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Logitech Cordless Keyboard (Wii) review: Logitech Cordless Keyboard (Wii)

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Nintendo Wii owners will be intimately familiar with that system's onscreen keyboard, which lets you hunt and peck with the Wiimote controller. It's perfectly good for entering quick-text snippets, like player names or Wi-Fi passwords, but it can become tedious for longer text-entry duties. It's for the latter scenario that Logitech has released the Cordless Keyboard for Wii. It is "Licensed for Wii" by Nintendo, so it's certified as fully compatible with the gaming console.

6.0

Logitech Cordless Keyboard (Wii)

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Nintendo-certified wireless keyboard for Wii; plug-and-play setup; attractive, comfortable keyboard in the tradition of Logitech's PC models; also works with Windows PCs and Macs.

The Bad

Lack of wrist rest may become uncomfortable over long typing sessions; you'll still need to keep the Wiimote handy for navigating onscreen menus; many other wireless keyboards work just as well on the Wii.

The Bottom Line

The Logitech Cordless Keyboard for Wii is a capable and comfortable keyboard for anyone who's doing a lot of text entry on the Nintendo game console, but it's not a must-have accessory.

Not surprisingly, the Cordless Keyboard is similar to the mostly excellent models that Logitech's been making for PCs for years, but it's been streamlined for living-room use. It's a mere 12 inches wide, 6.5 inches deep, and about 0.75 inch thick, and weighs just less than a pound. The standard QWERTY layout is accentuated by a handful of Wii-specific keys at the edges: Zoom In/Out, Forward/Back, Quit, and OK. There's no dedicated number pad, but you can toggle the right-center alphabet keys to that mode with the function button, as you would on a laptop. And it's finished in a glossy white, perfectly matching the Wii's aesthetics.

The keyboard takes two AA batteries (included), and interfaces with a tiny USB dongle that you plug into the back of the Wii. (No, we don't know why it just couldn't connect to the Wii's internal Bluetooth wireless, either.) Logitech claims a range of about 30 feet, but you're unlikely to test that distance while you're plopped on the sofa in front of the TV, and we had no connectivity problems whatsoever. Setup was plug-and-play for us, but if you have any trouble, you can sync the keyboard with the dongle by simultaneously depressing a tiny button on each component (just as you'd resync a wayward Wiimote with the console base).

We sat the keyboard in our lap and used it for typing messages and accessing Web sites on the Wii's Opera browser, and it was certainly more convenient than using the onscreen alternative. The keys have a good travel distance, and typing was mostly comfortable. Ergonomics were fine for short-to-medium typing sessions, but the absence of a wrist rest means we wouldn't want to be typing, say, a term paper with this model.

For what it's worth, the Logitech Cordless Keyboard also works with any recent Mac or Windows PC as well, though the absence of Apple and Microsoft-specific function keys will limit its use on each. Conversely, most wired and many wireless USB keyboards will also work just fine on the Wii. For instance, we plugged in the base station for the Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000, and it worked well--although its larger size and black color probably wouldn't fit into a living-room decor as well as the Wii keyboard.

If there's one annoyance with the keyboard, it's that you'll still need to keep the Wiimote controller nearby to navigate through the Wii's menu system; to our knowledge, there aren't any shortcuts to get back to the Wii home screen, for instance. Also note that we didn't test the keyboard over a long period of time, so battery longevity remains a question mark.

All in all, the Logitech Cordless Keyboard for Wii works fine. The question becomes: do you really need it? If the Wii is the primary device for accessing the Internet in the household, or if you're planning on getting a chat-heavy game such as Nintendo's Animal Crossing: City Folk, then the Cordless Keyboard may well be a good investment. Just make sure that you'll actually be doing enough text entry to justify the purchase, and that you don't want to make do with a spare PC keyboard you might have sitting in a closet. In other words, the Logitech Cordless Keyboard is hardly a must-have purchase for most Wii owners, but those who have need for copious text entry on the Wii will find that it gets the job done.

6.0

Logitech Cordless Keyboard (Wii)

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 5Performance 6