use Apple’s keyboard all day, every day, you’ll find yourself ploughing through a significant amount of AA batteries.
Of course you could use rechargeable batteries, or rechargeable packs, but the first option requires a spare set of batteries to be continually charging, while in my experience, the latter devices simply don’t work that well. What you really need is a wireless keyboard that doesn’t need batteries at all. And that’s exactly what Logitech has brought to the table – or should that be desk?
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 is a wireless keyboard designed for Apple users. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth and can be paired with three different devices – that means that you can switch from typing on your MacBook Pro to typing on your iPad by simply hitting the corresponding Bluetooth selector button on the top row.
Aesthetically the K760 looks similar to the Apple keyboard, fitting in well when placed between a MacBook Pro and Apple Magic Trackpad. The big visual difference is the large solar panel that’s set above the top row of keys, but rather than spoil the keyboard’s appearance it enhances it, making it look that bit more special.
Of course it’s that solar panel that does, indeed, make the K760 special, because that’s the reason you’ll never have to buy a single battery for this keyboard. The K760 is completely solar powered, and before you start to worry about the depressing lack of sun in the UK, it will happily charge itself via indoor lighting too. And once fully charged the K760 can run for three months in total darkness – although the lack of keyboard backlight might make that a little tricky.
The K760 sits a little higher than the Apple Wireless Keyboard, but not uncomfortably so. You can still rest the heels of your hands on the desk while you type without any RSI-inducing angles necessary.
The keys are isolated, just like on the Apple device, but they’re more concave which draws your fingertip to the centre of each key as it’s struck. There’s a surprising amount of key travel and a solid spring back at the end of that travel. The only downside being that the generous travel leaves the keys feeling and sounding slightly rattly. That doesn’t affect the rate of typing or compromise the performance, but it does make the K760 feel less solid and well built than the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
Logitech has tried to ensure that some of the most useful Apple shortcut keys are present on the K760. You’ve got dedicated keys for brightness, Mission Control, volume and mute. However, despite having a dedicated play/pause key on the top row, the skip forward and backward keys are conspicuous by their absence.
The rest of the layout is exactly what you’d expect and want from a keyboard aimed at Apple users, with cmd keys where you want them and an eject key nestling next to the volume controls. In the top right corner you’ll also find a power switch, so you can make sure that the K760 isn’t running down its power reserve when it’s alone in the dark.
Few would argue that the Apple Wireless Keyboard is an expensive option, but if you baulk at that price, you’ll be even more horrified at the price of the K760 since at £69.99 it’s £13 more expensive than Apple’s keyboard. That said, you’ll make up that price difference by not having to buy batteries, ever.
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 solves the frustrating issue of running out of battery power when you’re working. Put simply, you’ll never run out of power with this keyboard as long as the sun is shining and we have lights in our homes and offices.
From a usage perspective, the K760 isn’t as good to type on as the Apple alternative, and the keys have a slightly annoying rattle to them when typing at speed. There are also a couple of useful keys missing, especially if you listen to music while you work.
On the whole though, the fact that you’ll never need to worry about batteries is compelling, as is the ability to connect the keyboard to three different devices at the touch of a button. The price is a bit steep, but when you look at the TCO, the K760 will pay for itself in the long run.