Logitech Cordless Elite Duo

Not only a cordless mouse, but a cordless mouse and keyboard combo. Wow, how sweet! I have had been using this for little less than one month, the time in which I have had my PC. I found a better price using PriceGrabber, it is $99 from Logitech, and the lowest I found it for was $62, I bought it from some no name shop and saved $20 even after shipping.

I am still using the AA batteries that came with the mouse and keyboard. I have read in a review they last about a month, so it might be time to change them soon. that's the only down side to having wireless mice is that you should probably go buy stock in Duracell or Energizer because of the amount of batteries you go through.

having the keyboard wireless isn't that big of a deal, because it stays in spot. it does come with a (removable) palm rest which even being solid and not soft, does the job of other softer palm rests I have used. having no wires on an optical mouse is the best tho, no fighting with the cord that is never in the right spot, and no contraints as to the area I want to use for my mousing, the one thing I cannot stand about cord bound mouse. I can move it anywhere on the desk, such as when I want to use it on the left side of the keyboard (I happen to belong to that small part of the population that is ambidextrous). The included drivers I found a bit flaky. they would not always load at startup, therefor not all the special buttons would work. I found downloaded the newer drivers from the Logitech site fixed this issue, which made me happy.

Keyboard
I love customization and keyboard shortcuts. it just makes life in front of a monitor more enjoyable, and faster. there are 8 customization buttons scattered on the left and right of the top of the keyboard. in the middle of these buttons is a media player section. one button brings up a window with all installed media players listed, yay I don't have to go find them in the start menu! there is also a button for mute as well as play/pause, stop, back and forward, and a cool volume jog wheel. All these media controls are very handy, and easily the best part of the keyboard.

there is a small section on the left of the keyboard they call iNav (gotta love the iNames these days :p) it has a scroll wheel for scrolling web pages and documents, and a back and go button. what is nice is you can set the amount of lines this scroll wheel scrolls independent to the mouse. more on the mouse in a minute. I don't use this iNav much, but I am starting to get used to it being there at the left of the keyboard, and when I do use it is really a nice feature to have on a keyboard.

All 12 F Keys are dual function, they have their standard functions that any Mac/Windows OS has, then they have Logitech functions. There is a toggle button to change between standard and Logitech F Key functionality. they are stamped on the top with the Logitech functions, and on the front of the keys with the F number. this is another thing I am slowly using. since this is something that is not standard to a keyboard, I didn't jump right in and start using it the day I plugged this keyboard in. The 12 F Keys are cutomizable as well, there are a lot of different options than the default 12. I have not messed with any of the other choices yet, but some look interesting to try out. File Search and Calculator look like two that would be handy. the Logitech functions chosen to grace the F Keys are well thought out and all very useful:

Email Functions
F1 - New
F2 - Reply
F3 - Forward
F4 - Send
Word Processing Functions
F5 - Undo
F6 - Redo
F7 - Print
F8 - Save
Standard Windows Directories
F9 - My Computer
F10 - My Documents
F11 - My Pictures
F12 - My Music

a very nice touch is the on screen text telling you when you toggle F Key functions, or Number Lock, or Caps Lock etc, it says "Caps Lock On" for example. other than that its a standard keyboard layout, they keys like C have "Copy" on the front part of the key, so they are taking strides to tell people what they keyboard shortcuts are.

even after all the typing classes in high school, and the english classes in both HS and college, I still couldn't type for shit. that is to say I could not touch type for shit. well I have finally learned this ability, and I've gotta all the coding I do. because over the past few years in particular I have "penned" far more code than any type of comprehensive pros. the keys are not heavy to type, although they don't "click" as much as I like a keyboard to - they are quite quiet unless you pound on the keys. this is a very comfortable keyboard to type with. as I am quite used to the Apple keyboards, this is a lot less boxy and stiff as the Apple Pro Keyboard. And the keys are not as heavy, which took some time getting used to.

there is also a button called "User" that puts the computer into Hybernate mode. I don't use that at all. but its there if I ever want to hybernate my machine.

Mouse
I am used to Kensington mice as I have used them for years (since Apple used ADB). I am very impressed with the contour of this Duo mouse. it is made for right handed people as is most everything in life, but its OK in the left hand. it has a countour for were the thumb rests that is very nice. it also has a button right there were the pad of your thumb rest. thats cool. the rest of the mouse is pretty standard - a left and right button, and a scroll wheel. but the best part of this mouse is the very confortable countour and the thumb button.

Conclusion
Very worth the money, even the full $99! the drivers for both the mouse and keyboard are very customization. I am used to having volume control on Apple Pro keyboards, so the media controls on the Elite Duo get heavily used my me. all the customized buttons are getting more use as I have had about a month to use this keyboard. the mouse is very comfortable as well, more confortable than any Kensington mouse i have ever used. although the Wireless Studio Mouse is nice it isn't as confortable as the Duo, and costs almost as much as this keyboard AND mouse. The newer drivers are very solid I have had no times when I boot up and I cannot use the specialized keys. I am impressed and would recommend this keyboard combo to any1. it even works on my PowerBook, and the Mac OS X software for it is as impressive as the PC software.

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