In the land of newspaper production the all-mighty deadline is king and you'd better be sure you make it. We all work on macs in the art department here at The Blade so I was anxious to try out the new cordless keyboard and mouse set from Logitech (by the way, they work on a PC too, I found out) with integrated application and web controls. As deadline approaches, any advantage you have over the clock is very welcomed, and I found some of the keyboard shortcuts that Logitech has built into the S530 to be quite handy.
You can designate any of your applications as hot buttons on the keyboard,
booting them up and taking care of business with a single key stroke.
I used the keyboard on a dual G5 running Tiger 10.4.3 and set Safari, Photoshop and InDesign as my hot apps. Ergonomically, the wireless ultra-flat keyboard has more of a laptop feel to it even though the keys are full size. An LED battery status indicator blinks green until 10 days before the batteries need to be changed. Battery life is listed to be 6 months or more and the keyboard requires 2AAA batteries while the mouse gets 2 AA. The laser mouse has internet forward and back buttons built in to the curved thumb area as well as volume controls. A scroll button provides top to bottom as well as side to side screen movement. All of these features can be
tweaked with the included software. I worked in Photoshop quite a bit with the set hooked up and the mouse was smooth and precise and fit in my hand well. It felt a bit light out of the box, but the batteries that need to be installed gave it some weight back. Not having to deal with tangled or snagged cords was a treat as well. The only snag I ran into has little to do with the product itself and more with my workstation set up. The footprint the keyboard unit takes up on my desktop - with its integrated wrist rest - put the F keys at top a bit too close to my monitor's bottom edge but I
quickly adjusted to it.
The set also provided some unforeseen workstation security at home as we found a keyboard kept out of reach when not in use works just as good as a password for limiting access to your pc from small children.