Wireless Backlit Keyboards
An LED-backlit keyboard can add a touch of class to any PC setup, and if it's wireless, then it's all the classier. There's not a huge number of wireless backlit keyboards on the market, but we have done our research, gathered up some of the better ones, tried and tested them all, and are happy to provide you, our loyal readers, with a summary.
Wireless keyboards provide the ultimate in comfort and usability. The ability to lay back in your chair, keyboard nicely perched upon lap while gaming, reading your favorite websites or socializing is well-worth the added inconvenience of having to change batteries every now and then. But which wireless keyboards, out of the few currently out, are worth your hard-earned coin? We summarize the best ones on the market for you. Note that you can purchase any of the keyboards listed here by clicking on the image link below each article via Amazon.com.
Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 8000
The Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 8000, a package containing a wireless keyboard and mouse combo, was the first wireless illuminated keyboard on the market, employing 2.4 GHz Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly straight out of the box. It features a patented '"First Connect Technology", which Microsoft claims allows you to use the keyboard from up to 30 feet away with no interference.
We tested the Desktop 8000 at long(ish) range, and while it wasn't bad, the 30 foot range is probably a little overstated - we did notice some lag and delay in responsiveness when moving the keyboard into the next room, for example - but it's certainly fine for everyday use, just planted on your desk.
The keyboard definitely looks the part, with a sleek, stylish design and the ever-so-sexy backlit keys bathed in a soft white light. The keyboard also has motion sensors on it, lighting up in response to your fingers moving close to the keys, which is pretty cool, we must admit.
Now, one of the most important questions regarding wireless peripherals is battery life. No matter how pretty or convenient a product is, if it runs out of batteries within a week of usage, it's going to be pretty useless. The point is even more pertinent with a wireless backlit keyboard, as the lovely LED lighting sucks a little extra juice out of the precious battery life.
The Desktop 8000 fares quite well in this department, using the aforementioned motion sensors to automatically power down when not in use and power up again once the user approaches, helping to save some battery life. The battery life of the keyboard with an average user is about a month, which is not the best out of its competitors, but not the worst either.
Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard
This is the crème de la crème of Logitech's keyboard product range, offering the utmost in style, comfort and functionality. The keyboard features full USB support, a 2.4 GHz wireless connection, a 'PerfectStroke' key system that apparently enhances comfort when typing, an ultra-thin sexy profile, an integrated palm rest, and adjustable heights and angles.
It also comes with the fully programmable 'F-Keys' that are present in many of Logitech's other keyboard products, which can be used to program macros, pre-defined sets of keystrokes that can assist greatly with productivity and time management. In addition, the K800 comes with a set of function keys, such as Calculator, Web Launch, E-Mail and Web Browser keys.
But how does it perform? Very well indeed. The layout and design of the keyboard is ergonomically perfect, with the keys spaced at just the right distance apart for speedy and efficient typing, and the keystrokes are sumptuously quiet - a big thing in my household, where the wife is often asleep in the next room while I'm raiding with my World of Warcraft guild at some unholy hour.
The range on the K800 is remarkably good - we tested it in a room about 40 feet away from the computer and it still worked perfectly, with every keystroke being registered and little to no lag time experienced.
But where the K800 really shines is in the battery life department. Whereas with most wireless keyboards you constantly have to take out the expired batteries and buy new ones, often at the most inconvenient time, with the K800 you can recharge the AA batteries by simply inserting a micro-USB cable to the back of the keyboard. You can obviously do this while you're using the keyboard, which, so long as you remember to do it every two weeks or so, means you'll essentially never run out of battery life.
Logitech diNovo Edge Keyboard
The diNovo by Logitech is one incredibly sexy piece of kit. It's razor-thin frame, cut from Plexiglass, is a stunning 11 mm thick and is set in a brushed aluminum frame, providing a unique look that will appeal to those who need to look stylish while computing. An architect, interior designer or any creative types would absolutely love this keyboard.
One thing that stands out on the diNovo is its unique 'TouchDisc' trackpad, similar to a trackpad on a laptop but larger in size and smoother and more responsive, allowing you to easily scroll, select and move by tapping or sliding your fingers across the pad.
It's also got a battery recharger, similar to the K800 mentioned above, so again, batteries expiring won't be a problem for you as long as you can remember to keep the charger plugged in.
Overall, the diNovo feels extremely pleasant and responsive to work on, looks amazing, and provides more functionality than you can shake a stick at. It's well worth a look if you're after something a bit different.