Kensington K72357US And Logitech K800
At just $30, our first entry is on the lower end of the price scale. The keys on Kensington's K72357US are styled after those of your standard laptop. Unfortunately, the feel is similarly cheap, but so is the ultra-quiet operation.
The faux island-style keys have a raised center, which makes cleaning easier than the other three boards in this round-up; none feature true island-style (also referred to as chiclet-style) keys, though.
The Kensington is a no-frills product with no backlighting, extra features, or anything else beyond other simple USB keyboards. The small, compact frame makes for a great portable keyboard for the LAN partygoer on a budget.
We were (and remain) skeptical of the Logitech K800’s ability to perform consistently in a LAN party situation. With wireless peripherals, you run the risk of stray signals interfering with the connection to your host. The necessary conversion and transmission of the input, and subsequent reception and conversion on the computer’s end, may also introduce unnecessary lag.
However, newer wireless models work just as well as their wired counterparts for most applications, and Logitech has made huge strides in their transceivers. The Logitech Unifying Receiver is barely larger than a male USB connector, and the freedom provided by wireless connectivity is usually a plus.
If you'd rather avoid wireless-related issues entirely, Logitech offers a nearly-identical wired version, simply called the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, for $20 less.
This sleek, modern board is exceptionally thin. More so than we'd expect from a wireless peripheral, factoring in batteries. A clear plastic rim around the board’s edges looks clean and progressive. The keys are almost soft, and don't shift too much when off-center pressure is applied.
The adjustable backlighting and wireless design contribute to a pricey $100 MSRP. With that said, the K800's wired counterpart also seems a little expensive at $80, considering you give up the freedom of a wireless peripheral.