back to article Logitech's Wave Keys tries to bend ergonomics without breaking tradition

Logitech's latest take on ergonomic keyboards is a divisive device. It will delight users seeking palm rests but annoy key bashers more accustomed to chiclet or mechanical models. Wave Keys is a wireless keyboard that can connect via Bluetooth or a wireless dongle, depending on your available options. It also features a built- …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The absence of backlighting

    Um, it's a wireless keyboard. You state that its two batteries should last 36 months. If it had backlighting, I'd wager you'd be complaining that the batteries last only 3 weeks.

    Personally, I am at an age where backlighting is now a requirement for me to properly see which key I am bashing. As such, this keyboard is out of the question for me, but I do have to admit that it looks nice.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: The absence of backlighting

      Could be backlit when the cable is plugged in, assuming that they didn't put the charging cable in an apple location.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The absence of backlighting

        The arricle did say AAA batteries - no charging cable.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: The absence of backlighting

          What, you expect me to read the article and remember stuff like that :p

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: The absence of backlighting

      I agree about the battery life.

      Not sure about the backlighting. I've just removed all the keycaps from my mechanical custom keyboard (not my main one) and put blank ones in, and I'm also "at an age"... but still fighting.

    3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: The absence of backlighting

      Do "modern" people seriously look at the letters on the keys whilst typing to the extent that they now need lights to show them which key to hit next? (answer clue: if you did your typing would be phenomenonon..on..ly slow.)

      I admit to having a backlit laptop keyboard (not by choice) but it basically tells me where the keyboard is in the dark, muscle memory, autocorrect and the delete key does the rest. Gamers may differ but I can't see them wanting a standard ergonomic keyboard.

      1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

        Re: The absence of backlighting

        Some keys do not, apparently, have "standard" positions, and vary depending on maker and keyboard model. Locating the red-lettered "Fn" key, needed to turn the sound up and down, the the mute on and off, the wireless on and off, etc., is ~somewhere~ in the lower-left corner. Without backlighting at night I can't hit it. I need it just-not-often-enough to not muscle-memorize its varying location on my varying keyboards.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: The absence of backlighting

          Ctrl should be extreme bottom left IMHO. I love Stinkpads and Macbooks but the first thing I do is a Fn<->Ctrl swap. Unfortunately they are almost never the same size so you can't usually swap the keytops.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: The absence of backlighting

            A bit late to the party, but ctrl should be where CAPS LOCK key is, Shirley?

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: The absence of backlighting

        > muscle memory, autocorrect and the delete key does the rest

        I have written lots of long texts and a couple books, and yet I still like to see where I type: While typing I look at my keyboard, then, while gathering my ideas for the next phrase, I check the screen and check what I've actually typed. Muscle memory only builds up if you use one single keyboard for extended times, else it's more counterproductive than helpful, especially with laptops. Autocorrect? Well, I'll pretend I didn't hear read that... As for the "Delete" key, if you have to use it a lot you'll be typing just as slowly as somebody using the single-finger-hen-picking mode...

        I have a backlit keyboard on my latest laptop, not because I wanted one, just because it came with one, and I admit it has grown on me. It's very convenient for typing in low light, and nullifies any stray reflections on the keys.

      3. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: The absence of backlighting

        Absolutely with you. I have an Arabic keyboard in my T14 because it was a cheap way of getting a backlit kb. No Idea what any of the symbols on the keys mean, but at least I can see where to put my fingers when I open it in the dark. I type Dvorak anyway so almost none of the keyboards I possess have the "correct" tops on the keys.

      4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Angel

        "modern" people

        If I'm not mistaken, "modern" people are all under 30.

        Let's talk about this again in 30 years, shall we ?

    4. Portent

      Re: The absence of backlighting

      When I bought my Topre Realforce I solved the poor eyesight with no backlighting issue by simply buying a cream keyboard instead. It's far more legible.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Tat

    Logitech these days in my opinion is an overpriced Chinese tat.

    Their products seem to have planned obsolescence built in. Not exactly green.

    For instance, every mouse I buy, gets its outer coating disintegrate within a year or two. It becomes sticky and unpleasant to work with.

    They don't seem to be offering replacement casings either.

    Why I buy this carp then? I understand Logitech has a patent for flywheel mechanism and so no other company can make such a mouse.

    I have Logitech in contempt, because if they can't make a proper mouse, they shouldn't be sitting on that patent and let other companies, who actually can make quality products make a proper mouse.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Tat

      > every mouse I buy, gets its outer coating disintegrate within a year or two

      Acid sweat due to an Alien in your ancestry? The mouse I'm using right now is an old Logitech MBJ58 from around 2000, having extensively traveled and having been used almost daily for some 20 years on several consecutive laptops. The outer top coating is slightly polished by use, but otherwise as new. On my desktop computer I have another Logitech wheel mouse, an even older one I think. Also slightly polished by use, but otherwise in excellent condition. In my experience those old cheap Logitech mice are (were?) indestructible.

      (Didn't downvote you though.)

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Tat

        To be fair to OP, they're complaining that recent Logitech products have got worse.

        Not something us owners of older Logitech gear would notice (I think my G5 is getting close to twenty years old)

        1. FIA Silver badge

          Re: Tat

          I have an MX Master 3 that's 3 and a half years old, it's had water spilled over it (...and been disassembled and cleaned), the rubberised coating where my thumb rests is worn smooth and the buttons are nice and shiny, but other than that it's going strong.

          The battery isn't as good as it initially was, but still holds a charge for a few weeks of heavy daily use.

          I'm expecting that'll be the thing that eventually needs replacing, but don't plan on changing the mouse any time in the next few years.

          Bought to replace an MX-700 of some 20 years vintage, that was on it's 3rd set of rechargeables, but no longer actually charged them, even when placed in the charging dock 'just so' like it'd needed for the last few years.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Tat

      For instance, every mouse I buy, gets its outer coating disintegrate within a year or two. It becomes sticky and unpleasant to work with.

      Is this used when visiting speciality websites, perhaps?

    3. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Tat

      What are you doing to those poor mice? Ever since Microsoft started getting a bit funky with their Intellimouse designs (early-mid 2000's) I've standardised on Logitech mice across all the fleet of PCs I administer at home, and without fail every single one of them has provided excellent servivce over however many years they've (so far) been in use. Not had any fail on me - the oldest is now 19 years old and still going strong, and even the youngest is coming up on 2 years of service without any issues.

      And since I stopped being able to get hold of (for a price I'd be willing to pay) either genuine or good enough copies of the Dell SK8115 keyboard, I've also switched over to Logitech K120s for home and work, which suit my requirements to a tee and also give me years of solid service, needing to be replaced only once enough of the keycaps have worn away that anyone else trying to use the keyboard struggles - usually after about 5 years of daily use, which doesn't seem like an unreasonably short lifespan for something costing a tenner plus loose change (or not even that if you pick one up when they're on sale).

      So far the only Logitech product I've had to replace due to it failing entirely was the first headset work provided just before we went into the first lockdowns, due to one of the cores within the USB cable failing after a couple of years of daily use (plus being thrown into my laptop bag a couple of times a week once we shifted over to hybrid working). That was a touch disappointing longevity-wise, but it's also been a clear outlier in terms of my experience of using quite a few of their products over the last 2 decades.

    4. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Tat

      For instance, every mouse I buy, gets its outer coating disintegrate within a year or two. It becomes sticky and unpleasant to work with.

      What are you using to clean it with? Do they sit in strong sunlight?

    5. probgoblin

      Re: Tat

      May I gently suggest making sure you are regularly washing your hands?

    6. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Gooey Coating

      I feel your pain. I've not had this happen on a mouse, but I have had numerous other pieces of electronics coated with a black, initially-rubber-like or leather-like substance which decomposed to a tacky goo which cannot be effectively cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. I've found it on USB sticks, USB hubs, headphone liners (including the one Bose noise-cancelling headphone set I bought), the control pillar of an RF-broadcast stereo headphone set, game system controllers, laptops (Lenovo Yoga) etc. The goo-ification transformation process takes between one and three years.

      It's a way to guarantee you will throw the now-nasty-feeling thing away well ahead of its electronics' natural death.

      1. hugo tyson
        Facepalm

        Re: Gooey Coating

        And binoculars, not even much used. Time degrades the rubber, not my hand grease, I'm sure.... :-(

        Definitely not used for viewing any "speciality" content, before you start....

      2. MonsieurAardvark

        Re: Gooey Coating

        Allegedly methylated spirits can help with this

      3. CountCadaver Silver badge

        Re: Gooey Coating

        you dont happen to smoke do you?

  3. MiguelC Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Re: "although the key travel, which is longer than the laptop-style keyboard I'm accustomed to, could be off-putting"

    I, for one, hate with a passion those short-travel keyboards

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Short travel and poor materials. Even "premium" Logitech keyboards have in my opinion pound shop plastic quality.

  4. Hairy Spod

    exchange rate

    Why is it more in £ than $.

    I'm used to us paying more in Blighty after currency conversion, but it seems significantly pricier over here.

    1. HarryBl

      Re: exchange rate

      20% VAT

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: exchange rate

        ...and a teensy bit of gouging....

        At current exchange rates $59.99 + VAT works out at around £57.

        I can't imagine compliance with the consumer rights act costs another 20%?!

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    Ergonomic ...

    ... anyone remember Dvorak, or has it fizzled out?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ergonomic ...

      "... anyone remember Dvorak, or has it fizzled out?"

      No but I do remember MS "ergonomic" KB where basically, you'd have to have been very brutally tortured by the spanish inquisition to be able to even type 3 keys in a row successfully !

      What a terrible KB it was ...

    2. antonyh

      Re: Ergonomic ...

      I was using dvorak on an MS Ergo 4000 with blacked out keys until recently, and still use it on my phone. I've since gone back to qwerty for work though, mostly because of Emacs bindings not quite making any sense in any other layout. If it wasn't for shortcuts, dvorak would be a superior layout for me personally with much improved typing speeds and better accuracy.

    3. Bill Gray

      Re: Ergonomic ...

      Long-time Dvorak user here, since 1994. I don't think you could get a keyboard labelled in Dvorak at the time, so I learned to touch-type without looking at the keys. Even had a labelled keyboard been available, I sometimes have to use somebody else's machine with a xWERTx keyboard; I can switch their computer to Dvorak and type away happily. (Though I sometimes forget to switch it back, leading to a "why is my keyboard producing gibberish?" inquiry... fortunately, my wife and my mother, the usual inquirers, have learned how to switch back to their favored QWERTY layout.)

      Another minor advantage : I was looking around for a decent second-hand ergonomic keyboard, and saw some for sale with Korean layouts. Not an obstacle if you aren't looking at the keys anyway.

  6. aerogems Silver badge

    Reminds me a bit of a keyboard my boss had at a job I had back in my uni days. It was some programmers keyboard, but man was it nice. The keys were recessed based on relative finger length, and even tensioned differently based on relative finger strength and of course it had a bunch of macro keys. It sort of looked like someone took a big ice cream scoop and carved out a couple big divots on either side. I checked Amazon once to see how much the thing costs, back when I could remember the brand name, and it was like 250. Way more than I could really justify spending on a keyboard since I wasn't a professional programmer or author or someone who is basically typing a good chunk of the day.

  7. FIA Silver badge

    Unfortunately, it does not – a membrane operates behind the scenes, and while that might not bode well for longevity, it does mean that less effort is required to press the keys.

    What are you doing with your keyboards people??

    I'm not sure I've ever had a membrane keyboard fail. I replaced my last one simply because it had become far too disgusting after 10+ years.

    Sure, I replaced it with a very nice gaskety mechanical one, and now typing on a membrane is a much worse experience, but lifetime wise, they should pretty much last.

    (I'm a coder, tend to type many hours a day...)

    1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      MODERN Membrane-Mechanism Keyboards

      ... may be, depending on their design, reasonably good. I'm thinking of Dell keyboards from the early 2000s.

      Older membrane keyboards were far worse. The membrane keyboard on the Atari 400 was absolutely terrible. Likewise the ones on some early PC game control units (Magnavox).

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: MODERN Membrane-Mechanism Keyboards

        > I'm thinking of Dell keyboards from the early 2000s.

        Very bad experience with those. In 2000 we all got a brand new Dell laptop (semi-expensive professional kit, don't recall the exact model), and the keyboards of all those laptops lasted pretty exactly till the end of the warranty (dead keys). And we had quite different user profiles, some were on their keyboards all day long, some only used it an hour or two a day. Still, they failed just the same. For a while we knew who wrote what because of which letters were missing, but it became a major handicap and we got ourselves Toshibas, which worked just fine for many years.

        Now I have a Dell again (a definitely not cheap one!), and the keyboard is a nightmare. Shallow, imprecise, and despite the anti-rebound setting, I regularly need to correct doouble and trrriple characters... I definitely regret my old Toshiba Qosmio's mechanical keyboard I've comfortably written thousands of pages on...

        1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

          Re: MODERN Membrane-Mechanism Keyboards

          Let me be more-precise: I was writing about the Dell keyboards which came with their desktop systems. I've got a Latitude E6510 laptop which was made in 2010 or so, and while I dislike the feel of the keyboard, it hasn't failed on me.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: MODERN Membrane-Mechanism Keyboards

            > I was writing about the Dell keyboards which came with their desktop systems

            I see. No, we didn't have any problems with those indeed (but then again neither did we with a dozen other brands either).

  8. mwcer

    goldtouch keyboards

    The keys and spacing are too small/close together for me. I'm a fan of goldtouch keyboards -- they don't aggravate my RSI. The goldtouch Go!2 keyboard looks like a better product than this logitech model.

  9. ske1fr
    Holmes

    Make it stop! (hurting)

    Bakker Elkhuizen S-Board 840 (recommended by an ergonomist), compact, brings my wrists and forearms into alignment, flat scissor action keys, I no longer need a numeric keypad, the USB sockets let me connect my Contour RollerMouse Red and an old Logitech trackball for when I really need a middle button.

    That rubber coating breakdown is real, happens with everything coated that way, you can strip the coating with isopropyl alcohol if you want to keep the device, I expect other solvents will take it off too. Manky.

  10. Gavin Chester
    Meh

    Still not offering a USB C adapter.

    I get many people will have Bluetooth as an option but isn’t it about time Logitech offered a USBC adapter at least as an option??

  11. emfiliane

    Not even one word about the rather... unique... key placements and double-ups?

  12. Kurgan

    Horrible layout

    Not a standard (I mean, IBM model M like) layout, so absolutely NO for me. Also, not clicky.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Horrible layout

      I wouldn't say that it's the worst by far. I can't see where the Insert key has been squirrelled away but other than that the big issue is the horrible determination to replace function keys with the usual arbitrary set of functions instead - these are inconsistent across every damn keyboard and vendor and make the simplest of function key presses an exercise in risk. At least they didn't put a bloody power/sleep key on the keyboard (any keyboard designer doing this needs to be summarily beaten to death with their own keyboard)

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