Wireless keyboard has solar cells for charging

Wireless peripherals are nothing new, but Logitech has done something novel by introducing one that charges itself. The Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 has an array of solar cells that juices up the internal battery. These cells are capable of charging the unit under normal indoor lighting—no sunlight required. If you happen to be stranded in the dark, the K750 is said to last up to three months on a full charge.

The keyboard itself is a laptop-style unit that measures just a third of an inch thick. Logitech doesn’t say what sort of mechanism backs the chiclet keys, but the caps look nicely contoured. Thankfully, the key caps don’t appear to be saddled with the same glossy finish as the rest of the keyboard.

Wireless connectivity is handled by a 2.4GHz radio, and signals are encrypted with a 128-bit AES algorithm to prevent snoopers from logging your passwords and other sensitive information. Bluetooth would’ve been nice, although support is hardly widespread in modern desktops, which have no shortage of USB ports for a wireless receiver. The K750 is set to appear on store shelves this month with a suggested retail price of $80.

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    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    While I do not move my computer around much, I do shove my keyboard and mouse around my desk to make room now and then (for writing checks, taking notes, etc), so having both of those as wireless devices is perfect for me.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 9 years ago

    So what have logitech done that’s novel?

    Solar powered keyboards are nothing new and have been done several times by other big names in the peripheral business.

    §[< http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/other-peripherals/48978/cherry-cymotion-master-solar-keyboard-mouse< ]§ §[<http://www.everythingusb.com/genius_slimstar_820_solargizer.html<]§

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    Whoa, a keyboard with 128-bit AES encryption?! So what if I don’t have one of those spunky i7 chips with special AES instruction support? Will my poor, AES-less CPU get bogged down for trying to crack AES code even when I press a key?

    The finish is really pretty, but not for long as these shiny surfaces tend to collect swirls and hairline scratches faster than Apple fanbois spend their cash on Apple’s stuff. Oh, and yeah, if this even begins to catch on you can bet Steve’s Mob, complete with Men in Black getups, will be knocking on Logitech’s doors to buy the IP rights for this baby. After all, it’s so pretty (I can almost see the headlines, “Man Marries Keyboard!”) and every Apple fanboi would want one and tell their friends Apple came out with it first.

    And what about those fancy solar cells? Are they sure they can they snag power from a fluorescent lamp? Or do I have to take my PC out to the garden so I can collect insect bites?

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    Shame it’s crippled by a USB dongle. Why replace one minor inconvenience (replacing a battery every six months) with a major inconvenience (plugging/unplugging/carrying USB receiver with you everywhere you want to use the keyboard).

    Also too shiny and fingerprinty.

    And yellow windows key = ugh.

    I’d prefer a keyboard with a micro/mini USB port that uses rechargeable batteries. When you want to recharge it, just attach the cable for a few hours. A bit like the PS3 wireless controllers…

    • scribly
    • 9 years ago

    Why not make one that is charged by pressing of the keys?

      • ronch
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, like those automatic-winding wrist watches. The more you use it, the more power it collects! Brilliant!

    • Sunburn74
    • 9 years ago

    You know I don’t think logitech has one single keyboard that uses a USB capable rechargeable battery. But they have crap like this.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    If you want wireless devices you’re probably short on space and try to reduce clutter, or heavy on mobility, and don’t want anything larger than it needs to be.

    Either market doesn’t lend itself well to a keyboard that is 30% larger than typical wireless keyboards just to save $3 a year on batteries.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 9 years ago

    Nice idea, and I know it splits opinion but I like the glossy black. I still use WIRED mice and keyboards on all my PC’s, so am I a little out of date?

    I have always thought that wireless things like this were never as good as thier wired cousins? You can’t go far wrong or pick up interferance with a USB cable afterall…

      • xtalentx
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, I think the gloss looks really good. I wash my hands too so my glossy stuff tends to look good longer.

        • ronch
        • 9 years ago

        I heard this keyboard comes bundled with a year’s supply of hand soap. LOL! Just kidding.

    • ub3r
    • 9 years ago

    They need to create a solar power wireless mouse if they want to get anywhere. They can even make it battery boosted if there is no light. Wireless keyboards arent as popular as mice, so they need to hit the mouse market.

    Another option is a mouse that charges from eco-kinetic energy like those watches. Because you moving the mouse around, itll ensure its topped up after every game.

    I know a guy that was experimenting with the earths magnetic field, so thats an option as well. Basically, he created a very large compass, and as the field changes, the compass angle changes by a few degrees, and the movements charge up a capacitor through a micro-generator.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 9 years ago

      Your hand pretty much covers the entire surface of the mouse when your holding it, so where would the solar cells go to be effective?

      Maybe for mice they need to research something that turns heat into energy (your hand is warm)? Or maybe try and make use of that wireless electricity thing I read about some time ago…

        • ub3r
        • 9 years ago

        For most of the day your hands are off the mouse. So itll charge whilst your not using it. And when you are using it, itll keep itself topped up using kinetic energy :D.

          • geekl33tgamer
          • 9 years ago

          Ahhh, good point.

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    This is good.. the only reason I did’nt use anything wireless was because of having to use battery/charge… I’d probably not buy this one because of the similarity to laptop kboard.. but I’d buy one if it’s more suited to gaming…

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    for people who like wireless keyboards I think this is a great idea.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    I prefer batteries I can change myself; most people don’t realize lithium ions (and all batteries for that matter) eventually rot and die, so being able to just change out eneloops is great.

    Also using the kb in the dark…

    • Buzzard44
    • 9 years ago

    Batteries – cheap. $80 – expensive.

    Given that you probably only need to swap out batteries every 6 – 12 months, it would take quite a while for it to justify the ~$50 – $60 difference between it and a comparable wireless keyboard. By that time, the rechargeable battery in this keyboard will probably be dead. I’ll stick to batteries, thank you very much.

    • Palek
    • 9 years ago

    Question to anyone who’s had experience with Bluetooth peripherals: do Bluetooth mice or keyboards tend to be laggy compared to wired models or wireless models using 2.4GHz radio such as the keyboard here?

      • Spotpuff
      • 9 years ago

      I haven’t had any problems w/ my bluetooth keyboard.
      I’ve had people say they feel the lag on wireless, but I’m not one of them.

        • Palek
        • 9 years ago

        Thanks for the input. I myself have multiple wireless (2.4GHz radio) mice/keyboards, all Logitech, and have not noticed any lag. I am curious if Bluetooth as a protocol introduces additional overhead that directly translates into lag.

          • indeego
          • 9 years ago

          We have had interference issues with bluetooth mice at work, not to mention bluetooth as a protocol has never been remotely secure so we’d never allow a keyboard to use itg{<.<}g

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 9 years ago

    “Bluetooth would’ve been nice, although support is hardly widespread in modern desktops, which have no shortage of USB ports for a wireless receiver.”

    Err, what about using said USB port for a Bluetooth receiver?

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    who keeps their keyboard in a sunny spot?

    • Hance
    • 9 years ago

    Am I the only one here that looks at wireless keyboards and goes MEH who cares? I have never seen the point in them. Wireless mouse yes. Keyboard no.

      • blitzy
      • 9 years ago

      for desktop use no point, but with an HTPC itd be pretty good. E.g. to browse websites from the couch

        • stdRaichu
        • 9 years ago

        Logitech have the HTPC angle covered with the dinovo edge – it’s a keyboard with an integrated laptop-esque touchpad; I wouldn’t dream of using any other sort of keyboard – juggling two wireless devices to navigate is silly. Even my flatmates prefer it to using the remote

        Have to agree with adisor on the bluetooth thing though. Every wireless peripheral I’ve used that wasn’t bluetooth has had appalling range, whereas my edge’s will work quite happily from 10m away.

        * Disclaimer: not a shill for logitech, just a satisfied customer. Although at >£100 a pop you expect these things to be nice.

        • Hance
        • 9 years ago

        I have my iPad for that. Nothing against logitech stuff either. I have two logitech keyboards, three logitech mice, a logitech harmony remote, and two sets of the z5500 speakers.

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      Making keyboards wireless is less urgent than mice, certainly, but any means to fight desktop clutter is good and righteous…

    • Archer
    • 9 years ago

    I’d buy one in an instant if it wasn’t a GLOSS BLACK smudge magnet.

      • cygnus1
      • 9 years ago

      probly pretty easy to sand it a little and get rid of the gloss

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        Easy compared to what? It would be extremely tedious, not to mention the potential for getting filings down into the keypad assembly.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 9 years ago

    It will charge itself from the light coming from the monitor. People will just have to get larger screens.

    • CheetoPet
    • 9 years ago

    Seems like a pretty genius use of solar. I’m guessing the companion mouse is gonna take a bit more r&d.

    • demani
    • 9 years ago

    And it has the crazy sort-of shrunken caps lock key…it really is an odd mixture of newfangled and crazy old. But the idea is pretty sound. I coudl see it being smaller if they used the space by the arrow keys, and even uses the space between the function keys and the number keys. I hate those super deep keyboards. And ++ to bluetooth- stop using up my USB ports…

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 9 years ago

      Speaking of which, where’s the context menu button?

        • Palek
        • 9 years ago

        Judging by the yellow markings on the functions keys, the yellow key in the bottom row appears to be a laptop-style function (Fn) key. Yeah, where IS the context menu button?

      • True Xploder
      • 9 years ago

      Shift + F10.

      I really hate logitech takes out the FN key.

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    No Bluetooth, no sale.

    Adi

    • Spyder22446688
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder if enough light is generated by my LCD to charge it in the dark?

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    But there’s no light in my parent’s basement.

      • jdrake
      • 9 years ago

      HA! I knew it!

      😉

      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      In that case, you have three months to play WoW before coming up for air.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    Gawd, I’m getting sick of shiny black plastic!

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      This.

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