by Brian Beeler
A few weeks ago Logitech released their take on innovative keyboard design. I can’t say that we initially believed their hype, the Wave isn’t the first keyboard to promise better ergonomics and more comfort. But after a few weeks on the Wave full-time, I’ll be sticking with it for the long haul.
Perhaps the biggest challenge any ergonomic keyboard has is the learning curve. The split key design that was popular years ago required users to re-learn how to type. The Wave does take a couple days to get used to, but after that, it’s full speed ahead. Once my fingers, or brain, got used to the different depth keys and smile design, I was fine and typing at full speed.
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It’s all about finger length
The Wave’s design is largely dictated by finger length. To account for certain fingers being longer, or shorter, than others, Logitech designed the contour of the keyboard to fit each finger appropriately. The keys are the highest at the A and Enter keys, which are hit by the shortest fingers. Moving inward, the D and K keys represent a valley as they are typed with the longest middle fingers. The keyboard rises again in the middle to accommodate the pointer fingers. The theory is, since this keyboard is optimized for the fingers, users will have to use less awkward positions to reach them.
Aside from key height, the keyboard also features what Logitech calls a U-shape, or what we call the smile design. Either way, it’s a five degree curve that nets a more comfortable wrist position. The wrists also receive a padded palm rest, which gives a little more comfort and encourages better hand positioning. I will note that the palm rest will wear quickly, notice the wrist marks on ours.
Standard on keyboards in this class, the Wave also features several media and programmable hot keys. The keyboard is powered by 2 AA batteries. Battery life is expected to be 15 months. There is a low-battery warning light underneath the down arrow key that glows when it’s time to replace the batteries.
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Don’t forget the mouse
While the keyboard is the main attraction here, the Wave desktop set also includes a cordless laser mouse. Thoughtfully, it’s ambidextrous, something those oddball lefties can be happy about. It’s also well designed, matching the keyboard and including rubber grips on the sides, along with scroll wheel and front and back buttons. The mouse is powered by 2 AA batteries. Battery life is expected to be 6 months. There is a light on the mouse to indicate low battery levels.
Wave hello or goodbye?
We’re always skeptical when a package like this comes to market. All the promises rarely live up to the marketing hype. This time we’re pleasantly surprised. I’ve been on this keyboard and mouse combo for a few weeks and am very surprised. Everything works as it should, the keyboard is responsive and it didn’t take long to get my brain used to the layout. I can honestly say that after long bouts of typing my hands actually feel less cramped. And while I don’t have statistical data on this point, I actually feel like I’m typing faster and with less error. Results will vary of course, but for $90, this wireless bundle is worth checking out. A wired version is due out in October for $50.
- Ergonomic design is surprisingly comfortable and easy to use
- Reasonably priced
- USB receiver is a little large
- Palm rest shows wear almost instantly