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Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac

31 December 2011 Leave a comment

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For my birthday, I added to my arsenal of solar-powered products Logitech’s Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac.  I had seen the Windows edition several months prior, and was glad to see that Logitech (a company who has developed products for the Mac, even during the bad-old-days of the mid-90s) produced a Mac-specific version of this keyboard.

My primary interest in this product was due to the solar panels.  They pretty much look like enlarged versions of the solar panels found on small calculators, but they certainly perform the job, even in low light conditions.  It doesn’t take much light to keep this keyboard charged.  The companion Solar App is pretty clever and can be launched by pressing a special key on the keyboard to launch the application, which will display the charge of the battery and how much light the keyboard is receiving.  Mac OS 10.6 and 10.7 users can get the free Solar App through the Mac App Store.  The Solar App can also be downloaded directly from Logitech’s website for those with an older version of Mac OS X.

The tactile feel of the keyboard is on par with the current Apple chiclet-style keyboards.  It has a decent feel, better than the older PowerBook and iBook keyboards, but nowhere nearly as satisfying as the satisfying “click” that I receive on my main keyboard: the Matias Tactile Pro 3.  However, the keys are fairly quiet, which is more office-friendly than the much louder Tactile Pro.

The keyboard is amazingly thin, yet it feels quite sturdy, even though it is not made out of metal.  The two flip-out feet also keep the keyboard solid while typing.

One concern I had was whether or not this computer would be able to send commands to the computer as it is booting (such as holding down the Alt/Option key).  Fortunately, this does work, so if you have more than one operating system set up on your Mac (such as a dual-boot between Mac OS and Windows), this will work.  Brownie points earned for the Logitech team for ensuring that important feature was present.

The keyboard communicates with the host computer with a small USB dongle which connects to the computer.  The dongle is fairly small and unobtrusive, which I’ve seen before with another Logitech mouse, but since this is a keyboard intended for the Mac, this brings up the question.  WHY DOESN’T THE KEYBOARD USE BLUETOOTH?!! Practically every Apple computer since Who-Knows-When has used Bluetooth.  Since this keyboard is intended to be used with Macs, why not have use Bluetooth instead of this proprietary USB dongle which takes up an extra USB port?  Also, if this keyboard used Bluetooth, it perhaps could be paired up with an iPad, which would have greatly increased the usefulness of this product.  If power consumption is an issue with Bluetooth, perhaps Logitech may consider Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a new feature in Bluetooth 4.0.  Considering that Logitech does make a keyboard for the iPad, it is curious that they did not decide to use Bluetooth for the K750.

However, there is one positive point for using the USB dongle — this keyboard will also work with older Macs which don’t include Bluetooth.  I tried using the K750 with a Gigabit PowerMac G4 under OS 9.2, and it worked without any additional drivers needing to be installed.

If you are looking for a new keyboard for your Mac, the K750 is a decent choice for a replacement.  The key feature is generating power through solar energy, but the lack of Bluetooth is a major detractor of this keyboard.  For the time being, the K750 will serve as a back up keyboard for my purposes.

Pros

  • Made for Mac
  • Works in low light
  • Companion software is a nice addition
  • Works when holding down the Alt-Option button at start up
  • Works on old Macs
  • Thin and sturdy

Cons

  • No Bluetooth support
  • Still no Bluetooth support
  • Requires USB dongle

Details

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Categories: K750, Solar