Reviewed: January 28, 2007
Type: Laser Mouse / RF Keyboard
I am pretty set in my ways. I’ve had the same Microsoft keyboard and mouse for almost 10 years. They are nothing fancy. They have a basic button set with a volume control. I learned how to use the shortcuts in all the Adobe products on this keyboard. It works and I know how to use it to best handle big jobs in Photoshop. I know this keyboard well and it has served me faithfully.
So why would I even consider trying a different keyboard? Because my editor told me that change is good. He got my cooperation when I had over 2000 vacation photos to edit and I saw the programmable function keys on the new Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 Laser.
Installation - 10
Installation was a breeze. Windows XP immediately recognized the USB receiver and installed the driver for basic mouse functions. If you want full functionality you must install the Setpoint software control panel (highly recommended) from the included CD-ROM. It took just a few minutes to have everything installed and running. It loads in the system tray every time you start your computer.
Aesthetics - 9
The keyboard and mouse are black with silver trim. The keyboard has an integrated soft-touch palm rest. The base key layout is fairly standard, with the exception of the arrows and home, end, delete, and page up, page down keys. They are offset slightly to the left of the normal location, party to accommodate a large delete key. They layout takes a little getting used to, but it’s a quick adjustment.
The only downside to the keyboard is the keys on the sides are a little too accessible. It is a wireless device, so if you want to take it over to your couch, be very careful where you grab it. The left side has 5 keys for editing photos and the right side has 5 keys for music. An ill chosen grab-point might rotate a photo or do some other unintentional damage.
The mouse has rubber side grips and some additional functions. The scroll wheel also tilts for document flip. There are two buttons below the wheel for page forward and page back. The mouse is a little narrower than a standard mouse, but it actually felt better in my hand. The back of the mouse is a bit heavier than normal due to the battery compartment.
Durability - 9
Both the keyboard and mouse feel a little lighter than the standard devices, and most of the weight is in the AA batteries. Both units are sleek and well constructed. The keyboard was designed to be spill resistant – the keys are a bit snugger than a standard keyboard to resist crumbs from making a mess beneath the keys… and crumbs will show up. The black keys really brought out the consequences of my late night eating habits at the computer. Both keyboard and mouse are covered by Logitech’s 5-year product warranty.
Performance - 8
I’m a photographer so I spend a lot of time in Photoshop. It’s just the nature of the beast. My last major photo shoot was in Montana and I came back with over 2,300 pictures to view and edit. That takes a lot of time when you’re doing color corrections and all kinds of little trickery to make an image marketable. It’s just a couple clicks away to do most functions, but with over 2,000 photos, a surprising amount of time adds up being spent clicking on menus to get to a function nested 2 levels down the menu tree. You get used to it but it’s still an incredible waste of time when doing a lot of photos.
Now I have the Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 cordless keyboard and laser mouse and life is good. VERY good. It took just a few minutes to get a simple sequence of keystrokes programmed into the SetPoint control panel and assigned to one of the programmable keys. Depending on your version of Photoshop, it may take a little tweaking, but once you have it set, you will quickly wonder how you lived without this beauty.
When I started getting tired of editing photos I’d go for a walk and come back for a quick game of Unreal Tournament. For a keyboard and mouse that are designed for music and photo editing, this does a nice job with games too. The control panel has a special tab for games. It will prevent games from hijacking the mouse settings so you can keep your normal settings. With the same accuracy as I saw while editing in Photoshop, this mouse had precise control and even the accuracy of the scroll wheel was amazing compared to my old mouse.
This keyboard is also built for music. There are 5 keys on the right side of the keyboard specific for your favorite player. The top launch button will start your default music player. There’s also a shuffle key with skip/ff and play/stop keys. Additionally the top of the keyboard has system sound controls for volume up/down and mute. All keys worked flawlessly with MusicMatch and Windows Media Player.
The main function keys are pre-programmed for specific uses. You hold down the special orange FN key and press the function key to launch the associated task. By default F1 launches Microsoft Word, F2 Excel, F3 your Calendar, F4 the calculator, etc. These can all be reprogrammed in the SetPoint control panel. You can program them to open a web page, launch a program, open a file or folder, execute a specific sequence of keystrokes, and you can even design a custom menu to popup.
Another added feature is an on-screen indicator when you press a key such as CAPS LOCK or NUM LOCK. There are also special keys for checking the battery, VoIP, and the usual Windows start key (which functions as a DocFlip control in Windows Vista).
This mouse and keyboard were designed to hit a several target markets. As usual when taking a broad approach, Logitech does them all fairly well, but not great. It does a decent job with games, but this isn’t a gaming keyboard. The placement of the programmable keys isn’t convenient for gamers. The mouse, while incredibly accurate, does not have side buttons. But for the casual user, the Logitech LX710 does the trick.
Value - 9
As a small business owner, I hesitate to spend a penny more than what’s needed. Anything more is throwing away profit. A basic keyboard will do the job. But the time saved by having programmable function keys and buttons is worth the price for this keyboard. I wouldn’t get a keyboard just because it feels nice, but this does feel nice. The palm rest and keys have a comfortable feel and the mouse fits naturally in my hand.
I would never have thought I’d say this, but if you spend a lot of time editing photos or play an occasional game with repetitive keystrokes, do yourself a favor and get this keyboard and mouse. You won’t regret it.
Overall – 9
I was always happy and content with my trusty old Microsoft keyboard. I never had any problems with it. It’s a basic keyboard and it works. But now my affections have been stolen away by Logitech. I will never be able to go back to the “functional but basic” keyboards.
I wish someone had encouraged me to get a specialized keyboard a long time ago. This keyboard would have saved me many late nights of work. In this day and age when everything has to be done “right now”, this system is a lifesaver. I’m thrilled with this keyboard and mouse.