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Illuminated (back-lit) keyboards are usually associated with gaming, but Logitech’s Illuminated Keyboard is simply for those who want an agreeable typing experience on a nicely designed keyboard. If you like to work in a dark environment, having a backlit keyboard is convenient. It’s not mandatory by any means, but it makes typing a little easier – especially for those who have to look at the keys from time to time, like I do. And with a name like “PerfectStroke Key System”, Logitech is setting the expectations a little high. So, does the keyboard live up to the hype?

It might help you to know where I come from (keyboard-wise): I used to like the big IBM mechanical keyboards (in the 90s), but years ago (2004), I switched to the Logitech ultra-thin keyboard that has a laptop feel (available in OEM only). Then I switched to the Apple ultra-flat (aluminum) keyboard. I tend to dislike ergonomic keyboards, probably because I never learned to type properly, so I’m not placing my hands the way ergonomic keyboards were designed for.

The soul of the keyboard

Let’s cut to the chase: is this keyboard good? Hell yes! I was first attracted by it because of its design, but after trying it, I immediately liked Logitech’s PerfectStroke Key System. The key touch is smooth and just as Logitech says, the travel length is 50% longer when compared to a typical laptop keyboard and certainly much longer than the Apple flat keyboard. Finally and thankfully, Logitech has decided to use a *standard* layout for the directional keys (arrows), the “home” and “end” buttons. I really dislike the layout found on other keyboards from the brand.

Physical Design

This is the best looking keyboard from Logitech, period. The consistency of the light intensity is surprising (I owned a few of these), it basically comes down to using more LED lights, better plastics and in the end, making a product a little more expensive, but it shows. The overall quality of the material and finishes is great. The thin transparent edge gives it a classy look that is reminiscent of the high-end flat televisions. There are four levels of lighting, so under no circumstances the keyboard lighting should be too bright.

Conclusion

I think that the Logitech Illuminated keyboard is an excellent, comfortable, keyboard. The PerfectStroke Key System has good mechanical properties and is comfortable to use in general. I would have personally preferred a shorter key travel (I type faster with a shorter travel), but you’ll have to try for yourself – it is smooth. In the future, there a few things that Logitech could do to make it even better: go wireless, make it smaller (in width, height), less expensive and… use aluminum?

Specifications

  • 18.03 x 7.56 x 0.37″
  • 2.2lbs
  • USB connection
  • Windows XP/Vista compatible
  • 3-year warranty
  • $80

Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about keyboards and Logitech.

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