Logitech first began mass producing solar powered keyboards with the K750 for the PC. Months later, after it caught on, the company made a version of the same keyboard with new colors and Mac keys. Fast forward to today, when we’ll be taking a look at Logitech’s latest offering - the Apple product centric Wireless Solar Keyboard K760. In addition to solar panels, this keyboard boasts the ability to quickly switch between three Bluetooth devices on the fly. Does it live up to its claims?
- Light-powered keyboard
- Feel-good typing
- Bluetooth wireless technology
- Small steps, bright future
The K760 keyboard comes in a compact cardboard box with the keyboard and a small stack of manuals.
Design and Build Quality
The physical design of the K760 shares a lot of similarities with Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. You get the same white chiclet keys on a smooth metallic surface with a familiar layout. However, what appears to be aluminum at a glance is actually plastic upon further inspection. It definitely doesn’t feel as well built as the Apple’s unibody keyboard but build quality is solid enough. The stand out physical feature will be the massive solar panel strip at the top of the keyboard. Also, instead of a cylindrical tube for replaceable AA batteries at the top of the keyboard, the Logitech has a flat battery.
The underside of the keyboard is curved for a more ergonomic tilt. It isn’t quite as elegant as Apple’s design but we can’t really complain; it was comfortable enough to type on.
The keys on the K760 don’t have the tight tactile response of its competition, the Apple Wireless Keyboard (or even the previous Solar Keyboard for that matter). They keys feel loose and rattle a lot when you type. We were still able to type pretty quickly on it within a few minutes, but it just doesn’t feel great.
The key layout is incredibly similar to Apple’s own keyboards. The top row of function keys is relatively standard, with some minor differences - F1, F2, and F3 are all marked with Bluetooth logos and blue LED’s, F5 acts as the home button, F8 will check battery status, and the key next to F12 will pop up the virtual keyboard in addition to ejecting CD’s from your Mac. Besides that you get the standard F4 Mission Control, F6/F7 brightness toggles, F10/F11/F12 volume controls. However, you do lose the dedicated music track controls. Oddly enough, the brightness toggles did not seem to work on our iPad.
The spun metal power switch on the right side gives the keyboard a decidedly premium look.
One annoying quirk we must nitpick about is the automatic timeout of the caps lock light. If you hit the caps lock key and then type, the light will go out after a couple of seconds even though caps lock is still on. This makes it incredibly confusing, although we’re certain Logitech designed it as such to converse energy.
Probably the best feature of the K760 keyboard is one you can’t see - fast switching Bluetooth for up to three devices. Remember the F1, F2, and F3 keys we were talking about? Tapping each one of these keys will allow you to switch to the device you assign that key to.
Ideally, and in practice, you would be able to have your Mac on F1, your iPad on F2, and your iPhoke on F3. As demonstrated by our testing, we were able to switch among the three devices almost instantly.
Obviously we weren’t able to put the “three months in darkness” battery test but based on our experience with Logitech’s prior Solar Keyboard, you shouldn’t have any problems with it and will enjoy keyboard for many months. Why only months you say? Well, with the dynamic of the constant charge and discharge of the battery, you’ll eventually get to a point when the battery can no longer hold a decent charge. However, that’ll happen before Logitech’s 3 year warranty runs out. And Logitech’s customer support will gladly swap you a keyboard if you ask nicely.
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard is a serious contender to the Apple Wireless Keyboard which so many people like to pair with their iPads and iPhones. What you get over Apple’s keyboard are the solar charging abilities and 3 device quick switching. On the other hand, the Apple keyboard has a better aluminum construction and a tighter key feel. Given that both are priced at $80, it all comes down to what’s important to you. In our opinion, there is no clear winner between the two but we’d definitely recommend the K760 if you’re tired of your Apple Keyboard batteries dying on you or if you tend to use your Apple Keyboard with your iOS devices often.
- fast Bluetooth switching works perfectly
- solar powered
- iOS specific keys
- keys rattle
- not as well built as Apple keyboards
- a few quirks
Where to buy
Logitech — MSRP: $79.99