I admit, when Logitech announced a kid-friendly washable keyboard, I was mildly enthused. A keyboard…that you could wash? How preposterously useful, especially when considering the filth that our typing mechanisms pick up after just a few months of use. What a novel idea, just wash that grime, dust, and spilled coffee right out.

In fact, that’s exactly how the Washable Keyboard K310 is to be employed. The full-size keyboard uses raised keys that connect ever so briefly with the main board so that water can easily go under the keys. Such a design allows users to commit any office crime and get away with it unscathed…so long as they wash it themselves, or promise to hold the keyboard while the owner restrains the hose.

Perhaps more importantly is how decent of a keyboard the K310 actually is. It’s safe to assume that, for $40, this simple mechanical tool would only be suited for computers in kindergarten classrooms, but that assumption would be false. I’ve used it as my main keyboard for three weeks and it is surprisingly good. Not better than Microsoft’s Sculpt Mobile Keyboard or Logitech’s own K810, but very fair nonetheless. Low-profile keys offer substantial bounce though little give; the keys are large and slightly rounded; and the whole board is very light and durable.

For a child whom you fear would otherwise ruin, make sticky, or simply destroy a keyboard of standard fare, the K310 is an excellent accommodation for such a depravity in its terrible twos. I would in an instant substitute this keyboard in place of any other used by a child, especially if that original keyboard were built into a laptop.

Actual cleaning is easy: cover the USB connector with the included cover and wash away. Logitech suggests dunking it in water, though not everyone has a sink large enough to fit an entire full-size keyboard. Streaming water over it gently is usually good enough to clean off any mess. Once washed, just leave it out to dry and the remaining water will pour out of the drainage holes. A brush is included on the back to clear out any water that’s collected under the keys.

There are two slight misgivings about the K310. The first is the fairly weak shoulder flaps to raise the keyboard slightly on an incline. They fall off very easily when washing or under stressful child-filled conditions. One bang and one or both arms will fly away, never to be seen again.

The other hits more close to home for purchasers expecting to use the keyboards for their clumsy selves: the keys are too low profile. They have a lot of bounce, which feels excellent, but minimal give. It’s the closest thing to typing on a flat surface a keyboard can get, which is not particularly comfortable. For kids or for some quick typing, it’s perfectly fine. But to employ full-time is a major stretch.

Of course, that is the Washable Keyboard K310′s function: easy to clean, excellent for kids, and a keyboard that simply works. It fulfills all three of those requirements perfectly. No keyboard except the K310 should be placed in children’s hands. This is what we need in schools.

Editor’s Rating:

Rating: ★★★★☆

Great

Bottom Line: This keyboard was made for kids. And every school should use it.

Pros:

  • Simple, easy-to-clean and wash design
  • Fully functional plug-and-play keyboard
  • Lightweight and extremely durable
  • Great low price

Cons:

  • Keys are too low profile, uncomfortable to type on regularly
  • Shoulder stands break off too easily



James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.