Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 Review

Updated 25 Jan 2014

I recently ordered another Logitech K760 from Amazon and the difference between the two units is striking. I'm not sure if they changed their manufacturing process or if my previous keyboard was a lemon. Either way the keys have a completely different texture and feel much more solid. From a typing feel perspective this new device compares respectably to the Apple wireless and I highly recommend grabbing one before they disappear.

My Original Review

I've been using the new Logitech K760 for three days now and I must admit to being both impressed and disappointed at the same time. While the build quality leaves something to be desired, the ability to pair with, and switch seamlessly between, multiple devices; together with the solar charging functionality; is a very tempting combination.

Before switching to the K760 I was using an Apple aluminum wireless keyboard and before that a Das Model S Professional for Mac. While these two keyboards are about as different as any two you can find, they are both the best I've used in their respective classes. The Das keyboard uses high quality mechanical switches to provide a tactile, if audible, experience. The Apple wireless keyboard is unobtrusive on the desktop and has both a comfortable feel and the best build quality of any keyboard I've used. Both are designed for use with a Mac and have all the requisite function keys.

While they're both great in many ways, even these devices have their disadvantages. The Das keyboard is a battleship of a device and takes up desktop space like Apple snaps up industry profits. It also requires an open USB port, two if you want to provide power to the built-in USB hub. Personally I've never been a big fan of having multiple cables hanging off my keyboard. The Apple keyboard has a softer feel and requires two AA batteries to function (three if you have an older model like I do). Good quality rechargeable batteries makes this less of an hassle but it's still something else to have to manage. That's not to mention that as someone who uses both a wireless mouse and trackpad, the ratio of batteries required by my devices to available charger capacity has become nearly two to one.

This brings us to the K760's biggest selling point: solar power. The K760 has a strip of photo cells across the top that turn light into electricity to recharge its internal batteries. Don't let the word solar fool you either. The keyboard functions perfectly well under heavy use with just the partial light of a desk lamp for much of the day. It's impressive, and I hope, just the first of its kind.

The other headline feature of the K760 is its ability to pair with, and switch between, up to three separate bluetooth devices. Pairing the keyboard is a simple process. Press a small button on the bottom to initiate pairing and select one of three special function keys devoted to device switching. At this point the keyboard will be discoverable to any bluetooth devices in the vicinity. Once paired, pressing the corresponding function key will disconnect the current connection and pair with the new device. This means you can switch seamlessly between typing on your Mac, iPad or iPhone. It's useful, and it works well. Switching connections takes seconds and is, in my experience so far, very reliable. The keyboard also features a couple of function keys specifically for iOS devices. The F5 function acts as the home button and the eject key enables and disables the virtual keyboard. This leaves the K760 a few functions short of the Apple wireless keyboard however, so if you can't live without the previous and next track buttons, you might want to look elsewhere.

Unfortunately, after so much praise, we're left with the most disappointing aspect of the K760. Far from being formed from a solid piece of aluminum, the Logitech K760 is metal-flake plastic with a glued-on plastic underside. It's not completely unattractive. It's functional. But it's cheap feeling. The seams don't match up very well and the keys sit off center in their slots. It's the kind of little things that will only bug some people. But it will bug you if you're anything like me.

Somewhere in-between the pros and cons lies the actual feel of the keyboard. The key layout is identical to the Apple wireless keyboard and the spacing is similar as well. The keycaps are slightly concave, a feature that in my opinion adds virtually nothing to the experience. The keys themselves have a satisfying snap but an annoying “clicky-ness”, not from expensive mechanical switches, but from plastic hitting plastic. Resting your fingers on the keys results in a series of sounds not unlike bugs scurrying across a hard surface.

In the end the Logitech K760 is a mixed bag of exceptional ideas, good execution and middling construction. I would likely pay twice the price for a keyboard with the same features and a superior build quality. For now, while the solar charging and ability to connect to multiple devices is keeping it on my desk, I occasionally catch myself eyeing my old Apple wireless keyboard. Here's hoping either Logitech realizes there's a market for premium peripherals or Apple steals the best aspects of this device for their next model.

You can buy the Logitech K760 from Amazon (and I get a little kick-back if you use this link).

"Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 Review" was originally published on 15 Dec 2012.