unifying receiverIf you’ve got a Bluetooth enabled netbook, you can plug in a number of wireless devices including keyboards, mice, headphones, and whatnot. But that means futzing with Bluetooth software to configure everything correctly, and that can be a real hassle sometimes.

While wireless USB is expected to shake things up any day now, Logitech has another alternative, a Unifying Receiver, which is a tiny USB dongle that you can plug into your notebook, netbook, desktop, or whatever. It can detect a number of Logitech peripherals, including several mouse and keyboard models.

Here’s how it works. You order a Logitech K350 or K340 wireless keyboard for $50 to $60, or a Logitech Marathon Mouse M505 or M705 for $50 to $70, and you’ll get a Unifying receiver with your purchase. So if you buy a wireless keyboard, you’ll get a receiver which you can also use with either supported mouse. Or vice versa. Hopefully Logitech will add support for additional wireless peripherals down the road.

The keyboards should start hitting the US and Europe next month, while the marathon Mouse should be available in Europe this month and in the US early next year.

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8 replies on “Logitech Unifying Receiver could give Bluetooth a run for the money”

  1. I hate to sound cynical, but I guess we now know why Logi’s latest netbook mouse was USB and not BT… greed, simple greed. All of my laptops, netbooks, and PDA’s have bluetooth, but Logi decides to do something proprietary. I can just imagine the internal meetings at Logitech, “Competition is tough, everyone sells a mouse and keyboard these days, and we can’t meet our margins on Bluetooth devices – the answer is vendor lock-in”.

    1. Well its proprietary for now…but as time goes by its bound to become “the new golden standard”.

      That’s what has always happened to technology…right from VHS to Blu-Ray:
      One company invents it, the world loves it, and everyone needs to live with it. Its not exactly vendor lock-in.

      1. the problem is that blue ray is a better quality technology than VHS with better video. There is no reason why logitech’s new thing is better than bluetooth. oh wait, its worse because now i need a stupid dongle wasting a scarce USB port.

  2. Funny thing about standards is they have to come standard.

    Since only a few netbooks, notebooks, desktops and net-tops come with Bluetooth it hardly a ‘standard’ standard. And that, my little leaping Lemurs, is why there are niches for such products.

    The price seems high, but then again blame that on the industry not making Bluetooth STANDARD on all devices. You can blame the OEMs form being too cheap to put it in there or blame Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) for charing too much to license the tech. But what you can’t do is blame Logitch for staying, “F-Them, here is a, easy after market device that works folks.”

    1. i think my last 4 laptops have all had built in bluetooth. im a mac guy but its built into most PCs now too. Unify isnt built into anything. Bluetooth USB dongles are widely available and cheap at most computer stores.

  3. Fragmenting a standard like this won’t help. Bluetooth, meanwhile, is cheap, ubiquitous, and for simple things like keyboards and mice, pretty much foolproof.

    I fail to see the “need” for this, unless it’s just Logitech angling for vendor lock-in.

    1. I agree. I would much rather have logitech start producing more Bluetooth devices than this.

      That being said, Bluetooth really needs an overhaul. I’ve never had it work reliably (and that may just be the devices I have used). I’ve always been able to get things working, so it’s not the end of the world for me to re-pair the device, but some people find that very confusing.

      What ever happened to that proximity pairing addition they were showing off last year? I think Bluetooth as a standard is way too lax on what they allow. They should tighten the reigns and make sure all new devices are up to the new specs instead of letting them choose any features they want. If all the new devices started using these new features and were flawlessly interoperable, I think Bluetooth would take off all over again and reach amazing heights. It has so much potential.

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