Introduction

I've used a wireless keyboard and mouse for about three years now, specifically, the Logitech iTouch Freedom. I've enjoyed using it for the past years, but about two months ago, the keyboard started to act up. And when I say act up, I really mean it. Whenever I pressed a key, it would input in the PC about ten random letters and numbers, as well as actions. Nothing would fix the problem, so I was out of a keyboard.

So, I gave Logitech an e-mail and asked to review the Logitech Cordless Comfort Duo. Luckily, they sent me one, and they even let me keep it. But did I enjoy it, and is it worth the money? Read on to find out.

The Box

I was sent a retail box for review, and the box itself looks like any other keyboard and mouse box. I'm not surprised or anything, but it's always nice to see something unique for a box. I look at the eye candy on boxes for whether or not to buy the product a lot, and this product would not stand out.

  

Anyways, when you first open the box, you'll find the keyboard secured on top, as well as the wrist comfort attachment secured in a cardboard holder. Below that, you'll see the mouse, in a plastic baggie. Next to it is the receiver, which will connect to your PC via USB or PS/2 (with the included adaptor). Besides that are the batteries, four in all (two for each device). I love it when companies package batteries with their products, considering I'm always in such low supply of them. Finally, you'll find the "QuickStart" manual, with the "iTouch" software CD.

  

 

Everything is packed well, and it doesn't look like anything would be damaged during shipment.



Keyboard Design

The keyboard in the Cordless Comfort Duo package is extremely nice and sleek. It's entirely black, and it's split between the middle for maximum comfort. On the top of the keyboard, you'll find twelve "one-touch" buttons, which do various things, from connecting to the internet to controlling music and DVD's. I'll go into each button's features later.

  

 

Strangely enough, Logitech changed the design of the keys in between the numbers and the letters (where the Delete, Insert, and Home keys are). Instead of having two rows of three, Logitech has made three rows of two, which can be annoying and hard to adapt to.

On the bottom of the keyboard, you'll find two clips that keep the keyboard angled. However, they aren't placed on the top like on most keyboards, but instead on the sides. This works well, but I didn't notice any difference between the standard location of the clips. Sometimes, though, (probably once or twice a week), the clips fell down, which was annoying, but probably my fault. On the bottom, you'll also find the "Connect" button, as well as the battery compartment.

  

 

Other then those slight problems I stated above, the keyboard design was very nice, and very stylish. It should look great in anyone's home or office environment.

Mouse Design

The mouse in the Cordless Comfort Duo set is also very nice and stylish. It is mostly black, but in the center it features a section that's silver (with the Logitech logo), and the three mouse buttons are also silver. Unlike many wireless keyboards, Logitech does have three buttons on its mouse, one being on the left-hand side. While this doesn't work well at all for left-hand users, it's great for right-handers. You can set the button do to various actions, but I'll go into that later.

  

 

You'll also find a wheel for scrolling in the middle of the two mouse buttons. Not a big surprise here. The wheel was comfortable, and moved very well.

On the right-hand side of the mouse, you'll find a little grip area. It's basically a piece of rubber that makes the mouse even more comfortable to hold. This works very well for left-hand users.

On the bottom of the mouse, you'll find five sliders to make the mouse move as smoothly as possible. You'll also see a small "Connect" button, which you'll need to press with a sharp point if the receiver and mouse connection is for some reason broken. You'll also find the optical sensor, as well as the battery compartment. The Cordless Comfort Duo mouse uses two AA batteries.

  

Overall, the mouse's design was excellent, and extremely comfortable. Although lefties won't be able to use the third button conveniently, they should still have no problems using the mouse.

Receiver Design

The receiver in the Cordless Comfort Duo is a small, translucent blue device that connects to your PC via USB or PS/2. It is quite nice, and on it you'll find the Caps Lock light, Num Lock light, as well as the Scroll Lock light, instead of being on the keyboard. Although it is somewhat of a inconvenience, I didn't mind too much.

  

  



Keyboard Functionality

As long as you install the drivers for the keyboard, you will be able to use and customize the buttons on the top of the unit. However, you can use all the buttons even if you don't have the drivers installed. Here's a list of what each button does on the keyboard:

Sleep Button - You can choose in the Windows Screensaver/Power setup to Shutdown, Sleep, or Hibernate your computer when pressed.

Home Button - Clicking here will open your internet browser.

Mail Button - Open's your e-mail client.

Search Button - Open's Window's Search feature.

Favorites Button - Launches your web browser as well as your Favorites (does not work if drivers are not installed)

Mute Button - Mutes the volume

Volume Control -Adjust volume of the computer.

Playback controls - Playback controls for audio and DVD's.

If you have the drivers installed, you can adjust four of the top buttons to whatever you like. Specifically, the Home, Mail, Search, and Favorites button, but I'll get into that later.

There's nothing else on the keyboard that's too different then any other keyboard, with exception of the Logitech key on the top right of the keyboard. It won't work without drivers, but when they are installed, it'll go to a Quick Reference Guide. You can also select, through the drivers, to make it do whatever you want.

While the keyboard has a lot of features and buttons, it's nothing too special. Most keyboards today offer these buttons, and Logitech fits right in with the crowd.

Mouse Functionality

As I said above, the mouse is very comfortable and stylish. But the question is this: Does it work well?

It works well, but it depends on what you are doing. If you're a hardcore gamer, this mouse isn't for you. But while using the internet and word processing, and the like, this mouse was excellent. As long as it was on my Alienware mouse pad, the mouse never stalled or chugged, but was always smooth. The mouse even worked on my shiny wood desk like it would work with a mouse pad, which is great, but occasionally it chugged.

You can use the third mouse button as long as the drivers are installed. I found this button to be extremely useful. You can set it to do dozens of options, but I found the most useful option to be the Back feature, in which clicking the button in your web browser equals clicking the back button. It's extremely convenient, and very smart.

Overall, the mouse works great for the average user. If you are a gamer in search for a wireless mouse, you want a MX700. For everyone else, this is perfect.

 

DRIVERS NOTE: I did not test drivers using the drivers on the included CD. I downloaded the latest drivers from Logitech.com.

Mouse Drivers

While for the past pages I've been saying all the good things the drivers do for your system, I haven't mentioned that even with all these good things, I don't recommend them.

For one thing, the drivers are not very compatible. Although it hasn't happened to me, many people have complained about stability issues and the like.

Not only that, but the drivers use up a lot of memory and CPU processing power, so it slows down your PC. Considering this product is targeted toward the average user, who probably has a HP, E-Machines, or the like, they most likely don't have much processing power to spare.

But, if you do install the drivers with no problems and you have a powerful enough computer, they aren't too shabby. They have quite a few things that you can change to personalize the keyboard and mouse to your tastes.

  

Here's the main page of the mouse drivers. It's basically an overall look at your mouse and what each button does. You can set the mouse drivers to put a button in the taskbar (make sure you uncheck this), and you can do a Device Setup, which lets you choose actions for the third and fourth buttons in a wizard format.

  

The pointers menu is the exact same as the Windows pointers menu, so we continue on to Buttons. Here, you can adjust button controls manually, as well as set the scrolling size.

  

Next up is the Motion category. Here, you can set up various things, most importantly, the mouse speed. You can also turn on/off mouse acceleration. I found the best setting was Low, and Off in games. There's also SmartMove, which automatically moves the mouse cursor to the highlighted button whenever a dialog box pops up. Useful, but I don't like it. Finally, you can set up Cursor Trails, which makes a trail of cursors whenever you use the mouse. It looks cool, but it gets annoying.

  

Second to last is the Cordless category. Here, you can see your battery level, as well as the channel the mouse is on. You can also reconnect your mouse in case it loses a connection for some reason.

  

Lastly is the devices category. Here, you'll be able to see what mice are hooked up to your PC, as well as Logitech information. How interesting.



Keyboard Drivers

Once again, although I've said that the drivers do have useful features, I would recommend that you did not install them. Like the mouse drivers, they are known to have problems with stability, and they use up memory and CPU processing power on your computer. However, here is a run-through of the various settings in the iTouch driver software.

First up is the Hot Keys section. Here, you can setup the five customizable hot keys to do various actions. They can either open up a program, website, or menu.

Next is the Options menu. You’ll find here four settings. First is whether you want on-screen key effects, which is green text that appears when you press a hotkey saying what you just pressed (for example, if you press volume up, the screen will show in green letters the volume). Next is whether you want to show icon in the taskbar (DON’T do this!). There’s also Show Lock Key Notification, and Auto-hide “lock key” popups.

Here, you’ll find the battery level, status of the keyboard (secure or not), Connection settings, and a wizard to secure the keyboard.

 

Battery Life

Since I have used the unit for just a couple weeks now, I am not sure about how well the battery life is. I would expect the battery life to be a couple months of normal usage, but I am not sure about this statement.



Pros:

Sleek

Easy Installation

12 Keyboard Buttons

Three-button mouse

Keyboard is Excellently Designed

Cons:

Horrible Drivers

I didn't like the placement of the clips on the bottom of the keyboard

Costs retail $80-100 (can be found for around $70 though)

SLRating: 9/10

 

Conclusion:

I had a pretty good time using the Logitech Cordless Comfort Duo. It's sleek, comfortable, the keyboard has a lot of hotkey buttons, and the mouse has three buttons, which is extremely convenient. While the drivers did suck, and the clips on the bottom of the keyboard bothered me, the keyboard/mouse combo is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a wireless keyboard and mouse setup. It does set you back quite a bit of money ($90 at Amazon), you can find it for around $70 using Pricewatch. I do think that $70 is a lot for a keyboard and mouse, but if you think about it, you use these two things so many times a day, it really is worth the investment to get a nice one, isn't it?

Overall, I recommend this combo for anyone looking for a stylish, yet convenient and comfortable keyboard and mouse. It isn't the cheapest set on the block, but it works great and is perfect for most people.







        

        

        

        

        

        

        

  



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