If, like us, you're a hater of split-keyboards, Logitech's new Cordless Desktop Wave offers a more palatable alternative if you want a little more comfort in your day-to-day typing. A cleverly designed key layout gently angles your wrists towards a less stressful typing position, without asking you to relearn how to type. The $80 price tag for the complete wireless keyboard and mouse set feels like a fair deal, especially compared to the traditional split keyboards that can run to $100 or $150. A few back steps in hot-key layout make us wish that Logitech had taken a more all-around approach in the Cordless Desktop Wave's, but for its stated purpose, we found it easy to adjust to and comfortable to use.
Logitech incorporates two design elements into its Cordless Desktop Wave keyboard that make it stand out. The first is the so-called "wave" design, which angles the edge keys, and the two rows in the middle up towards your fingers, and pushes the keys in the W, E, and R and I, O, and P rows lower. The idea is to accommodate the different lengths of your fingers. The varying height of the keys is supposed to match up with each digit in a more natural fit.
The other unique twist is the keyboard's curve. It's similar in shape to Microsoft's Digital Entertainment Desktop 7000 and 8000, although with one major difference. Unlike the Microsoft keyboards, the letter keys on the Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave are all the same size. That means there's no stretched out G or H key in the middle row to get caught on. Such a simple design step actually makes a huge difference in how quickly you become comfortable with Logitech's board. With the Microsoft design, it takes much longer--for touch typists, especially.
Those two features really form the bulk of what makes the Cordless Desktop Wave special. A semicushioned, nondetachable wrist rest also helps keep your wrists supported. And unlike either of Microsoft's Digital Entertainment Desktops or its recently revamped Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000, all of which cost $125 or more, the $80 Logitech set has a reasonable price tag. It uses standard USB-based RF for its wireless connection and two regular AA batteries in the keyboard and the basic five-button laser mouse. Logitech also offers a separate package with the wired version of the keyboard only for $50.
The only thing we'd change about the Cordless Desktop Wave is its media control keys. Rather than emulate most current digital media-oriented keyboards and put the play controls along the sides, Logitech went old-school on this model and runs the media keys along the top edge instead. We'll grant that the focus on typing might make the Cordless Desktop Wave best suited to an office environment (and Windows Vista, by way of the oversize Flip 3D hot key) but since Logitech went so far as to make the keyboard and mouse wireless, it might as well have taken the extra step and made the media keys easier to use when you're leaning back in front of your PC with the keyboard in your lap.