Logitech Wireless Desktop S510 Media Remote Review

Admin - 2007-06-05 18:05:00 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: June 27, 2006
Logitech
GfcityComputers
Price: $65 USD

Introduction
Logitech is one of the best known companies when it comes to computer peripherals such as keyboards and mice. Founded in 1981 and being in business for over 25 years, it comes as no surprise that their products are well built. The Logitech Cordless Desktop with the S 510 Media Remote was made primarily with the growing number of Home Theater Personal Computers (HTPC) in mind. The bundle offers a wireless keyboard, mouse and remote to meet the needs of anyone from average users to PC enthusiasts.

Closer Look
The packaging the Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote bundle comes in is Logitech's usual assortment of a colorful and flashy box, with a transparent end showing part of its contents.




Inside, the contents are safely protected with a plastic casing molded to the shape of its contents. The Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote package contains instructions, batteries, USB stand, wireless USB mini-receiver, software CD, letter overlay stickers for level 3 characters, the S 510 cordless keyboard, LX5 cordless mouse and the Media Remote. On top of the shiny plastic parts such as the keyboard sides and underneath the mouse and remote, Logitech decided to include a thin plastic layer that is removable to protect from scratches and fingerprints.



Closer Look

The Logitech S 510 Cordless Keyboard

The Logitech S 510 cordless keyboard is a full sized, standard QWERTY keyboard. It is similar to the Logitech's diNovo keyboard in looks. The main difference between the two is that the diNovo keyboard has laptop-sized keys, while the S 510 Cordless keyboard has full height keys. Despite the bigger keys, this keyboard still manages to keep an extremely low profile, reaching only about 1.5 cm high at its highest points. Personally, I prefer the full sized keys over the flat, laptop-styled ones. It makes it easier for me to type, and I also find it a lot more comfortable. Another feature is the Zero Degree Tilt design of this keyboard, which helps in keeping a low profile. The keyboard takes 2 AAA batteries, providing it with enough power for a few month

The left and right margins of the keyboard provide a number of buttons for different functions. On the left, Logitech included a low battery indicator, PC sleep mode and internet home. There also are buttons for picture viewing: rotate 90*, zoom in/ out and zoom-fit (100% image size). On the right edge we can find the default media player button, 4 media buttons (play/pause, stop, next track, and previous track), music shuffle, volume up/down and mute.

The LX5 Cordless Mouse

The mouse is plain and simple looking. It includes a scroll wheel and tilt wheel, 3 buttons (including wheel click) and a low battery indicator. The LX5 mouse takes 2 normal AA batteries. The mouse works on an optical engine, but utilizes Logitech's Invisible Light Optical Technology. This uses less power than a normal LED/optical mouse. Logitech also included an On/Off switch on the bottom to save power when the mouse is not in use. The performance of this mouse is average at best, but when it comes to comfort the LX5 mouse is quite horrible. My hand did not curve naturally around the mouse, and the big raised back did not help the comfort level, just made it worse.



The Media Remote

The biggest reason someone would want to buy this set is the included Media Remote. Logitech has a good reputation for making high quality and comfortable remotes, such as their Harmony line of remotes. The Media Remote is meant to be used with the included MediaLife software. It is very comfortable, sleek, and fairly light (using 2 AAA batteries). It has a number of buttons, including Custom Menu, maximize window, close window, 3 preset buttons (which can be programmed), volume buttons (volume up, down and mute), 3 picture buttons (zoom in, out, zoom-fit), Media (which launches the MediaLife software) and 5 media buttons (play/pause, next, previous, stop, fast forward, rewind). The scroll wheel is surrounded by the Back and OK buttons in a very natural and easy to use placement. The Media Remote also has a low battery indicator. Overall I am very pleased with the Media Remote aesthetics and placement of buttons.

Installation
Installing the peripherals was as easy as installing any other keyboard and mouse. The included USB stand was connected to the PC, and the mini-receiver was plugged into the stand. I inserted the batteries into each of the peripherals, and then followed the instructions of connecting the keyboard, mouse and remote wirelessly to the mini-receiver. Logitech's instructions were very well explained and complete with diagrams of everything. The next step was installing the software and drivers from the CD.

Specifications

  Ready when you need it. With sophisticated battery management technologies, your batteries will last up to 6 months, or even longer. Both keyboard and mouse include convenient LED battery level indicators; a flashing LED gives you approximately ten days notice before batteries need changing.

 Launch your favorite applications, websites or folders with programmable functions on keyboard and remote.

Enjoy maximum comfort through unique design. Great looks are matched by the outstanding quality and feel of the experience.

Zoom images with precision. With the optical mouse with tilt wheel, you have maximum control of your scrolling (both horizontally and vertically) and zooming on any surface. Use the forward/back buttons to quickly browse web sites and large documents, and customize the controls to fit your style.

Rotate your digital photos with ease. A complete suite of one-touch controls makes it easy to access your digital music and photos. Rotate photos on the fly, and zoom in for a better look. Snap back instantly to 100% size when you're done. Side-to-side scrolling with zoom for easy viewing of photos and web pages.

Easily access and control digital music via media controls with the 'Shuffle' hotkey for random playback.

Enjoy faster, smoother navigation, enhanced picture navigation, and improved picture quality with new MediaLife software. Zoom in and out of pictures, snap back to full screen, pan photos and rotate images with one touch.

Direct your own Media Show. Your PC media remote will be as familiar as a TV or DVD remote. Share music, photos, and stories more enjoyably with friends and family. The extended RF range lets you use the remote up to 16 feet from your receiver, without a line-of-sight. Use it with the included MediaLife software, plus it's compatible with most major media players (Musicmatch, iTunes, Winamp, Microsoft Windows Media Player).

Rely on the cordless technology. Logitech's encrypted, secure cordless technology avoids interference for completely reliable performance. Fast RF gives crisp, immediate mouse response.

Enjoy cordless at your desk or on the go. Plug the USB mini-receiver into the receiver stand for great remote control, mouse and keyboard performance. Then easily pack and tote the mini-receiver, mouse, and remote when you're on the go. The receiver plugs right into your notebook slot, for instant wireless anywhere. The portable mouse even has an on/off switch to conserve battery power in transit.

Personalize the controls to fit your style. With the innovative audio preset buttons, start playing your favorite Internet radio station or music play list with a single press. The unique navigation design, including a 4-way roller, has been optimized for fast and precise access to your music, photos and video collection.

System Requirements Package Contents
 PC with Pentium processor or compatible
Windows XP
USB port
CD-ROM drive
Logitech S 510 cordless keyboard  Logitech LX5 cordless mouse
Logitech Media Remote
USB RF mini-receiver with USB stand
4 AAA and 2 AA alkaline batteries
CD with software, comfort guidelines and help center
Logitech MediaLife software
Quick Start Guide
Five-year limited hardware warranty

Testing
S 510 Keyboard and LX5 mouse

In testing the Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 with Media Remote bundle, I first took the keyboard and mouse for a spin. After extensive typing for half an hour, my fingers were not cramped at all. The keyboard is very comfortable and responsive. The mouse was not what I have hoped for though. The tracking was average, sometimes skipped on my wood desk. I like the fact that Logitech included a tilt-wheel into the mouse, making web browsing a lot easier. The LX5 cordless mouse did not feel natural in my hand, and was not very comfortable at all. Despite the mouse having a weird hump on the back and being uncomfortable, the Teflon feet helped it slide along with ease. I tested the range of operation for the keyboard and mouse, and both started to loose efficiency in responding at about 10ft away from the receiver (keep in mind that this was through a wall too).

Media Remote and MediaLife

The Media Remote requires Logitech's MediaLife software to work properly. After launching MediaLife and playing around, I discovered how easy and natural using the remote was with this software. I am very pleased with the Media Remote aspect of the Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote bundle. MediaLife is a browser for pictures, music and videos that is specifically designed to be used with Logitech's remote. You can create play lists, slide shows, search your computer for media files, and organize them. The music menu also has an option to bring up the visualization for the song you are listening to. During movies, you can fast forward and reverse. I found this option very useful. When viewing images, you can zoom in, zoom out and rotate the picture by 90* increments. It is also possible to set up a slide show for images. In the settings menu, you can adjust the slide duration and transition for images, and the visualization type for music.






SetPoint
Another program that is included with the Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote bundle is Logitech's SetPoint software. From here, you can customize many aspects and functions of the keyboard, mouse and remote such as mouse movement speed and acceleration, special Game Settings and Keyboard Security. Also, it allows you to check the battery life for each of the peripherals.







Conclusion
The Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote was designed with HTPCs in mind. As a whole, it stood up to its promises quite well. The Media Remote and the S 510 cordless keyboard are very well designed, aesthetically pleasing and fully functional. The Logitech LX5 mouse was a bit of a disappointment though. It is quite uncomfortable and of average performance. Logitech's SetPoint and MediaLife software that is included is impressive, allowing the user to customize almost every aspect of their media experience. Besides the flaws in the LX5 mouse, this product is a good addition to Logitech's line of products and I would recommend the Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510 Media Remote set to any HTPC user.

Pros

Cons