Keyboards in the test: Four times Logitech and Microsoft in comparison
- 1 Introduction
- The test candidates
- 2 Packaging and scope of delivery
- 3 Design and shape
- 4 Ergonomics
- 5 Documentation
- Hardware installation
- 6 Software and drivers
- 7 Hotkeys
- 9 Practical use
- 10 Conclusion
Software and drivers
An important component of keyboards with hotkeys is the software or the driver, because it is only through this that all hotkeys can be used and adjusted. In this section we clarify what settings the software allows for the individual keyboards and to what extent they are compatible with games.
Logitech: Installation: The iTouch software supplied with both keyboards has the version number 1.83 and supports the operating systems Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT4/2k/XP. After inserting the CD, the installation routine opens, provided the autostart function has been activated. This first asks you for the desired language before the actual installation begins. Then it goes on as with most programs: you select the components to be installed, accept the license agreement and choose the installation path and the name for the start menu entry. If you reject the license agreement, of course, nothing happens and the installation is canceled. After the installation you still have the option of aInstall the user manual and activate the 'Logitech Desktop Messenger'. No, this is not another instant messaging program like ICQ or similar. This tool will notify you of the latest Logitech software and the latest Logitech specials, services and products. If you do not activate the desktop messenger, you can choose whether you want to activate the tool later in the control panel or immediately, or whether you want to deactivate the service entirely.
Features: The iTouch software is very extensive and offers many useful options. The Resource Center offers access to Logitech's online resources such as the product database, support or Logitech's own shop. You can also register for T-Online or use the Logitech Print Service to send your digital photographs directly to a photo laboratory. However, this is by no means all, because the hotkeys can not only be assigned with websites, but also with programs or lists to which you can optionally add other programs or websites. The Cordless Desktop Keyboard has another special feature: the status display of the lock keys. Since these are not indicated by LEDs, this is done by software. Four more symbols then appear in the system tray, one of which, however, serves a different purpose, namely to display the backup status. ToBelow are three figures, the first shows a tray icon with an activated number pad (the field with the 1), the second with a deactivated one. The picture on the right shows all four tray icons, which can, however, be deactivated or activated individually as desired in the options. The symbol for the number pad is already known, the capital A shows the status of the shift key and the arrow the status of the scroll key.
Useful information can be called up under the 'Wireless' tab, which, as the name might suggest, is only available for the Cordless Desktop Keyboard. Here you can find out on which of the two channels the keyboard is connected to the station, and the charge status of the batteries can also be viewed. Here you can also set which of the four icons for the caps lock keys you want to show or hide.
A few more words about encrypting and securing the keyboard. The keyboard can be secured with the 'Secure' option, also under the 'Wireless' tab. This means that the transmission between the station and the keyboard is encrypted and can no longer be intercepted and manipulated. An assistant leads you in four short steps to the backup, which includes arandomly generated 16-digit code. If the entry was correct, the connection is secured. In the case of an unencrypted connection, an open lock is displayed, as can be seen on the right picture above, and in the case of an unsecured connection, it shows a bullet .png '>
The Logitech Desktop Messenger has just been mentioned. As soon as something happens, you get a message in the form of a small green window in the lower right corner of the screen that you have a message from Logitech. When using the Desktop Messenger for the first time, a click on this message brings up the following window.
Microsoft : Installation: The IntelliType Pro software included with the two keyboards has version number 2.1 and supports the Windows 9x/Me/NT4/2k and XP operating systems. The installation is similar to Logitech, but with the Wireless Desktop Keyboard you first get a selection menu where you can choose between IntelliPoint (for the mouse) and IntelliType Pro (for the keyboard) software. With the Office Keyboard, you immediately get into the installation routine. You already know the rest: Selecting the region/country and accepting the license agreement. Then select the keyboard for which the software is to be installed. At the end you can choose whether you want to have the system automatically checked for updates when you are connected to the Internetand whether you want to have two symbols, one for the keyboard settings and one for the quick start manual, created on the desktop.
Functions: The Microsoft software is quite slim in terms of functions. Most of all, I miss a display for the battery status of the wireless keyboard, since you now either have to measure yourself or simply wait until the keyboard starts to function properly. All in all, however, a small drawback. However, I liked the assignment of the hotkeys all the more, because here you can either select commands from a predefined list or call up a program, a website or a file. To do this, you just have to select the desired option in the corresponding option field and set this after clicking on 'Next'. Alternatively, the use of the button can also be deactivated completely. The list with the keys is of course different for each keyboard, which is why you can also select your keyboard by clicking on the 'Update' button (in the picture above right) in the overview of the keys.
On the next page: Hotkeys