Logitech announced today the release of its Unifying Receiver, which lets multiple wireless peripherals connect to a computer via only a single USB dongle. Four products will be released that support the proprietary technology, including the Wireless Keyboard K350, Wireless Keyboard K340, Marathon Mouse M705, and Wireless Mouse M505.
Like several of Logitech's other wireless peripherals, the products use 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity via a tiny USB dongle that protrudes only 8 millimeters from the edge of the USB port. Whereas previously each wireless receiver needed its own USB transceiver, the Unifying technology lets up to six devices connect at the same time. Each additional peripheral needs to be set up using Logitech's Unifying software and connects securely using 128-bit AES encryption. The K350 is a fully-featured keyboard with several media controls; shortcuts; and an ergonomic, curvy design. The K340, on the other hand, has a much more minimal and compact design while still maintaining a full keyboard and number pad. Both boast up to three years of battery life and support for Windows 7.
The M705 derives its "Marathon" name from a similarly promised three-year battery life, thanks to a power switch and auto-sleep function. The laser-tracking mouse also has an option for hyper-fast scrolling, which is not available on the M505. The M505 also has a shorter battery life at 15 months. Both will be compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Both keyboards are expected to be available in September, with the K350 retailing for $60 and the K340 for $50. The M505 will be available in August for $50. While the M705 will be released in Europe in August, it won't arrive in the U.S. until early 2010, at which time it will retail for $70.