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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.



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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! :)


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