Logitech K310 washable keyboard review

The keyboard is the unluckiest of innocent bystanders but you can wash this one

March 16, 2013
Logitech k310 washable keyboard review
Overall score80%
8 Design and Build
7 Features
9 Usability
Logitech Developer
Washable keyboard Genre

We’ve all probably ruined a keyboard at some point. Sleepily sipping coffee while trying to finish off work, eating dinner in front of the monitor while watching a favourite series, or clumsily grabbing at an energy drink while we wait to respawn at a LAN party.

The keyboard is the unluckiest of innocent bystanders.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to chuck it in the sink with your dinner plate?

Well, Logitech claim you can do just that with their new keyboard, submersible in up to 30cm of water. Intrigued? Let’s check it out.

Design and build quality

The K310 is a relatively compact board, with an easy rectangular shape with rounded corners and no palm rest or other bulky protrusions.

It is however quite attractive, with raised, widely-spaced and individually separated white keys against a grey background, giving it a sleek and unique look. The wide spacing of the keys also makes it a pleasure to type on, with mistakes and typos occurring much less frequently than they would on a board with the keys jammed up against each other.

The build quality of the materials is a little disappointing; the frame doesn’t feel particularly robust and twists and bends easily with little pressure. That said, the keys are a pleasantly soft yet firm plastic that feel good to type on, with a decent tactile response.

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

If you flip the board over you’ll immediately notice its bright blue underside, no doubt meant to indicate its friendly relationship with water. Along the underside edges you’ll see drain holes for water (or coffee) to drain out of, and in the corner you’ll see a white brush tucked away for a bit of extra scrubbing.

The standard two feet used to raise the keyboard can also be found on the back, but interestingly these open out horizontally rather than vertically, so if you get a little enthusiastic about your typing you run the risk of collapsing one of them. That said, at normal levels of enthusiasm the keyboard doesn’t wobble or shake at all.

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

Features

While this is a fairly basic device, it does include some pretty good key functionality. The numbered F keys all double up as function keys, allowing you to quickly adjust volume, music playback and bring up things such as your e-mail and the windows calculator. While not exactly jaw-dropping, it is a nice bit of extra functionality that you’ll find yourself using a lot.

Of course the main feature of the device is its claimed washability – but does it work?

It does. While you can’t be as lazy as throwing it in the dishwasher, scrubbing it with the included brush in a sink of water has it clean in no time, and the drain holes meant it dried relatively quickly. After only 20 minutes sitting in the drying rack it was ready to go, and after a couple of washes it’s still going strong.

The reason this works is that both key’s switches are locked behind two rubber domes, which can press into each other easily but don’t allow any fluid inside. Logitech even included a cap for the USB port to prevent water getting in there; pretty clever.

According to Logitech the lettering on the keys is “laser printed and UV coated” to prevent it fading from repeated washing – it’s too soon to tell if this technology works as promised, but Logitech do also claim the keys can withstand 5 million keystrokes.

One potential issue is that Logitech doesn’t advertise this as being compatible with Windows 8 – it’s likely it’ll still work fine with the new operating system, but none of the keys are designed specifically with Windows 8 in mind, a possible deal-breaker for those with their eyes on the future.

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

Logitech k310 washable keyboard

Conclusion

The Logitech K310 comes in at an RRP of R599, which is the only real sticking point. If you took away the washable feature, I wouldn’t be happy paying more than R250 for a keyboard like this; making it washable is more than doubling the price I’d expect to see.

That said, it does what it says it does and it does it well. If you’re someone who’s clumsy or just likes to eat at their computer a lot, shelling out the extra few hundred for this could definitely be worth it – how much that feature is worth to someone is going to be subjective.

As a keyboard, it’s pleasant to use and performs well; I’d have no problem recommending it – you just have to decide whether or not the price is right.

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Tags: Headline, Logitech, Logitech K310, Logitech K310 washable keyboard review

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