Print 37 comment(s) - last by FredEx.. on Nov 3 at 12:06 PM

Logitech Solar Keyboard K750
K750 gets the juice it needs from a lamp or the sun

There hasn't been a real change in how peripherals are powered since wireless gear first showed up that used batteries for power. The catch with batteries or rechargeable keyboards or mice is that when they are out of power the user can't use the device until they recharge or plug in.

Logitech is one of the largest peripheral companies around and the company has announced a new keyboard called the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750. The new peripherals biggest feature is that it gets all the power it needs to operate from the light in your room. Like most solar calculators, the K750 isn't limited to using the sun alone for power. It can get juice to operate from any light source including your desk lamp or the glow from your monitor. 

“The keyboard is still the best input device for typing emails and IMs, updating your Facebook™ page or posting responses to your favorite blogs — and the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is the next big innovation in keyboard technology,” said Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for Logitech’s keyboards and desktops. “The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard is powered by light but can work in total darkness for up to three months. Plus, with its PVC-free construction and fully recyclable packaging, it’s designed to minimize its footprint.”

Exactly how much juice you get from your light source and if it's enough to keep your keyboard powered indefinitely will be easy to figure out with an app Logitech will offer later this month. The app installs on the computer and tells the user with an easy to understand digital gauge if the light source hitting the keyboard is enough to charge it adequately. The internal batteries will stay charged for three months once full so you can type in darkness.

The keyboard is very thin at about one-third of an inch making it low profile and comfortable to type on. The keys of the keyboard use the Incurve design for comfortable typing feel. The wireless tech is 2.4GHz and uses the Unifying Receiver of all Logitech gear. That receiver allows you to connect the keyboard and other Logitech peripherals without needing additional USB ports on the host computer.

The keyboard will ship this month in the U.S. and Europe for $79.99.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By solarrocker on 11/1/2010 10:15:55 AM , Rating: 4
I find these one of those things where I just go "Crap I could have thought of that". Because this just something I can see myself buying easily for the main reasson of never ahving to put the wrieless keyboard in any charge port again. Using light to recharge, that they didn't make it sooner amazes me. That I didn't think of it well just shows I lack certain creativity.

RE: Wow
By Solandri on 11/1/2010 4:04:48 PM , Rating: 4
The problem up til now has been that wireless keyboards and mice used too much electricity for them to be solar powered. If you line the top of a typical keyboard with a 1 inch strip of PV, even in direct sunlight you'll be getting less than 1 Watt. If you consider that a typical 100 Watt light bulb (or 23 Watt for CFLs) only puts out about 1 Watt of energy as light total, the amount of light energy typically hitting the keyboard's PV is on the order of milliwatts, if not microwatts. Enough to power a calculatort, but generally not enough for RF communications.

Logitech has been working on that front and has gradually increased the battery life of their keyboards on set of AAs from 1 month to 3 months to 1 year to, most recently, 3 years. A pair of alkaline AAs has about 5000 mAh, so if used 8 hours/day 5 days/week for 50 weeks/year for 3 years, that's an average 0.8 milliwatts. At a power draw that low, solar becomes a viable alternative power source, though you're still better off with an internal battery with the PV just topping it off.

Of course that just begs the question - if your keyboard only needs a new pair of AAs once every 3 years, why even bother with solar?

RE: Wow
By Souka on 11/1/2010 7:19:04 PM , Rating: 4
Ok, here's my idea... a new mouse design.

Not solar..that would rip off Logitech.

But let's put a small ball in it...which drives a generator, to charge the onboard batts! :)

RE: Wow
By bobny1 on 11/1/2010 9:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Start working on the **SOLAR MOUSE**. I will be the first one on line...;)

RE: Wow
By EricMartello on 11/2/2010 12:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
That will go good with my solar flashlight. Better notate that in my documents with my black hi-lighter.

batteries always run out
By seraphim1982 on 11/1/2010 3:14:37 PM , Rating: 3
Eventually the built batteries are gonna lose its charges capacity and you'll have a worthless keyboard, but I like the idea.

By fleshconsumed on 11/1/2010 10:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
I'm stunned, this keyboard has almost standard layout. Put scissor keys on it, lose shiny fingerprint prone glossy surface and I might buy it.

100% powered by light?
By Schrag4 on 11/1/2010 2:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly how much juice you get from your light source and if it's enough to keep your keyboard powered indefinitely will be easy to figure out with an app Logitech will offer later this month.

Actually wouldn't the easiest way to tell would be to simple use it without batteries? If it doesn't work then it's not enough light.

And if you say this thing won't work unless there are batteries in it then I say this thing may get SOME or MOST juice from the solar cells but never 100%. Seems really, really gimmicky to me. If you were serious about solar power you'd get some dedicated solution, you wouldn't put them on your keyboard. Just my 0.02

By dewlim on 11/1/2010 9:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Normally they have it with a mouse bundle! Hope they come up with a solar wireless mouse soon! I'm tired of my mouse dying because of power! Can't wait.

By FredEx on 11/3/2010 12:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have been using Logitech wireless for years, the first wireless keyboard and trackball they came out with. The keyboard and the Trackman Marble mouse each have their own 2.4 G transceivers. I have them velcroed to the bottom side of the desk top. At the same time I had a router set-up for 2.4 G wireless and had a 2.4 G cordless phone system with 4 phones all over the house. Never had a problem. The phones are newer now, not 2.4 and the router is now a N with dual range capabilities.

The transceiver is such low power it would be a cinch to run the keyboard off that solar cell. People that let their stuff get so dirty it would not work are probably not people that would buy such a keyboard. Although, in my 30+ years working on this stuff, I'm still shocked at the filth I have seen.

Yeah, about that...
By Warwulf on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah, about that...
By nomagic on 11/1/2010 10:16:36 AM , Rating: 5
I predict the keyboard will last it's three months on its internal batteries before telling us go "Go Outside."

And that is a good thing, isn't it?

Also, 2.4 GHz wireless is fail, spectrum too crowded as it is. They should have gone 900 MHz or 5.8 GHz.

But you do live in a basement, don't you? There shouldn't be any interference.

RE: Yeah, about that...
By xti on 11/3/2010 10:28:15 AM , Rating: 2
the robot girlfriend is going to be shaking funny from the interference...

RE: Yeah, about that...
By solarrocker on 11/1/2010 10:19:32 AM , Rating: 2
Granted it is crowded, how far is your keyboard from its receiver? Mean unless your keyboard on top of a microwave, and your computer inside a tv I do not forsee it giving that many issues.

Do agree somewhat with the basement theory. Some people keep their computers in dark places, for those a charging station might be an option (Like with regular wireless devices). But for most this is a rather elegant solution to a problem (problem being "warning low battery please charge device").

RE: Yeah, about that...
By Warwulf on 11/1/2010 4:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I never took monitors into account...

But still, it's an awful lot to pay for a keyboard that doesn't even offer fancy features for gamers.

As far the wireless issue, I stand by my assertion. It shouldn't have problems with reception from a few feet away... But what about interfering with wireless networks? Sometimes, all it takes to cause a disconnection is a 2.4 GHz wireless headset and it obliterates your wifi. And if you live in a residential area where all the channels are already occupied, it makes for a pretty difficult situation.

And for those that don't believe it can cause an issue, I have Chanalyzer logs to prove it.

RE: Yeah, about that...
By lowsidex2 on 11/1/2010 11:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
I see your point but poor argument in my opinion. This has a pretty wide possible demographic.
But even for us basement dwellers (which I resemble that remark), lots of us run big, bright (often multiple) monitors. My 3 x 24" eyefinity will have no problem keeping this keyboard alive.

RE: Yeah, about that...
By Proxes on 11/1/2010 11:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's more than just location. In IT I work with a lot of users and let me tell you, they are nasty and the keyboard pays the price for it. Those cells are going to get covered with dust and funk.

RE: Yeah, about that...
By Noliving on 11/1/2010 1:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well considering it can be powered by the light of a monitor or a TV for that matter, I don't see a problem with basement dwellers.

RE: Yeah, about that...
By Ammohunt on 11/1/2010 3:08:42 PM , Rating: 3
Dude; just keep a picture of the sun as your desktop wallpaper problem solved!

Great Idea
By Shadowmaster625 on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Great Idea
By Flunk on 11/1/2010 10:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
It's a gadget, man do I want one.

RE: Great Idea
By spamreader1 on 11/1/2010 10:44:42 AM , Rating: 3
pff who changes batteries, get a wired keyboard and go back to work., then you save time, money and that hard work you mentioned. That's a win, win, win, amiright?

RE: Great Idea
By quiksilvr on 11/1/2010 2:29:45 PM , Rating: 4
But wires are icky poo :(

RE: Great Idea
By wolrah on 11/1/2010 11:33:13 AM , Rating: 5
It's not the effort of changing batteries, it's that inevitably the batteries die at the wrong time and it's never fun to go find them. I'm very interested in this for my HTPC, as wires are impractical with it on the other side of the room from the couch, but the keyboard gets used so rarely that it's nearly always dead. This keyboard should do just fine charging off the ambient light in the room throughout the day to handle the small amount of typing I might do every now and then when searching videos or browsing the web on the couch.

RE: Great Idea
By AssBall on 11/1/2010 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 1
Logitec keyboards feel awkward, flimsy and "plasticky". I've never used one I liked and suspect this one will feel the same. Give me a beefy usb clicky keyboard any day over this expensive solar powered gimmick.

RE: Great Idea
By rudy on 11/1/2010 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 3
Me too but some things need to be cleared up. Usually when I watch TV the lights are off does this charge during the day or off times to a rechargable battery?

Second most wireless keyboards have garbage range and TVs seem to be right at the edge of the range. Is this device going to work well at slightly longer ranges.

Also would be nice to know if it has good nkey override/ anti ghosting since this HTPC games.

RE: Great Idea
By treesloth on 11/1/2010 5:03:13 PM , Rating: 3
It reminds me of some drug commercial I saw recently... some old lady was complaining about having to take some pill every three weeks, and boy was she ever grateful for this new pill she only takes once a month! Yeah, we're a very spoiled bunch.

By SunAngel on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Ambiguity
By 2uantuM on 11/1/2010 10:28:47 AM , Rating: 3
Probably most of us are touch-typers...

RE: Ambiguity
By Flunk on 11/1/2010 10:40:01 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously, I would bet there is a reasonable proportion of people who have keyboards without any letters at all.

RE: Ambiguity
By wushuktl on 11/1/2010 11:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
because the letters have rubbed off? yeah i bet so too

RE: Ambiguity
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ambiguity
By banthracis on 11/1/2010 10:36:24 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure where you're getting this ambiguity from, the sentence is pretty clear. It's stating that a solar powered device can work without light for up to 3 months, how do you get "it's an illuminated keyboard" from that?

Also, as mentioned, a large number of people who visit this site probably touch type. For us illuminated or not, doesn't matter since we don't look at the keyboard anyway.

RE: Ambiguity
By Murloc on 11/1/2010 10:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
working means that if you push a key the input gets to the computer.
I'm sorry but it's you who look stupid, there's no ambiguity.
I stay in front of my computer in the dark and don't have retroillumination.
Seeing the keys is not a requirement for a keyboard to be working.
I could use a blank keyboard with no problems.

RE: Ambiguity
By tdawg on 11/1/2010 1:08:11 PM , Rating: 1
Umm, the light given off by your monitor will likely be sufficient for you to hunt-and-peck your way around.

RE: Ambiguity
By Techmandoo on 11/1/2010 1:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same but in a different vein.

The light given off by the monitor would probably be enough to trickle charge the solar panels, along with other light sources that would be around.

RE: Ambiguity
By tdawg on 11/1/2010 9:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely. I really like this idea and will probably get one if I can find one at a discount. The prospects of never dealing with batteries is great.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki