The mouse and keyboard are two of the most overlooked accessories when building a computer; and while a better mouse will not let your CPU post higher, it will certainly make your computing experience much more worthwhile. Logitech has successfully gotten its company name recognized among all computer enthusiasts as well as the vast majority of the rest of the computer industry with its products. And so, today on the OCA grill, we have from Logitech, their best; the Cordless Elite Duo mouse and keyboard combo.
Intro The mouse and keyboard are two of the most overlooked accessories when building a computer; and while a better mouse will not let your CPU post higher, it will certainly make your computing experience much more worthwhile. Logitech has successfully gotten its company name recognized among all computer enthusiasts as well as the vast majority of the rest of the computer industry with its products. And so, today on the OCA grill, we have from Logitech, their best; the Cordless Elite Duo mouse and keyboard combo.
Package Contents Within the box come the following:
Logitech Cordless Elite Keyboard
Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical
Compact USB/PS/2 RF receiver
USB to PS/2 adaptor
4 AA batteries
CD with software, comfort guidelines, and User's Guide
5-Year limited hardware warranty
There are three main areas to look at when critiquing peripherals like mice and keyboards: appearance, functionality, and feel/quality. We will first take a look at the Elite Duo's looks.
Appearance My first impressions were "WOW." Black and silver, flat and round, smooth and sleek. What could be better to match my black LCD and case? It was definitely an improvement over my previous setup. Here it is:
In comparison to my corded Dell QuietKey keyboard, Logitech's Elite keyboard certainly has a much more unique design; very inviting for the regular typist. Even with all the functions at the top of the keyboard, Logitech manages to keep the design very small, unlike some of those "internet" keyboards out there. The keyboard also comes with a wrist attachment, which I did not use.
The mouse that comes in the combo is also known as the Cordless MouseMan Optical. For a comparison in size, I have included the IntelliMouse Optical.
Here are two shots of the RF receiver. For a comparison in size, I have a 6in1 memory card reader which measures 4 x 2 inches.
Overall appearance assessment? This combo looks damn fine, and I'll leave it at that.
Functionality The reason behind Logitech's naming of the keyboard "elite," is the superior functions the keyboard boasts in comparison to Logitech's other keyboards, or any other manufacturer's keyboard for that matter. Perhaps the greatest quality in this duo that should be the deciding factor in purchasing one, is the simple fact that it is cordless. It is however, important to remember that not all wireless peripherals are created equal! With both the keyboard and mouse, I was able to take approximately 25 steps away from the receiver and still maintain connectivity. That's at least 20 feet away. I was also able to control my computer from a different room, showing the fruits of Logitech's smart decision in using RF (radio) technology instead of infrared. The whole package operates on Logitech's Palomar technology, which uses a low cost, low power frequency (27 MHz). This combo's "cordless ability," needless to say, is superb.
The entire combo requires an open PS/2 mouse port and either a USB port or PS/2 keyboard port. It comes with a USB-PS/2 converter; and the manual suggests using PS/2 ports over USB ports when possible. Connecting the setup is really easy (plug and play) and the software cd installs without a hitch.
Now we have those "onboard" features. Here's a shot of the keyboard again, but with special features boxed.
A - Windows/Mac support |B - iNav| C- F-Functions |D - iTouch Keys |E - Multimedia Keys
A - Windows/Mac support
As you can see, this keyboard supports both Windows and Mac OS X. If you're Applephobic, you are now warned. =)
B - iNav
At the left side of the keyboard is this iNav scroll wheel and two buttons.
The wheel works the same way as a wheel on any mouse (works as a button too). The upper button works as a back button while the lower pops up a window allowing you to type in the url which you want to "go" to.
To be frank, I would never use this iNav nor do I see any benefit to doing so after using my mouse wheel for so long. Perhaps the onlybenefit is the ability to scroll through word documents and type at the same time without having your hand switch between keyboard and mouse, although this is a bit farfetched.
One of the many features on this keyboard is F-Lock. With the push of the F-Lock button, the entire top row of F buttons become one touch "shortcuts." Pushing the F-Lock button again returns the F keys to their normal F1-12 states.
What Logitech has decided to do is print its F-Lock functions on the tops of keys themselves, and print F1 through F12 on the sides. The functions can be reassigned, but with the default functions already printed on the keyboard, that may not be of best interest. As an experienced computer user, these functions are totally useless, but maybe for grandma, these buttons may actually serve a purpose.
D - iTouch Keys
There are two sets of iTouch keys on each side of the keyboard. On the left there is: user, F-Lock, E-Mail, Messenger, Webcam. On the right there is iTouch, Search, Shopping, Favorites, and My Home.
The user button logs off the current user. Everything else is relatively self explanatory. Straight off the box, the buttons on the left are for communicating - "one touch access to your email, instant messenger, and webcam" while the buttons on the right are for working - "quickly access your files, pictures, music, and the internet."
Again, the more old-fashioned, experienced computer user may never use these buttons while someone else might take full advantage of them. All these buttons can be reassigned with Logitech's iTouch software.
E - Multimedia Keys
The multimedia keys are what I believe to be the keyboard's most useful feature. The Media key opens a menu with a list of multimedia apps installed; all of which are detected automatically. The mute button is genius. The volume wheel works as expected; no longer do you have to click the little volume icon in your system tray. And of course there are previous, next, play/pause, and stop buttons, which work for any active multimedia application.
To some, the functions on this keyboard may seem a little unnecessary. But in order to be elite, you need to have everything don't you? This keyboard achieves just that.
The mouse on the other hand, is very simple and has no added features over any other optical wireless mouse. It consists of three buttons (one thumb) and wheel. Although the mouse looks to be shaped awkwardly, it is designed to fit both right hand and left hand users comfortably.
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