Logitech's Unifying Receiver Harmonizes Mouse/Keyboard Connections

Today's Logitech announcement is one that's easy to overlook as insignificant. In reality, all that is being announced is a tiny USB nub that sticks out just 8mm from your notebook's side, but there's much more to that device that meets the eye. Along with the unveiling of two new keyboards and two new mice, the company is also revealing their new way to connect periperals to PCs: Unifying technology.

As the name imples, the USB Unifying Receiver brings together your wireless mouse and keyboard (or multiple ones) in order to cut down on how many dongles you need to carry, to free up more of your USB ports and to generally move forward the input peripheral industry. Put simply, a single Unifying Receiver dongle can communicate with up to six "Unifying-certified" Logitech devices, so just one receiver is needed for both a mouse and a keyboard (or more, if you'd prefer to switch out for mobile/desktop use).

The only annoying aspect is the Logitech proprietary nature. In other words, Microsoft USB keyboards won't be able to tap into this technology; imagine how fantastic this would be if the dongle were universal! At any rate, the dongle will ship with the new Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350, Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340, Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 and the Logitech Wireless Mouse M505 later this month and into next year, each of which arriving with the industry-first Logitech Plug-and-Forget Nano-receiver.

The Unifying receiver can control up to six Unifying-compatible Logitech peripherals and set up is fast and easy. For the first device, just plug in the receiver and the mouse or keyboard is recognized in seconds. When you want to add more devices, the Unifying software (available for download at www.logitech.com/unifying) walks you through a few steps to get your new device up and running. Both new Unifying-compatible keyboards feature Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity, while 128-bit AES encryption keeps key sniffers at bay. Full details of the new input devices are below:

Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350
Featuring Logitech’s distinctive Wave design and Constant Curve layout, the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350 guides your hands into just the right position and conforms naturally to your fingers. A cushioned palm rest helps position your hands comfortably and properly on the keyboard. Together, they can help you type with ease and confidence, but without forcing you to re-learn typing on an unfamiliar layout. And your keyboard is always ready when you need it – offering up to three years of battery life.

Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340
Designed to fit your space and your life, the compact Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340 won’t take up a lot of room on your desk and is easy to store or take with you. Yet its full-size layout and number pad put all the keys you need within reach. Your keyboard is always ready when you need it thanks to up to three years of battery life. To give you more comfort, the keyboard’s low-profile design helps place your hands and wrists in a more neutral position. Plus, the quiet, responsive keys feel great and barely make a sound.

Logitech Marathon Mouse M705
So you can power on – from home to work and on the road – the Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 can go up to three full years between battery changes, using less than half the power of comparable mice (tested against popular battery-powered optical and laser wireless mice commercially available as of March 1, 2009). With hyper-fast scrolling, you’ll fly through long documents to find what you need in a flash. Laser tracking ensures smooth, responsive cursor control. And the sculpted, right-hand shape naturally conforms to your hand.

Logitech Wireless Mouse M505
The Logitech Wireless Mouse M505 helps you get more done, more comfortably, in more places. With up to 15 months of battery life, you’ve got the power to stay productive, while laser tracking gives you responsive, precise cursor control on surfaces where optical mice fail. And the ergonomically designed, ambidextrous shape – which includes soft rubber grips – conforms to your hand to be naturally comfortable, yet the mouse is compact enough to take with you.

Expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe in September, the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350 and Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340 will have a suggested retail price of $59.99 and $49.99, respectively. With expected availability in Europe in August and in the U.S. in early 2010, the Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 will have a suggested retail price of $69.99. The Logitech Wireless Mouse M505 is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe in August for a suggested retail price of $49.99.