Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350
Perhaps not surprisingly, the K350 keyboard turned out to be my personal favorite. It almost seems that Logitech studied Microsoft’s 5000 keyboard, took some inspiration from the 4000, added a few tweaks of its own, and delivered the company’s one and only ergonomic consumer keyboard. That may sound negative, but it’s not meant to be. I’ve reviewed and interviewed Logitech for many years, and the company’s pattern has always been to identify large trends in consumer peripherals, then figure out ways to build products for those trends that are attractive, offer feature-solid build quality, and deliver top-tier performance for mid-level prices. Take your pick of speakers, Webcams, mice—whatever. The pattern repeats over and over.
So it goes with the K350 ($60). Logitech obviously wanted an ergonomic keyboard with zero learning time. We have the same smile-shaped primary keybed found in the Microsoft 5000, only Logitech hasn’t monkeyed with the key size or (as far as my eye can perceive) key spacing. This is a nifty trick, and it makes moving from a standard keyboard to the K350 virtually seamless.
Actually, Logitech doesn’t draw from Microsoft’s 4000, despite possible appearances. The 4000, as stated before, uses a sloping keybed to reduce forearm pronation. The K350 does not. Instead, it actually takes a clue from contour-style keyboards and implements shallow dips in the plane of the keybed so as to better conform to the length of your fingers. The effect is slight but (presumably) cumulative. Fewer inches traveled overall means less repetitive motion.
I mentioned Logitech’s keyboard foot design earlier. As you can see in the photo here, there are two feet on each side of the keyboard, one nestled inside the other. This gives you the freedom to select an upward tilting angle of either four or eight degrees. But unlike Microsoft, Logitech doesn’t provide for tilting from the front edge, so there’s no help for wrist extension and, if anything, a danger of increasing it.
That said, I find that Logitech’s tactile feel is about the same as Microsoft’s, although Microsoft tends to be a bit quieter. (This may not be a good thing if you depend in part on auditory feedback to know that you’ve actually depressed a key.) As with Microsoft, Logitech’s 2.4 GHz wireless communication works like a champ, and the tiny USB receiver for both compatible keyboards and mice is ridiculously small—almost too small for mobile use since it’s about the size of a quarter and just as easily lost. Of course, the whole point is that it’s so small you’ll never need to unplug it. The stated three-year battery life for two AA cells, if true, is also outstanding.
I liked the comfort and quality of the K350 so much that I opted to make it my new primary keyboard, but part of that has to do with how I don’t have the time right now to adapt to a new keyboard style, which essentially means learning to touch type. If I were smarter, I’d force myself to make a better decision with more long-term benefits for my body. My suggestion is to do as I say, not as I do.
And hey, want a tip? If you don’t care about all of the K350's media function keys, and you’d rather avoid having even more wireless interference around your desk, save $20 and go buy the Logitech Comfort Wave 450. Same keyboard, only corded and slanted to business buyers.