Mama Geek

A slightly bewildered geek's journey through motherhood!

Review: Logitech K310 Washable Keyboard

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Disclosure: This product was sent to me free of charge by Maplin to be reviewed. However, as per my PR info disclaimer, this review is my unbiased honest opinion of the product.

Logitech LogoProduct: Logitech K310 Washable Keyboard

Price: £34.99

maplin-logoAge Range: n/a

Manufacturer’s Description: The keyboard that loves a wash. Dirt? Dust? Grime? Life happens and this keyboard is ready. Give it a deep soak. It’s easy to clean, built to be hand washed and designed with long-lasting keys that can take a pounding—including one-touch keys that get you right to whatever you want to do. Easy to clean, from a light dusting to a soak with dish washing liquid, submersible in up to 30 cm (11 inches) of water. Keyboard brush included (attached to keyboard). Drainage holes for speedy drying.

Rating:  (5/5 stars)

Logitech-K310-Washable-Keyboard

Review: When I was told about this keyboard, I was very intrigued. In my head, water and electronics should never mix, but a history of sticky keys and crumbs between my letters had me thinking it was a great idea.

I’ve never been one for following the “don’t eat or drink at the computer” rules, and anyone who knows me can testify that I’m the clumsy type. Previously I have pretty much destroyed a few keyboards by making them rather unpleasant to use, with sticky coke and coffee drips, let alone the ketchup (from sausage & egg sandwiches) and other food debris. Georgie has definitely inherited my lack of co-ordination, probably not helped by the fact James is about as bad as me! As she gets older and begins to use computers more, I can see that a washable keyboard is a very good idea indeed.

The keyboard itself is attractive, slim and feels very nicely designed, as I would expect from Logitech. I find typing on it very pleasant, with a enjoyably tactile feel to the laser-printed keys. I can touch type quite happily on it, achieving my normal typing speed of around 60 wpm (any faster than that and my accuracy drops dramatically!)

This keyboard has been designed to use with Windows computers, and has a number of function keys which can be activated by pressing the Fn key along with the relevant F key. These keys will quick launch applications or manage your media player, and consist of:

  • Fn + F1 = Home
  • Fn +F2 = Launch Email
  • Fn + F3 = Search
  • Fn + F4 = Calculator
  • Fn + F5 = Launch Media Player
  • Fn + F6 = Previous Track
  • Fn + F7 = Play/Pause
  • Fn + F8 = Next Track
  • Fn + F9 = Mute
  • Fn + F10 = Volume down
  • Fn + F11 = Volume up
  • Fn + F12 = PC Sleep

I tested the keyboard with a MacBook Pro, and so not all of these keys were functional. Keys F1 to F5 did nothing at all, but iTunes could be launched by the Play/Pause function key instead. F6 through to F12 worked as expected, managing the system volume & iTunes perfectly, with F12 bringing up the “Are you sure you want to shut down your computer now?” dialog that you would normally get pressing the power button on your Mac.

It is a pity that this keyboard is not recognised by the Logitech control centre that is available for Macs, as that would have allowed me to assign the other 5 function keys to make them more useful. Saying that, Logitech do not sell this as a Mac keyboard, and only specify Windows under the supported operating systems, so it’s not like they’re making promises and not keeping them!

Using this keyboard is very simple, as you would expect with a USB keyboard. Literally plug-and-play, you just slot in the cable and you are away. The “Setup Guide” only has two steps and one of those is “Turn on your computer” so that will give you an idea of how easy it is!

On my MacBook Pro, I also ran through the standard keyboard identification dialog on screen (this is very easy and just involves pressing a key on the keyboard), and then enabled the “British – PC” input setting under languages so that my @ & ” symbols were working correctly… although I prefer the Apple layout now I am used to it after many years using Macs, I choose to use the right profile as I like what is on the keys to match what shows up on screen.

The underside of the K310 keyboard is a rather pretty bright blue, and the cleaning instructions are printed on – so you can’t lose them! Flip open legs ensure that the keyboard is sat at the right angle for typing, and there is even a little keyboard brush cleverly clipped onto the bottom of the keyboard. Plenty of air holes underneath allow for fast drying when you wash the keyboard.

Now that we have moved house, I have claimed a corner of the spare room for myself, for my web design work & blogging. I have my MacBook Pro sat on the desk hooked up to an external monitor, to give me extra screen real estate for whatever I am doing. With this setup, I prefer to use a separate keyboard and mouse, so I can push my laptop to the back of the desk. It is nice to have a good quality keyboard for my new miniature home office, and great that it is coffee and fizzy drink proof, not to mention Georgie-on-my-lap-with-a-soggy-biscuit proof!

To test the washability of the K310 keyboard, I accidentally-on-purpose spilt some of my coffee all over the keys, letting them get stained and sopping wet. OOPS.

We washed the keyboard thoroughly in the bathroom sink, using the included brush, and then sped up the “air drying” (recommended for 8 hours) by using a baby towel and waggling it around a lot until there were no more water droplets flying through the air. Upon plugging it back in, the keyboard still functioned perfectly & looked as good as new.

You can even use a little bit of washing up liquid if you need to (for “those stubborn stains,” presumably), although we found that plain warm water did the trick, combined with the use of the brush. The keyboard can withstand temperatures of up to 50°C and a depth of 30cm, for up to 5 minutes.

The keys are laser printed & UV-protected to prevent you from being able to wash the letters/symbols off over time, which will be fantastic for the occasions when I really need to scrub something vile off they keys. Let’s face it, in my home that is bound to happen, and it’s nice to know I can apply the elbow grease without being afraid of the alphabet fading away before my eyes.

I would certainly recommend this keyboard to parents, or even just for my fellow klutzes. At £34.99 it is slightly highly priced for a USB wired keyboard, but the fact that you can wash away all of your desk snacking sins makes it totally worth spending a bit extra to begin with, in my opinion! I have spent many lunchbreaks prizing off the keys of my work keyboard to wipe off the stickiness and brush away crumbs, so this keyboard is certainly the solution to my problem.

Five stars for this kid-proof keyboard.

7 Comments

  1. L

    That is really cool. My Macbook only half lights up after I spilt cup of coffee on it and toddler knocked a glass of water over hubbys new laptop last night. That is before all the food stuck in the keys so I am thinking this would be perfect for our desktops in the office! Not expensive either really is it. They need to start making spill proof laptops though! L x

    Reply
    • Zoe

      It is so neat! I am always eating at my desk when the kids are napping, and make such a mess. It was nerve-wracking getting it wet for the first time though, the electronics + water = bad thing is so ingrained!

      Reply

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