I have always been a fan of Logitech and when I found out that Logitech Australia has a Fan Page on Facebook, I had to instantly become one of their fans.
I then applied to become a Logitech Product Tester (LPT10272) and after being unsuccessful for a few rounds of testing, I was eventually accepted and promptly received the Logitech MK710 to test.
While wanting to do thorough in depth testing as to give an impartial and unbiased review (yes I am already a fan), certain things happened that caused a delay (possibly to the dismay of Logitech Australia and their fans).
I will not go into too much detail about what happened… but to be brief, our Home network RAID failed (we got a replacement Hardware RAID card from the good people at Adaptec) and then my mum (who lives in the UK) fell seriously ill.
This was an unfortunate sequence of events and was no way jinxed by our friends at Logitech Australia – so… on to the review (sorry I could not add a YouTube Review to accompany this post)!
Unboxing and Installation
Opening the box, everything was well packaged and secure with no annoying polystyrene; being mainly cardboard means that the box is easily recyclable.
You are then presented with the MK700 Keyboard, M705 Mouse, a tiny Logitech Unifying USB receiver, A USB extender cable, Duracell Batteries, SetPoint Software (for Windows XP/Vista and 7) on CD and the instruction booklet in various languages.
I was impressed that they included the USB extender cable and although we have no need for it, it could come in very handy for people that have difficulty plugging in such a tiny device into their USB port due to sightedness or dexterity problems.
After unpacking, we simply plugged the Unifying Receiver into a spare USB port and the devices worked instantly (on both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux) although not all extra buttons on the devices will work until the software has been installed as to configure them – but more on that further down.
What an impressive bit of kit! This is the most advanced pointing device we have ever used (3 button and a scroll wheel is all we have ever needed until now).
The features of this device are amazing and further enhanced once you make use of the SetPoint software (again – further info below).
To start with, the contour and design is comfortable to use although our 4 year old daughter finds it a little cumbersome – bearing in mind that this has been designed for business usage and the semi-pro gamer – tiny (as in child) hands will find its design a little bit ergonomically restrictive.
If you are left handed (which none of our family are), you will find this design uncomfortable – but you can not please all of the people all of the time (a lot of other Logitech Mice have symmetrical designs that will feel comfortable in either the left or right hand – we also own a few Logitech cordless optical mice with such a design).
The accuracy of the MK705 mouse has been further enhanced by replacing the optical sensor with a Class 1 Laser and although non lethal, it should be noted (according to instructions) that you should not attempt to magnify its intensity with the use of glasses, microscopes and other lenses… please keep this device for its intended use.
The Performance Laser however, gives you the freedom in using the device on most surfaces (your leg, clothing, settee) but I did not test on glass – so if it has dark field capabilities – I do not know – but would think glass is not intended for this device to be used on.
You can go further than just using standard left, right and centre click buttons as another 3 have been included which will require the installation of the SetPoint software for full usage.
Back and Forward buttons allow you to flip between web pages and an Application Switch button acts like ALT+TAB on steroids!
On to the centre scroll wheel/button – you would think that there would be nothing new with a design that has been used in mice since 1993 but the M705 has literally re-invented the wheel!
Not only can you scroll up and down and centre click in the usual manor but also scroll left and right – 4 axis of movement feels natural, it simply works for you as opposed to you working with it – but thats not all…
The MicroGear precision scroll wheel has a nice weighted feel which acts like a fly-wheel and for good reason – just flick the scroll toggle and the wheels behaviour can be changed from click-to-click precision scrolling to hyper fast ‘free wheeling’ scrolling.
Finally we get around to mentioning they have included an ‘on/off’ switch and an ‘LED’ battery level indicator (you can also check the battery levels using the SetPoint software). When you switch the mouse on, the LED will glow green for 10 seconds to tell you the batteries are good but will flash red if the level is below 10%.
As the mouse is low powered (Mouse and Keyboard both have auto sleep modes to extend battery life), the batteries can last for up to 3 years – so why include an on/off switch? Well, opening the battery compartment provides a clue – there is a space to store the USB Unifying receiver which means that if you are a gamer who attends the occasional LAN party or an office worker who frequently changes work stations, you can simply take it with you!
If comfort and design is important for mice, then equally it is important for a keyboard - especially if you (like myself) use one for at least 8 hours a day and as such, the MK700 is nicely contoured with a cushioned palm rest which feels soft but also durable enough to withstand years of wear and tear.
The angle of your keyboard is also a very important thing to consider, some prefer to use them flat while others like to work with the keyboard at an angle so the MK700 actually comes with 4 legs, one pair provide an angle of 4 degrees and another pair provide an angle of 8 degrees. Although the legs look small, they appear to be made of a high strength plastic so as to not break or snap off.
The keys are low profile and concave (Logitech ‘Incurve’ keys) but also have enough travel which feels more natural than keyboards you find on laptops and other low profile keyboards on the market and are also closely spaced which will reduce the junk and dust gathering inside (the MK700 also claims to be spill resistant and although it is something I will not purposefully test, Logitech claims it has been tested with a 60ml spill under limited conditions).
The mechanism behind each key feels solidly responsive on every stroke with no wobble side to side (some keyboards do tend to feel like the keys are balancing on springs) and also they have included the bumps on the F and J keys in the home row to assist with touch typing which (often too discreet or omitted from other keyboards) have been slightly exaggerated which will possibly also benefit visually impaired users.
The standard US-104 key layout includes the numeric keypad, cursor and function keys spaced apart in the usual way and not compacted to fit on a smaller computer desk makes it perfect for an office environment.
I have a personal pet hate for two keys that are standard on every keyboard – the Caps Lock and the Windows key will likely always be included by manufacturers and I eventually would like to see a keyboard with no Caps Lock and the Windows logo being changed to something more suitable (like a house to indicate ‘home’ or similar) for people that use Mac or Linux.
Keys, keys and more keys – placed neatly between the right ALT and CTRL keys sits a FN key which enhances the standard Function keys – simply hold FN and press a F-key to launch applications, zoom, display menu’s and even put your computer in sleep mode but again this requires SetPoint to be installed.
Eject key – wow, they have gone all out – eject your CD-ROM/DVD/BluRay from your keyboard – unfortunately you still have to bend down to remove the disc from the drive (also requires SetPoint)!
Calculator button – conveniently placed above the numeric keypad is a key to instantly open your calculator application which is a real time-saver when you want to do a quick calculation for your Tax refunds.
Across the top of the keyboard you will find Media keys located either side of a central LCD display that enables you to skip playback of media back and forward, pause and play as well as control volume (louder, quieter and mute) which can also be useful if you use your PC for presentation of media or as a HTPC.
The LCD display shows Battery, Caps Lock, FN, Scroll Lock, Num Lock and Mute status but it is not backlit possibly due to enhancing battery life. This sets the finishing touch to the overall look and looks great but is something I would hardly use unless checking the battery status.
As with the mouse, the keyboard comes with an on/off switch and although it also has a sleep mode when not in use – switching it off is handy for those occasions when you are moving from one workstation to another or going to a LAN party.
It is important for me to include a little detail about this tiny device as it is a key component – if you buy another Logitech product that supports unifying, then it will use the same receiver - fantastic if you accidentally drop your mouse down the stairs or throw your keyboard out of the window or simply want to add a trackball or stand alone numeric pad to your desk.
I would like to see more devices with unifying support, such as graphics tablets, presenter devices and remote controls with IR and wireless capabilities.
As with anything that uses wireless technology, signals can easily be intercepted by a 3rd party which can mean that keystrokes could be read by someone outside. Unifying devices use a frequency of 2.4GHz for increased range and speed as well as industry standard 128bit AES encryption.
Range – we only tested indoors and ran out of room when we reached 16 meters distance but both keyboard and mouse still worked fine – this will benefit users with huge projector screens used in home entertainment or classroom presentation (or even selecting the next mp3 in your collection while outside at the BBQ).
Although the software is great, easy to install and allows for total customisation of all your buttons and keys, the only downside is that it is for Windows only. As I am not a Mac user, I was able to test on Ubuntu Linux and was glad that practically everything worked (including volume controls/mute, Power Off and calculator).
Although we own several Logitech keyboards and mice, we were very impressed by the professional feel of this keyboard and mouse combo.
The durability of this particular combo is definitely a win given it is being used not only by established geeks, but an ickle geekette who is continually providing challenges for mummy and daddy in rectifying the results of her exploration when using the computer.
Logitech have certainly managed to deliver on all priorities when it comes to purchasing gadgets with this particular Wireless Desktop Combo.
More than happy to give it a 8.5/10.