Logitech’s Wave ergonomic keyboard: a new kind of comfort

A few weeks ago, folks from Logitech (LOGI) stopped by my office to show off some upcoming products. They had innovative computer mice, laptop stands and the like, but the item that impressed me most was the Cordless Desktop Wave keyboard ($49 corded, $89 cordless, available in August).

The ergonomic keyboard looked a bit like something out of a Salvador Dalí painting. Not only did the keys flair outward, there were two little valleys in the places where your hands normally rest while you type. It looked as though it had melted slightly – or as though it had, like a beanbag chair, morphed itself over time into the shape its owner found most comfortable.

In the few moments I had to type on it, I found the Wave amazingly comfortable. Unlike other ergonomic keyboards I’ve tried, it didn’t have an awkward split in the middle that forced me to relearn typing. My hands dipped right into the place on the keyboard where they were supposed to, and the wrist cushion at the base wasn’t awkward or overly spongy. Logitech and Microsoft (MSFT) compete fiercely in the PC accessories space, and I definitely feel like Logitech has a winner here. (The one factor that made me pause was the price; but people who care about ergonomics are used to paying that kind of premium for comfort.)

After the Logitech folks saw that I was smitten, they asked me a marketing question: Which images best fit the keyboard, for marketing purposes? One set of images showed people relaxing; the other was a tidal wave. I told them the people relaxing were a better match; when we see tidal waves these days in electronics stores, we think of natural disasters, extreme sports, and 3D graphics simulations – none of which scream, “relax.”

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