Pros:Great Price, Solid Build Quality, Excellent Range, Long Battery Life
The Bottom Line: The BEST value in a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. Superb quality and performance for next-to-nuthin'!!!
Lean times have recently inspired me to cancel my cable TV service in lieu of the surprisingly large amount of content now available (much of it for free) on the internet. I went about connecting one of my lesser-used laptops up to my audio/video system & was searching for a wireless keyboard/pointing device that would allow me to easily control my newly designated A/V PC from the comfort of my couch.
Recommend this product?
Initially, I purchased one of those remote control-sized controllers that have a thumb-operated touch pad with a tiny little Black Berry-like keyboard. It worked as advertised & I used it for about two days before coming to the conclusion that its operation was way too cumbersome to allow for anything approaching easy, intuitive use: lots of multi-function keys & odd placement of keys with relation to a standard keyboard with which we are all so familiar.
Since that time, I've been on the lookout for a reasonably-priced “conventional” wireless keyboard. And while I preferred to have one equipped with an on-board touch pad, the fact is that those were all pretty much more expensive than what I was willing to pay... so my search from that point forward focused on the typical keyboard/mouse combos.
Based on what I was seeing on the retail market, I was expecting to fork out around $50.00 (& certainly no less than $40.00) for decent quality system, but the Staples ad in this morning's newspaper held a pleasant surprise. There amongst all usual cut-rate laptops & copies of Turbo Tax was the Logitech MK 320 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse bundled package for what seemed like an unbelievable price; $19.95!
I asked myself if price was always a good indicator of quality. I'm a firm believer in the reality that one gets what one pays for... but for $20 bucks, I figured that even if it WAS a piece of junk it'd be worth the risk at that price (it's just little over HALF the price of the above mentioned “click pad”.
I've now had the opportunity to use the MK 320 for a couple of hours & I'm happy to report that it has far surpassed my expectations. The keyboard is pretty much the same weight as a typical, hardwired keyboard, the keys are 100% set up in the familiar pattern that you're all used to & the feel of the keys is identical to that of a “regular” keyboard. The keyboard itself is powered by a pair of AAA batteries that (according to the documentation) will provide 15 months (!) of service (I'm assuming that's if you switch it of between uses).
I have NEVER been able to get comfortable using those little “notebook” mouses (their tiny size requires the user to completely alter his/her hand position, resulting in fatigue & cramping) & as I drove toward Staples, I feared that Logitech (in an attempt to produce a bargain-priced device by doing a little scrimping) might possibly include one of these in the package.
My fears were for naught... this mouse feels just like a regular-old wired device. The movement and linearity of all the directional functions feels natural, as do the buttons and scroll wheel.
One of the biggest gripes I had with the afore mentioned click-pad-thing was it's range. It claimed 30 feet, but in reality, it was more like 10... maybe 11 if you're facing the right direction. No such problem with the MK 320 though; I'm getting 100% duty from across the family room (about 15 feet). Just out of curiosity, I took the keyboard to a spot in the kitchen approx. 35 feet from the USB receiver & was able to manipulate the computer without so much as a hiccup. The Logitech MK 320 passes the range test with flying colors.
One observation... the package does not come with any supplied driver software (claiming on the Logitech website that the devices will be automatically detected & installed by Windows). That wasn't my experience thought. I tried every possible combination of inserting the USB dongle, re-starting the computer, et al, but to no avail. I finally got the idea to download the “Logitech Connect” utility from their website which solved the problem immediately (I'm sure it's got something to do with the fact that I'm still using XP).
The bottom line is; if you want a good quality wireless keyboard/mouse combo package at a price that cannot be beat, you can't do better than the Logitech MK 320.
Here's an update (022411)!!!
I just discovered (quite by accident) that this optical mouse works GREAT on the fabric surface of my sofa! At first, I would place a large book (or other flat-surfaced object) on the couch to my side so that I'd have an adequate surface on which to operate the mouse (never even assuming that said mouse would have a CHANCE of tracking properly across the textured & anything-BUT monochrome upholstery). Yesterday, without thinking, I was paying attention to the screen & I just casually started using the mouse where it was... it took me a couple of minutes to realize that it wasn't on the book, but it was doing just as well. the movement of the cursor was tight and accurate and responsive. This was a revelation since when you're relaxing on the sofa with keyboard in lap, it's really cumbersome to have to lean forward to the coffee table in order to find a place to manipulate the pointing device.
If I could award the MK320 a sixth star, I would (but I'm maxed-out at five)!