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Logitech Releases Washable Keyboard 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-sea dept.
MrSeb writes "Logitech has released its first washable keyboard. We're not just talking about 'splash proof' either — you can take the K310, immerse it in up to 30cm of water (12in), and give it a good scrub. The only limitation is you can only use standard washing up liquid — oh, and Logitech says you should try to keep the USB connector out of the water, too. Once you've washed the keyboard, simply leave it to dry. The user guide says it takes eight hours to air dry, and that you shouldn't use a hair dryer. There are actually drainage holes on the backside of the K310, to help speed things along. This isn't the first washable keyboard — HP and Kensington have both had models on the market for a while — but the K310 does seem to be the first reasonably attractive, consumer-oriented washable keyboard. It goes on sale at the end of the month for $40."
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Logitech Releases Washable Keyboard

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  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:34PM (#41090839)

    just use a screw driver, still takes about 8 hours to dry and your not sitting there wondering if your not holding a blob of water under the spacebar that will fry the encoder

    • by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:44PM (#41090913)

      Yeah, going by the 8 hours to dry stated in the summary - almost all electronics are washable by that standard (provided batteries are removed, etc).

      And to think that motherboard manufacturers have been missing out on marketing them as "washable" all these years...

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Osgeld (1900440)

        computer collectors routinely take their mobo's out and run them through the dishwasher (I personally wouldn't do it without distilled water but whatever), so yea I guess the manfac's have been missing a marketing point

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I don't think you and I know the same kinds of computer collectors. In fact, I don't think you know many people at all that don't wear white coats if you believe that story.

          • If they can make the USB connector detachable from this keyboard, then we do not need to worry about wetting the USB connector and ruin the whole thing
             

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by trum4n (982031)
            i personally have dishwashered mobos, video cards, keyboards, random pci devices. Does no harm. Boards are conformal coated these days. let it dry, and youre good.
            • by N0Man74 (1620447)

              Same here. I remember the first time that I did this for a mobo and video card... While a PC was running (with the case off), I accidentally spilled a smoothie right on top of it! After pulling the power, then using hand-cleaning and a dishwasher on both the video card and mobo, I used both for at least a couple more years.

        • by DrXym (126579)
          I could potentially see people dousing an old board with distilled water, or gently removing grime with a swab and alcohol / water. Maybe some specialists even have industrial washers that spray the board in a controlled way with a closed water system. I'm having a hard time believing many people would want to put a board into a dishwasher even on the lowest setting, even without a tablet, unless they wanted to totally ruin it.

          Dishwashers involve powerful jets of water which would have no trouble breaking

          • by allanw (842185) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:23AM (#41091845)
            Those ubiquitous black IC's are plastic packaging which is not moisture sealed. Not sure if it'd actually affect the silicon to soak it in water for a bit though and use normally. But if you ever order any parts, they come in moisture sealed bags with big warning labels saying that you must reflow solder the IC's within 24-72 hours of opening the package or else too much moisture from the air will seep into the packaging, causing them to act like popcorn when you bake them to 350C for soldering. So if you leave them out too long you're supposed to slowly bake them to get rid of all the moisture before reflow soldering.
            • by blackicye (760472) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:59AM (#41092005)

              Those ubiquitous black IC's are plastic packaging which is not moisture sealed. Not sure if it'd actually affect the silicon to soak it in water for a bit though and use normally. But if you ever order any parts, they come in moisture sealed bags with big warning labels saying that you must reflow solder the IC's within 24-72 hours of opening the package or else too much moisture from the air will seep into the packaging, causing them to act like popcorn when you bake them to 350C for soldering. So if you leave them out too long you're supposed to slowly bake them to get rid of all the moisture before reflow soldering.

              The main reason the moisture needs to be controlled is because of heat applied by soldering processes.
              Moisture will turn into steam rapidly and cause the PCB/chip layers to de-laminate (a.k.a. Popcorning.)

              If the electronics are going to be operating at normal room temperatures, some moisture is generally not a problem.

          • I could potentially see people dousing an old board with distilled water, or gently removing grime with a swab and alcohol / water. Maybe some specialists even have industrial washers that spray the board in a controlled way with a closed water system. I'm having a hard time believing many people would want to put a board into a dishwasher even on the lowest setting, even without a tablet, unless they wanted to totally ruin it.

            Dishwashers involve powerful jets of water which would have no trouble breaking off bits of solder or loose connections, or getting inside microswitches. Even if the board wasn't damaged it would have to be dried for days at low humidity to ensure all the moisture was gone. Also it can't be good for the water waste treatment system if all that shit from pcbs ends up there.

            I've run motherboards through the dishwasher without problems before.

        • Metals exposed to distilled water tend to leach into the water.
          Soft water may be a better fit for your application.

        • I almost got a (fantastically paying, sigh) job at a company that specializes in washing computer electronics.

          When a flood or a fire occurs in a datacenter, you see, some machines are inevitably damaged beyond hope, and those are junked; however, plenty more end up with caked dust, grime, fire retardant foam, mud and soot in every nook and cranny, including all the connectors, and this stops the machine from working despite the hardware being perfectly fine. My job would have been to take apart the computer

      • by jimshatt (1002452)
        It's edible too! Will it blend? Probably makes a nice smoothie...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:13AM (#41091063)

      Mmmm. I find that if I use a screw driver, the orange juice leaves a sticky residue which interferes with the keyboards function.

    • Might have to give that a try, have been wondering about the accumulated crap between the keys for a while... though I did see this [officesupplygeek.com] and considered getting it...
    • by chthon (580889)

      Indeed, Jerry Pournelle did this twenty years ago under his shower, with standard keyboards.

      • Many years ago I dropped a full cup of coffee on my MB at work. After I finished cursing I drained it out into the dust bin and kept right on typing without a problem. The next day it had dried out properly but the sugar in the coffee had recrystalised and ceased the keys.
        • Seized?

          Easy solution - redissolve the sugar with water, then let dry again.
          You probably should have rinsed the keyboard off before allowing to dry in the first place.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      just use a screw driver, still takes about 8 hours to dry and your not sitting there wondering if your not holding a blob of water under the spacebar that will fry the encoder

      Why bother with that effort? I have cleaned keyboards in a dishwasher. Just leave them for a few days before attempting to use.

    • by blackicye (760472)

      Depends on what solvent you use.

      If you substitute water for isopropyl, naphta or other exotic solvent, you can probably just dunk the whole keyboard for a rinse and be good to go an hour later.

      Spot test your keyboards for melting with your chosen poison first though.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Tried that, and the solvent dissolved the letter off the keycaps, leaving me with what is effectively a das keyboard...

    • by gmack (197796)

      My HP washable doesn't need to be dry to use it according to the manual and I've used it several times wet. It also sounds like it is much nicer to type on than that "rubber dome switches" Logitech since mine gives me a normal keyboard feel. It's also the first keyboard I have actually liked since I lost my old keyboard in a move 11 years ago. Having tried the screw driver method on keyboards in the past I have to say it's much nicer to be able to just hose the thing off and turn it upside down and shake

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:37PM (#41090865)
    Just checking.
    • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:54PM (#41090977) Journal
      Yeah, now you can go back to sticky keys being a user access feature.
    • Does it come in a one handed version?

      The "college version"? This is the reason why I never buy second-hand laptops from students.

    • From TFA - "if you regularly spill Coke or other sticky and/or goopy fluids on your keyboard"....... I wonder what kind of goopy fluids the slashdot audience might "spill" on their keyboards.......
      • Coffee. Done that, keyboard survived - laptop didn't (Toshiba Equium A100 had a pint of fresh-off-the-boil Java and instantly started belching smoke like it was on fire).
        Honey. Done that, too. Keyboard didn't survive.
        Sugar syrup. Done that, too. Keyboard didn't survive, neither did the PS/2 port.
        Tap water. Guess what? Blew the keyboard and the PS/2 port.

        Here's the best (and probably most surprising one if you're not up on when water and electricity *do* mix):

        Rain water. Straight from the sky, into the guts

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:38PM (#41090873)
    I'm using a 20$ head set. I have a 10$ keyboard by them, and like a 15$ Optical Mouse. All my Logitech stuff works well and lasts for years. When I used Belkin, the stuff had weird errors and conflicts here and there. Logitech seems like it is the quality goto product when you're looking to be economical.

    I was wondering if other people have had a good experience with this company?
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I have a 3 button logitech serial mouse that was a few years old when I got it in 1990, still works fine
      I also have random stuff from them from keyboards to mice to game controllers, always seems like a safe bet at a slightly more than reasonable price + for many many years ALL of the OEM people sent out their computers with logitech gear (granted in different colors and silkscreens)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I bought a high-end, gaming keyboard from Logitech.
      And there are several key combinations that don't register. Key combinations that have come up in games and been integral to progress. Its left-down-z, to be specific. So, no, I would not recommend their keyboards.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @04:14AM (#41092073)

        That's called Key-Rollover. Keys on keyboards due to the matrix layout of the switches are grouped, and you can only use one key per group simultaneously. Added to that, USB keyboards support a max KRO of 6 keys simultaneously. Many keyboards however only support a KRO of 2.

        Try holding left and right shift while typing the brown lazy fox sentence or just typing the alphabet. You will see that unless you have a pretty expensive keyboard or use PS2, that some keys just won't register.

        In any case, this problem isn't just with logitech keyboards, it's with pretty much all USB keyboards. A lot of manufacturers try to fix this by placing WASD in a separate group or changing the groups a bit so that it avoids a lot of common scenarios, but unless you shell out a lot for a mech keyboard with a thought-out key layout, you will have this problem.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG

          its quite strange to type while trying to hold both shift keys...

          • by KiloByte (825081)

            Unless you're using a Google keyboard with that useless search button, there's a key named Caps Lock for that... :p

    • by MachDelta (704883)

      The only Logitech peripheral I wasn't happy with was a webcam a few years back. I've had two keyboards, a handful of mice (I still miss my mx500/518s), two speaker sets, and a pair of headphones. They were all acceptable or better. My keyboard is almost 9 years old and still kicking - albeit minus a good bit of the labels and finish. And yes, it survived the dishwasher just fine.

    • by Zibodiz (2160038)
      Largely personal preference, but I won't buy anything but Logitech. I get about a year out of a battery in my laptop mouse with a 4' range. My MS laptop mice never lasted more than 6 months, and have a range of about 18" LOS (which really sucks if your only USB ports are on the left side of your laptop). I've had 3 MS and 5 Logitech wireless mice, with pretty consistent results from each, except that Logitech desktop mice use 2 batteries and have twice the range. The only real complaint I have is that t
    • I've had pretty much a near-perfect run with Logitech equipment. Currently I have the following logitech gear at home: a Harmony 1100i universal remote, an Xbox360 Guitar, a g15 v2 keyboard (which as mentioned above, is dirty, but still going great), a g500 mouse, a pure-fi express iphone dock, and a webcam. There's also a couple of other logitech mice on the kids computers. All of which I've been very impressed with.

      In a professional capacity, I'm currently typing on a logitech k120 keyboard and using a
    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      I've been using Logitech stuff for over ten years. When the charger contacts on an unfortunately designed wireless mouse/keyboard base station went awry, they exchanged the old arrangement for a completely new model KB/M. When that sadly went a few years later, they did the same.

      On the other hand, my third mouse in the last year is due to be delivered by courier tomorrow. It's an M705, and I'm convinced that there's a design flaw in the primary button switches. I know the warning signs though, and there's m

    • Bought a keyboard from a bargain bin, then realized one of the lifters was missing on the back. Mailed Logitech to see if they sold replacements - Sorry, but we've put a whole new keyboard in the post to you gratis.
      Bought a Logitech Harmony, couldn't get a thingie to work (software issue on my PC) - Indian call centre guy (I only mention this as my heart had initially crashed when I heard the accent) was fantastic, talked me through installing and using alternate client, stayed on phone until I'd confirmed
    • When I used Belkin, the stuff had weird errors and conflicts here and there.

      In my books, Belkin is a garbage brand.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      Same experience here, until I bought a 100E mouse, one button kept doubled clicking after 1 year. :( Still under warranty, but I had to revert back to my older Logitech mouse (still working).
    • by olau (314197)

      My girlfriend had a Logitech keyboard. Forgot the model name, probably middle-of-the-road. Anyway, the keypress action was horrible. Sometimes when you didn't hit a key spot on, it would go down alright but just not register the press.

      Hence, I'm staying away from Logitech keyboards.

      At work, we bought Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 when we started (15-20 USD). Horrible build quality, especially space bar, but really nice to type on. Ctrl is in a much better spot for Emacs'ing. They don't seem to be good for mo

      • by olau (314197)

        Damn, I forgot to tell my anecdote - my girlfriend's original Logitech finally died one day, but at that time she had inherited a computer from her brother, with the same goddamn keyboard.

        I managed to kill that keyboard by accidentally spilling half a glass of milk over it last week, despite washing and taking it apart for drying. So eventually she had to accept getting a new one.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Yes, I am somewhat rabid about Logitech input devices. I have only had some marbles and the like go bad on me, they have kind of a funny roller arrangement and I don't expect it to last forever. They are astoundingly good about warranty replacements, including of gifts for which you have no receipt. I have never had a compatibility problem with a Logitech mouse. Bluetooth pairing actually works. Etc etc.

      However, I tend to use cheap keyboards. I just go to yard sales and buy the keyboards with hubs in them w

  • by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:39PM (#41090877) Homepage Journal

    Dude... I've been washing my keyboards for years. Spill coffee in them? Run EM under the tap and dry them out. Spill beer in it, stick it in the dish washer. Air dry.

  • Meh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gazzonyx (982402) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:41PM (#41090891)
    Meh. The keyboard that I'm using (Kensington, FWIW) is "water proof"; it has two holes in the bottom where liquids that are spilled into the keys can drain out. It also (in theory) dries quickly after a cleaning because of these holes. Best $15 keyboard I bought in college.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@ l y n x.bc.ca> on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:41PM (#41090893) Journal
    ... for when I'm wanting to use my computer while bathing. Accidentally dropping the keyboard won't cause catastrophe. But is it bluetooth?
    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      ... for when I'm wanting to use my computer while bathing. Accidentally dropping the keyboard won't cause catastrophe. But is it bluetooth?

      Nope. it says to not get the USB wet.

  • Dishwasher? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jamesh (87723) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:47PM (#41090925)

    Call me when I can put my keyboard in the dishwasher. When I spilled honey on my last laptop keyboard i took the whole keyboard out, ran it under warm water for a few minutes, sat it in the drainer for 30 minutes to kind of dry, then put it back together. It outlasted the rest of the laptop. Most keyboards can take this sort of abuse.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "honey"? Is that what kids call it these days?

      • yes, it was jizz. I don't know how the hell any one could get 'honey' on a keyboard. Did you knock the jar over and wait 10min for it to drip out on the keyboard? Or you must know of a good way to sling honey around that I haven't heard of yet.
  • has eventually failed after I've spilled water on it. Wireless keyboards. I gave them good on the 5 year warranty replacement, though. Every set was replaced 2 or 3 times. Got my money's worth. But to me, that does not meet any definition of "waterproof". That's something that would impress me.
  • Much as I've enjoyed Logitech's products over the years, and still do, I think they're running out of ideas.

    https://www.getezeyes.com/ [getezeyes.com]

    Just like their G600 is a blatant rip-off of the Razer Naga, they seem to have reached a bit of a wall when it comes to having new concepts of their own. They should just go back to doing what they did best: refining what they had iteratively, making improvements with each device generation, rather than "hey, those guys over there are doing something we're not, we gotta ge

  • I already do that with my keyboards and some of my oldest ones are over 10years old. I let them dry for a good 24-48hrs though. I have other comps to work with in the mean time.
  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:20AM (#41091097)
    Model Ms have been going in the dishwasher for two decades. Just sayin'..
  • I've never had a touch-screen anything, so be advised. With all the nonsense with touch-screens corrupting sacred UIs, why not a touchscreen keyboard? Now I may be going in odd directions, but it seems the touchy-feely (*8, Uni*, Gno*) sorts could have their cake and maybe have a slice of it too. Imagine an AI keyboard that catered to the user's ergonomics rather than the user to the the device.. What I imply, is a keyboard that could learn the user's ergonomics, kind of like voice-recognition -- and adapt
    • Two words. Tactile feedback. Even the mushiest keyboard lets you feel that you've hit the key. With a touchscreen keyboard you need to use visual feedback and take away your eyes from the screen or from your source material.

      • by Havenwar (867124)

        Yeah, my main problem with my laptop is actually the opposite... the keyboard is so flexible with mushy keys that even if _I_ feel I hit the key, the computer doesn't always notice. I presume because the entire keyboard flexes with my push putting the actual key-switch further away from the key top. Or some such. Learning to type really really softly is more of a challenge than it should be, but hey, I've been typing on heavy mechanical switches for 20+ years.

    • by Havenwar (867124)

      I'm fairly sure touch screen keyboards have been tried or announced and failed, or is about to come, or some such. I've heard it before anyway. As for the rest of that stuff, that's impossible.

      Oh, the long version? Right. Voice recognition adapts to the way you speak by two factors, one, you speak, two, you correct it when it gets it wrong. This doesn't work for keyboards, because we expect the keys to be in certain places. They can't just one day go "oh you use these keys a lot, let us move them closer for

  • The only limitation is you can only use standard washing up liquid

    So Cheetos dust stains are basically permanent?

  • Slashdot : ads for nerds.

    • If this was about a random Logitech keyboard, it could have been just a blatant advertisement. However a keyboard that has been ground-up designed for dishwashering is kind of a new concept so it is interesting to discuss about it.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:52AM (#41091261) Homepage

    This is hardly the first washable keyboard. The IBM PS/2 keyboard was made to be machine-washable. There are many washable flex keyboards. They're not even expensive.

    Most keyboards that don't contain speakers can be washed and rinsed, provided you use de-ionized or distilled water that won't leave solids behind when it evaporates. After all, PC boards usually go through a dishwasher-like cleaning step after soldering.

    • The summary acknowledges this - it's only Logitech's first washable keyboard, so why the hell it was deemed newsworthy by the editors is beyond me.
      • by Krneki (1192201)
        Well, thanks to user comments I know it's ok to wash the keyboard in the dishwasher.
  • Well, it's not actually the world's first washable keyboard, just the world's first pretty, consumer-oriented washable keyboard.

    If you take any category of thing and add more and more restrictions, you can arrive at a world's best, world's first, etc.

  • It's real steel springs or nothing, baby.
  • It's new, it's washable, but it's already been done at least twice by other companies. So it ain't news, it's an advert. Grrr.

  • What the hell are they talking about? Every roll up keyboard I've ever seen is washable. Those little things are awesome, if a little quick to wear.
  • I realise there's a low quota of hardware nerds on here, but most electronics gets washed on the production line to remove flux and contaminants.

    The biggie with *any* electronics is to not use anything that causes damage or corrosion, and to have the device powered off until it's absolutely dry (if using water) to prevent shorts or electrolytic corrosion.

    The best thing is isopropyl alcohol, aside from being a bit of a hazard to some paint/stickers etc. it's about the top thing for cleaning electronics.

  • I have frequently washed regular keyboards in this way... So long as you leave it a long time to dry (usually overnight in the boiler closet) they work just fine afterwards. Considering how cheap keyboards are, i saw nothing to lose by washing it and having already bought a new one, now had a spare.

  • Every parent of a small child IN THE WHOLE WORLD will be ordering one of these. I will next time the small child destroys another keyboard - currently on her third. AAAAAAAA

  • Although IANAL I advocate to speed up drying using a spin dryer/centrifuge to speed up the process. It nowhere states that it's not allowed so we should go for it, just like dogs in the microwave.

    Yeah, I'm a guy that always sleeps like a baby at night. I'm never hindered by any rational sentiments whatsoever.
  • I have a Keysonic silicon rubber keyboard (foldable, rollable, completely watertight and very, very rugged) that's been in my kit for years.

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