Auckland man in solar keyboard crisis


Chris Keall

UPDATE Dec 10, 2012: It's finally happend: after just over two years, my Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 has finally run out juice.

The K750's solar panels draw power from the sun, but also ambient office lighting - which has presumably sustained it over the past 24 months as directly sunlight rarely reaches my desk at NBR Towers.

Now it's sitting on the windowsill for a recharge.

It should take about a day. 

Stay sunny, Auckland.

And can someone lend me a keyboard?

UPDATE Monday November 29, 2010: I know you're dying to know: How did this keyboard, which draws its charge from artificial lighting, survive after a darkened weekend in NBR Towers? Answer: fine. It's survived two now, turned on. There's also an off switch, for more careful types.

A keyboard powered by office lighting

Nov 23, 2010: When I mention I took delivery of a solar-powered keyboard Wednesday, most snigger (the solar panels are at the top left and top right of the keyboard in the pic above).

I can see why. Auckland is a rainy city. When I tried a solar-powered cellphone charger, briefly pushed by Telecom, it was a bomb.

Worse, even on sunny days, no rays get to my desktop, nestled behind a partition.

But this is where the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 ($169, due December) gets nifty.

It can not only draw power from sunlight, but artificial lighting.

The Solar arrived pre-charged; so far it's going fine. I'll keep you posted.

Logitech's packaging says the company offers a lux meter app for free download, which can warn you if your office's ambient light is insufficient (it was due to be posted online from November 15 (from but when I check today it was still absent.

Impressions so far: as someone who hates the way batteries seem to die every month in wireless keyboards and mice, I love, love, love the powered-by-office-lighting concept, so I hope it proves practical.

The main downside: the Solar keyboard is only 7.5 millimetres thick. 

That gives it points on the style front, but personally I find it's keys don't have enough "give"; it feels like typing on a hard surface. I guess there's just no room for nice soft tactile webbing.

BELOW: Like all high-end wireless keyboards and mice these days, the Solar keyboard comes with a tiny wireless receiver. It's a convenient touch, as it's small enough to always leave in your laptop, and it can control up to six compatible devices.

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