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Logitech Wave Keyboard
Perhaps even more so than mice, keyboards can be a deeply personal thing. Once you've found a keyboard you like it's hard when you have to use a different one. For example, until Logitech's Wave Keyboard landed on my desk I was still using a clackity old Microsoft PS/2 keyboard and loved it to bits. Likewise, recently one of our old staffers asked to have his old favourite keyboard, which was buried in one of our bottomless cupboards, shipped to him in Taiwan.
Sentimental it may be, but a good keyboard is like a comfy pair of slippers, slightly worn but still going strong and reassuringly familiar. Still, despite this distinctly British love of the underdog, there are plenty of very decent modern takes on the keyboard and Logitech has long been one of the leading purveyors of all kinds of peripherals, including keyboards.
Available for around £30, the Wave Keyboard isn't the most compact desktop keyboard you're likely to find, measuring approximately 48cm across and 26cm deep at its widest and deepest points - making it unsuitable for someone short on space. Its size does mean, however, that it packs in a fair amount besides just the full-size keyboard and numerical number pad.
Just above the number pad is a power button and calculator shortcut button, while above the main keyboard are a set media controls and shortcuts for Media Player, Media Center, and Photo Gallery. Finally, on the left side are quick keys for controlling zooming in imaging programs and Vista's Flip 3D function. Were this not enough there are even more shortcuts set to Function keys, which can be accessed by a notebook style Fn key on the bottom row of keys.
Needless to say then that there's a fair amount going on here and Logitech's SetPoint software can be used to configure all these buttons as you like. Once upon a time SetPoint wasn't the most accessible or reliable of beasts, but of late it has developed into a very well designed and reliable piece of software that makes configuring everything blissfully easy.
So far, so ordinary, but the Wave isn't just the usual assortment of shortcut keys. Logitech has also made a discernable attempt to make it as comfortable to use as possible: a fact that's reflected in almost every facet of the design, from the shape, size and feel of the keys and to the height and angle of the keyboard.
As such, you can choose between three different angle levels, four or eight degrees or completely flat, by switching between different legs. It makes a difference too, with the higher degree putting the onus on resting the hands on the keyboard, while a flatter angle allows you to hover above it.
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