Logitech Freedom Optical Cordless Keyboard and Mouse
By Joel Shore
My desk is a disaster area. Yeah, it's piled up a mile high with papers,
but I know where each one is. What really gets me riled up is that
darn mouse cord that's always getting hung up on something or other.
Where's that farmers wife with her carving knife when I really need
her? Well, the next best thing to cutting of my mouse's tail is a
cordless mouse—and a matching cordless keyboard.
Logitech's Freedom series comes in three models:
Cordless Freedom Pro
– a contoured cordless keyboard with a split key layout plus the
cordless MouseMan. $99
Cordless Freedom Navigator
– premium straight-layout cordless keyboard with cordless MouseMan.
Cordless Freedom – a straight-layout cordless keyboard with
three iTouch Internet keys, detachable palm rest, ambidextrous
cordless Wheel Mouse. $79 (Tested in this review.)
The unit comes with three components, the mouse, the
keyboard, and a little receiver unit that plugs into any available USB
port. Yep, the keyboard and mouse work together through one port, not
Stock up on batteries: the keyboard takes four, the mouse, two
But here's what's so cool. Logitech's cordless products are radio-based instead
of infrared. That's a huge difference. Think about the remote control on your TV
or stereo. It's infrared. That
means it has to have an open "line of sight" to the little window in
the front of the TV that receives the signal. But with radio waves,
you don't have to worry about line of sight. In fact, I tucked the
little receiver unit behind my monitor, out of sight and out of harm's
way. That's pretty cool. Way cool.
KEYS FOR EVERYTHING
Check out that picture. There's a key for nearly anything you can do
with your computer. Let's start at the left side of the keyboard and
work our way clockwise.
The iNav is on the extreme left. You can switch among open
applications just by rolling the wheel. With supported applications
you can zoom in for a closer look.
Above the Escape key is a group of five keys. One, which thankfully
looks very different from the others, lets you suspend, restart, or
shutdown your PC. The other four can be set up for your personal
interests, like finance, favorites, or anything else.
The silver group at the top of the keyboard contains multimedia functions
for navigating around your CDs or DVDs. You'll really like the precise
Next is another group of five keys, labeled iTouch, e-mail, shopping,
searches, or your personal home page. iTouch gives you one-touch
access to some common tasks.
At the bottom is a palm rest that you can detach. I thought it was pretty
The mouse was also comfortable. It uses a red LED instead of a wheel to
keep track of its motion. No more gummed up moving parts to clean.
Stock up on AA-size batteries. The keyboard takes four and the mouse
takes two. None are needed for the receiver. With the power off, I
connected the receiver unit to the PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports on
the back of my computer. After starting up the system, I shoved in the
included CD and followed the instructions for installing the software.
The hardest part of the whole installation was getting around to the
back side of the PC. Remember all those papers I have stacked up
Both the keyboard and mouse were very comfortable, and the sleek black
finish was a lot nicer looking than the almond color so much computing
equipment seems to be.
So is it worth
spending $79 to replace the perfectly good keyboard and mouse that
came with computer? Well, if junior has gummed up with works with
peanut butter, you probably don't have much of a choice. But I really
liked the feel of the Freedom's mouse, and the host of programmable
buttons on the keyboard are a real timesaver.
Reference Guide recommends the Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical.<