Roughly once a year, I review a piece of green technology that I have bought or been given to review. It is not easy maintain my media empire 😉
This is such a review, and features the Wireless Solar Keyboard – Logitech k760. The review unit was kindly provided to me by Mobile Zap, who are located in Sydney.
You may have seen in my recording studio video that I have a refurbished iPad that I use for podcasting, and I have found that I just cannot type anything of substance on it. I definitely would not attempt to type a blog post using the iPad’s onscreen keyboard. I have tried and the result is not pretty.
I had been looking for a keyboard, but it had to have one special feature. It had to be solar-powered, and have replaceable batteries if the rechargeable ones failed.
There are not many on the market, as most of these types of keyboards need to be recharged from the mains. Thankfully Logitech had the foresight to design this model.
So on with the review.
The keyboard arrived via a courier, so I unboxed it and put it to good use. It has a small area footprint, and is slightly larger than my iPad. The big black panel across the top of the keyboard is actually six separate solar cells that charge the two 1.2 volt Ni-Mh batteries located in the rear of the unit. These can be replaced and recycled if they fail, unlike the apple devices (iPad, iPhone) that it connects to. I like this feature a lot.
It is lighter than my iPad, which is a bonus, because I have been carrying it around for three weeks and have been using it on the train as I travel to work.
It it easier to use on a table than it is a lap, but certainly beats the on-screen keypad.
This keyboard can also connect to three bluetooth devices at the press of a button, but not all at the same time. It does make swapping between devices a breeze.
The only feature that I do not like on this keyboard is that due to its compact size, the left hand shift key. It is way too small, and I keep hitting the wrong keys. It is something I am getting used to.
Also, it can only be used with specific Apple devices, including those running Mac OS X and iOS 6 and above.
I could not find any mention of it working with Android tablets, and unfortunately have been unable to test it with one.
I would love to say that it is made from post-consumer recycled plastic and that the packaging was recycled cardboard, but I cannot, because I cannot find evidence that it is. I wrote to Logitech and asked them the following question;
I am writing a product review on my blog, The Greening of Gavin, for this keyboard, and am trying to clarify this statement from the product page;
“Small steps, bright future
From the PVC-free construction to the fully recyclable box, the K760 is designed to reduce its environmental footprint.”
What are the full environmental features of this model. Surely it has to be more than just that it is PVC free and the box is made of cardboard. It is made of post-consumer recycled plastic and the box is recycled cardboard?
Please expand on this statement so that I can write a better review.
After two weeks, the only response I received was that they would investigate my request. I pestered them twice with the same response.
As I have not had a proper response to my question, so I guess that the environmental credentials are just that it has a solar panel, is not made from PVC, and that all the packaging is made from cardboard. If they do eventually respond with an answer, I will update this post.
When I look at some technologies that I purchase, is not a bad effort. The fact that it self charges and needs no external power supply is its biggest feature. That it only works with Mac OS X and iOS 6 and above is a downside. You think that you would be able to connect it to any bluetooth enabled tablet that needed a keyboard.
The lack of packaging that came with the Logitech k760 was a pleasant surprise, because I have unpacked computers with so much styrofoam and other plastic paraphernalia that it would make this green IT guy cry.
Would I recommend it? Yes, but only if you have a need for this type of device. As I already had a refurbished iPad for use in my studio and as an eBook reader, it was a logical addition.
By getting this keyboard, I did not need to buy a laptop or notebook so that I could write on the train, so it filled my need. It saves me time having to transcribe from my recycled paper notebook into my PC at night-time. In fact, it has saved me about 2 hours a day.
So if you are ever in the market for a wireless keyboard, you could do no worse by buying the Logitech k760.