Logitech first started producing solar wireless keyboards for PCs earlier this year but didn’t make a Mac version until a few months ago. The PC version got incredibly solid reviews at Amazon so I thought this would be a good pick up for my Mac workstation when it was released. As a veteran of Apple’s original Wireless Keyboard, I was sick of dealing with battery and connectivity issues plus I wanted the full layout with numeric keypad, extra function keys extra and full arrows. I’ve been using it almost exclusively for the past three months.
First, I’ll say that the solar panels make the footprint about 25% bigger than a standard full Apple keyboard. That can be a hassle if you are cramped for space at your desk. On the other hand, the keyboard feels a bit more solid, perhaps because of the increased size and weight. Keystrokes are very similar feel to Apple’s standard keyboards and spacing and layout are all but identical. Logitech adds a power switch and battery tester at the top right.
I got the piano black version because it matches my monitor and my Logitech Mouse (which also works with this USB dongle) but there are 5 colors to choose from. I imagine the standard “silver” will be the most popular.
As far as the solar is concerned, I never had a single problem with charging or connection. I have a florescent lit basement office and a workspace with natural light from a shaded back yard and both kept the keyboard charged at all times. The keyboard usually sits in front of a large 30″ monitor, so that probably helps. But from reviews I’ve read, almost no one has a problem keeping this charged with normal office lighting so I don’t think this is a concern.
There are some tradeoffs for having solar, however…
- One nitpick is that there is no caps lock light (do we even need a caps lock anymore? – I’d prefer a search button like a Chromebook). Saves power I guess. Since there is no way to tell it is depressed, I just turned it off in Prefs/Keyboard/Modifier keys. Others use this to modify function keys.
- Also, it doesn’t use my Mac’s built in Bluetooth. It requires a microscopic proprietary USB dongle with its own wireless band taking up a valuable USB port. That’s both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it allows me to keep my Bluetooth off (or in the case of my Hackintosh, I didn’t have to buy a Bluetooth card) and doesn’t require the few seconds to connect that Bluetooth often does. I’m hoping as more Macs have power efficient/quicker Bluetooth 4.0, Logitech moves over there (also it would be nice to use on iOS devices). But, the dongle works 100% of the time. As I mentioned above, I’d have some connectivity issues with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard taking a few seconds to kick in, falling off or giving me repeated “r” keys.
- The “incline feet” on the back feel a bit flimsy. While they didn’t give way in three months of heavy use, I feel like they could have at some point if the keyboard was dropped or something heavy was dropped on it. I’d have preferred a built in incline on the keyboard as Apple does but this methods allows two different angles for those who care.
- Speaking of not caring, I don’t use a wrist rest and thankfully, this keyboard doesn’t have one.
That being said, I am overall extremely happy with the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac. I no longer have to worry about batteries or Bluetooth connectivity hiccups and I have a full wireless keyboard with numeric keys and full sized arrows and extra functions. The tradeoffs are few with the major one being a microscopic USB dongle that travels around in my MacBook Air at times.
In fact, with low power/fast connect Bluetooth 4.0 coming on most present and likely all future Macs, I’d be surprised if Apple didn’t have their own solar keyboard in the works. For now, Logitech’s is your best bet. Pick one up at Logitech or Amazon for $59. The PC version is $40 here.
- Logitech brings K750 solar keyboard over to the Mac side, speaker to iPad (9to5mac.com)
- Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for $40 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech K250 Wireless Keyboard for $12 + $6 s&h (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard for $60 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech Bluetooth Wireless Boombox for iPad for $100 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech K250 Wireless Keyboard for $12 + $6 s&h, 2 for $24 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for $55 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Refurbished Logitech Revue Google TV Receiver for $80 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- Logitech Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Apple iPad for $60 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)