If you own a Sony PlayStation 3 and have done any Web browsing or text messaging, you're probably pretty tired of using the PS3's cumbersome text-entry system. Perhaps you take a moment a key in the words "PS3 Bluetooth keyboard" into the Google search box and discover Sony hasn't made one--yet. You might also discover that Sony hasn't enabled the Bluetooth profile for keyboards in the PS3 Bluetooth settings menu, which means you can't just plug in any old Bluetooth keyboard and use it with the PS3. Of course, this should all change when Sony eventually puts out a Bluetooth keyboard, but as of this writing, Logitech is the only manufacturer making a Sony-certified cordless keyboard for the PS3 that's been deemed completely compatible. Alas, it doesn't use Bluetooth wireless technology, opting instead for 2.4GHz RF (radio frequency) technology. That begs the question: why shouldn't other USB cordless keyboards work with the PS3? Well, they might, but Logitech says it's tweaked the drivers on its Logitech Cordless MediaBoard for PlayStation 3 ($80) to make sure the keyboard works flawlessly with the PS3. And in a nutshell, that's what's special about the keyboard.
In all other regards, this is a pretty basic cordless keyboard, which also happens to work just fine as a basic, cordless keyboard with Windows PCs and Macs. The main points working in its favor are that it's easy to set up, it's slim and light, and it has a built-in mousepad, so you don't have to bother connecting a cordless mouse to your PS3 as well. To get going, you simply plug the USB dongle into one of the USB ports on the front of your PS3, install two AA batteries in the keyboard, and flip the keyboard's power switch to "on." (In case you're wondering, the RF dongle does not allow you to use an RF remote with the PS3).
The Logitech Cordless MediaBoard for PlayStation 3 is fairly ho-hum looking, and Logitech didn't attempt to match its finish to the PS3's piano-black finish. As we said, it's slim and fairly compact, measuring 6.8 x 17.6 x .9 inches (HWD), which makes it easy to stow away when not in use. We suspect that a lot people will keep it on the lower shelf of a coffee table between the couch and TV.
The keyboard has a range of about 30 feet. That should be plenty of distance for most folks, considering you won't be able to read what's on your screen from that far away unless you're using a projector to cast a very large image. All in all, the keyboard seemed pretty responsive, but we were just entering text and mousing around Web pages.
The biggest drawback of the keyboard is that it doesn't have any PS3-centric buttons (Circle, Square, Cross, Triangle, Select, Start, and so forth) built into the keyboard itself. One major problem with using Sony's Web browser on the PS3 is that, in order to call up the address bar, you have to hit the Start button on the PS3 controller. This is really irritating and not Logitech's fault, but ideally, of course, you'd have a button on the keyboard that mimicked the Start button--or better yet, you should have the option of always seeing the address bar in the browser.
In the final analysis, the Logitech Cordless MediaBoard for PlayStation 3 is really an interim product built to fill a need in the marketplace. Before long, we assume Logitech or Sony will come out with a much more PS3-centric keyboard, not simply a PC keyboard tweaked to work with the PS3. Until then, this Logitech certainly serves its purpose well enough, but down the road you may be sorry you didn't wait for a better option to come out.