Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Logitech K270 Wireless Keyboard "Almost" Just Works With Ubuntu

Last year I invested in the Logitech Touchpad and reviewed it in this post. It is part of Logitech wireless range which allows you to connect their products to a computer with a small USB "unifying receiver". This little device can support up to six wireless products so after almost a year I decided to add my second wireless device, this being the Logitech K270 Keyboard. At the current price of £17.98 I was not 100% about just how good the quality of the keyboard would be considering how well built the touchpad has proven to be. But on arrival I was very happy to unbox an item up to Logitech's usual high standard.

Logitech K270 Wireless Keyboard

Logitech Unifying Receiver beside a €1 coin


It is not a very large keyboard and lacks any of the ergonomic extra's like a curve and rest for your wrist but if you want to use this on your lap then those sort of features are not really required. As I type this blog post up using the keyboard I am finding no issues that jump out. I like that the keys make the more muted typing sound versus others that are much more 'clicky'. It does have the usual option of using it in the flat or raised positions and have to admit I found a recent article on Lifehacker about the real reason those legs are there! The usual media keys are present, except for the media forward/back buttons. They seemed to have been placed with the Home and End keys to save space, but do not seem to work. It only takes a minute to assign a shortcut to them though via the keyboard option in system settings.

Now to the only problem I had with using the keyboard with Ubuntu, when I first turned it on it did not seem to work. As it turns out you need to 'pair' the new device with the existing unifying receiver, which obviously makes sense as you could imagine the issues in a busy office! This Logitech product is branded as being Linux compatible which is all well and good, except that the software that does the actual pairing is only available for Windows and Mac. So while your products will work out of the box, as a Ubuntu user you will need to find a Windows or Mac machine to download the Logitech software, pair the devices on one of the receivers then once you plug it back into your Linux machine everything is working as hoped.

So for the price you get a very good quality keyboard, that also happens to be wireless and when used in conjunction with other member of the Logitech range of wireless products really gives you a greater degree of freedom, comfort and cleaner workspace environment. For all that I am happy to recommend giving this a try, but be warned that if you are planning on pairing devices up you will need access to a Windows or Mac machine for a few minutes.