Keyboards are such a fundamental component of computing that they often exit largely unnoticed. That old dependable cornerstone of your life that you probably only consider when something is wrong with it. It’s easy to do.
Unfortunately, this position leaves the keyboarding with few advancements as the computing world upgrades at the rate of Moore’s Law. But change is in the air, or perhaps on the desk, because sitting before me, beneath these fingers, is the Logitech Wave — the first truly innovative keyboard to emerge in some time.
Before I sing its praise, however, let me tell you the bad things lest this quickly become one big spooge fest. The problem lies mainly in the wireless desktop model. The bundle includes a largely unremarkable mouse laser mouse that, along with the keyboard, connect via a USB RF adapter. We’ve seen that before. Some people find it cool. Others, myself included, don’t. I feel no need for my desktop keyboard to be wireless since it merely sits in front of my computer.
The other problem that results from a lack of tethering comes from the battery department. Rather than implementing lithium ion batteries and a charging dock, the Wave desktop is fueled by AA batteries. Yes, when there is a perfectly good power source (my computer) sitting right in front of it. I understand that some people are down with wireless desktops, but the lack of lithium batteries and a charging dock is a deal breaker for me.
Fortunately though for everyone who uses a computer, a tethered version of the Wave keyboard is soon to hit the market. This my friends is cause for celebration. The Wave, you see, is a reinterpretation of the standard keyboard. As its namesake suggests, the device incorporates a sort of undulation. The keys remain the same size and positioning, but it peaks-and-valleys. The result is one of remarkable comfort. The Wave allows the hands to rest in a surprisingly natural position, one that actually increases my typing speed. Now I should note here that I’ve been using computers for the majority of my 25 years and I type quickly.
That said, my typing speed has remained largely static for years. With the Wave, my WPM has increased in a slight, but noticeable manner. Also, due to its impeccable ergonomics, many of the posture problems that have plagued my hands for years have simply gone away — a welcome boon for anyone who spends as much time on a computer as myself.
The Wave also integrates a slew of command features that provide considerable functionality to Windows based machines, but are largely useless on Mac. The functions range from music controls to hot keys for email and Office — all useful stuff.
So what’s the verdict? Well unless you absolutely need a wireless desktop (why?), then wait for the corded model. If you’re in the market for a keyboard, look no further, the Logitech Wave is the best thing out. And if you’re not in the market for one, buy one anyway. Your hands will thank you.
I’m giving the Wave Keyboard a very firm Best Bytes, while reserving the award from the rest of the lineup. The wireless desktop is available now for $89.99.