Logitech's K310 washable keyboard
Logitech's new K310 keyboard is designed to be hand-washed in a sinkful of water thanks to a durable design and drainage holes on the bottom
Most people don't think about it, but in a typical office the filthiest object in the room is the computer keyboard. Go ahead, pry off the keys behind any keyboard you've had for a few months and you're likely to find a mess of dust, food crumbs, sticky coffee stains, and other debris. Cleaning this grimy mess is a tedious task at best, unless of course you're packing the likes of Logitech's new K310 - a washable keyboard designed to be submerged in water so that cleaning it is as easy as doing the dishes.
The main two features that allow the K310 keyboard to be washed so easily are its durable design and drainage holes on the bottom. The keys are all laser printed and UV coated to protect them from fading after repeated cleanings. Likewise, the tilt legs and overall frame are thick enough to withstand a bit of force and can resist most surface scratches. The drainage holes on the bottom allow for water to flush right through the keyboard along with any grime and then dry much more quickly.
Now this doesn't mean it will stand up to the same treatment as most of the dishes you'd toss in your sink. Unlike Seal Shield's washable keyboard offerings, the K310 isn't dishwasher safe, so it needs to be hand-washed only in warm water no more than 30cm (11 inches) deep and 50°C (120°F). The keyboard also won't stand up to and abrasive cloths or detergents, and the USB cable still needs to remain dry at all times. Still, it sure beats the old keyboard cleaning method of pulling off every single key and scrubbing it down with a Q-tip.
Logitech is currently selling the K310 keyboard for US$39.99 through its website.
Check out the video below to see how quickly the K310 washable keyboard can be cleaned.
About the Author
Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.
All articles by Jonathan Fincher
I've been hosing off my old Northgate Ultra Keyboard every two months since 1988 and it continues to work like a dream! Now THAT'S a REAL keyboard, every single pound of it!
In the past 10+ years, I've used only Microsoft Natural keyboards. They're ridiculously easy to wash. Remove a few screws, remove the controller board, plastic switch film, and then place the individual pieces in the dishwasher top shelf, and run a cycle.
I've been doing it periodically (once every 6 months) for years and haven't had a single problem with any of my keyboards.
I've recently acquired a Natural Keyboard 4000, but I haven't washed it yet, it does appear it will be slightly more cumbersome to wash, but not too difficult. In any event, the older Natural Keyboards are completely dishwasher safe from my experience.
My laptop is on its way back to the mothership because of a slight wine/cat accident. I've already ordered this keyboard - can hardly wait!
How about a keyboard that washes itself? When it detects itself is dirty, water from built-in water nozzles starts spraying water all over your keyboard and desk.
Hallelujah! At last a major keyboard manufacturer has woken up to the fact that keyboards get dirty, and get drinks spilled on them.
Having a co-ordination disorder, I spill drinks on my keyboard (usually beer when I've had a few) at least a couple of times a year- necessitating a new keyboard usually, as even the 'spill resistant' ones tend to have difficulty in draining thicker liquids such as Guinness through the drainage holes, necessitating regular replacements. I also have a tendency to eat at the computer desk.
There are existing cleanable keyboards out there, such as those designed for hospital applications, but these are expensive and not nice to use.
Wish companies like Logitech would do a high-end gaming board that was wash-proof. That would be manna from heaven!
Or you can always get a silicone skin for your existing keyboard. They're available for many major keyboards, including ergonomic ones like some of Microsoft's Natural series or Logitech's Comfort Curve. Just lift it off and wash it when it gets dirty.
And if you stop drinking around the keyboard, you won't have to worry about spills.
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