Today’s keyboard review is by Frédéric Condette. Frédéric is an English and German to French translator cum project manager, QA and DTP expert. Here he reports on his favourite keyboard, the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740. Might it be the perfect keyboard for you too?
- Keyboard make, model and price:
The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740 is a wired USB keyboard that currently sells for about €62.00. The link takes you to the US Logitech site, but I have a French keyboard as you can see from the photos in this post.
The version I own is simply called the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, which I bought in July 2009. It’s a slim, wired USB keyboard, featuring low-profile keys and a scissor-switch membrane mechanism.
Here you can see the rubber dome and scissor mechanism:
And here’s the scissor switch attached to the key cap:
This Logitech model is a full-size keyboard with a few non-standard-sized keys (left Shift, Esc, Del, Ins and function keys). It has only one “Windows” key (no Rt Win key).
It has a “soft-touch” rubberized palm rest and weighs 954 g, which is quite heavy. It’s very stable and does not move around. Its dimensions (WxLxD) are 195 x 455 x 10 mm. There are no USB ports.
To give you an idea of the sound this keyboard produces, I recorded the sound of the keys at a distance of 0.9m. I have a wooden desk, so a hard surface, which might amplify the sound. The microphone was hooked up to another computer on a different desk. The keys tend to sound a little louder than they are in reality (I’m no sound engineer!).
Check out the recording on Soundcloud.
I also recorded a 20-second video of the keyboard.
- My last keyboard was…
Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000.
- Why I changed to the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740:
I was looking for a backlit laptop-style keyboard and I happened to read an excellent review of the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard on a French website (les Numériques).
- What I love about my keyboard:
I like the overall design and I absolutely love the low-profile laptop style keys. They have more travel (3.2mm) than the keys on my Macbook Air chiclet keyboard.
The adjustable backlighting is excellent (choice of 3 brightness levels or no backlighting at all).
Quietness : I’d say it’s a pretty quiet keyboard with the exception of the spacebar (check out the audio and video clips above).
I’m so fond of this keyboard that I’ll probably buy the same model when mine wears out.
- What I dislike about this keyboard:
The function keys (F1 – F12) and Print screen are not fully backlit – only the orange symbols on the key cap tops light up – and they are not full size. Logitech says: “Only the key characters are illuminated, so you see just what you need to see without distraction.”
At first, I didn’t like the position of the Delete and Insert keys (the Del key is really quite huge), especially for Tag Editor/SDL Studio shortcuts, but you do get used to it.
The black coating on the keys seems not to be as wear-resistant as it should be. I’ve managed to wear out the left CTRL key completely, but to be fair the keyboard is getting on in years.
- Other comments:
As I do mostly multilingual project management/QA and DTP since 2008, I don’t type as much as a full-time translator so there is a bias as regards robustness. I type around 1000 words per day, but copy and paste keys get more than their fair share of use! (see the left CTRL key pic above). The keyboard still works very well after 8 years, with the exception of the Backspace key mechanism, which is a little shaky, so I may replace it.
I always keep my Logitech on the highest backlighting mode and don’t use the orange Fn keys. I only use it for work, as a peripheral for my business computer. I must confess I’m looking forward to buying a mechanical keyboard for our next family PC, and get back into gaming again!
Frédéric Condette is half German, half French, being born in Germany and moving to France when he was just three. He studied English (Master’s equivalent) then did translation studies in Strasbourg, France (ITI-RI-1996-1998).
His language pairs are EN>FR and DE>FR, and he specializes in IT and technology in general. He’s been in the translation industry since 1999, and since 2008, he has mainly focused on multilingual project management, proofreading/QA, and DTP.
Frédéric is a podcast, language and tech enthusiast, a curious person and an avid learner. You can find him on LinkedIn, on Twitter as @fredcondette and on his LingTech blog.
Over to you
If you use the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740, like or dislike it, or have any questions about it, please leave a comment below.
Would you like to write about another keyboard or browse some other reviews? Check out this introductory post to the Keyboard Corner!
Excellent keyboard. I agree to almost everything you say about it. I’m working on number 4 or 5 of them by now – as a full time translator.
Way cool technology. The whole backlit thing is the way to go – but I’m a work-in-a-darkened-room person so maybe I’m not being totally objective.
Very interesting! Thank you!