In the latest unboxing from GonnaGeek, we take a look at the Logitech Harmony Ultimat Home. Included are the remote control, a harmony hub, two IR blasters and a charging cradle. Take a look at the unboxing.
A few months back I found myself getting more and more frustrated as I moved my mouse with no response on the screen. Thinking it was just the batteries dying in my mouse, I replaced them and soon discovered my keyboard was also having issues – a few tests later and I discovered my keyboard receiver was on the frits. Knowing that “Boxing Day” (non-Canadians may want to Google it) was right around the corner, I decided to hold off in making a purchase so that I could see if there’d be any deals to be had then.
When Boxing Day finally came I looked around and found a variety of deals. Most keyboard sets were about $20 off and were placed in the $29-$49 price point and just as I thought I had made my decision, I found a sale on a Logitech Keyboard set (MK710) which was $104.99 regularly, but was on for $49.99. I decided that I’d buy it and give it a shot – what did I have to lose with 30 day return policies?
After hooking up the Logitech MK710 there were immediately a few things that impressed me but also a few that had me worried. Let’s start with the pros. The first neat thing that I noticed was that the keyboard features an LCD display on the top with a battery indicator, as well as some other indicators such as Caps Lock, Num Lock, Mute, etc. While I would be more impressed if this display did more dynamic functions, it still looks pretty neat. The next thing that I fell in love with quickly was the profile of the keyboard itself. It has two tilt options so that you can set it in the position that works best for you. I was fairly impressed with the simplicity of the audio controls and the layout – they are functional yet aesthetically pleasing. Now, on the opposite side of the coin – the things that had me concerned. When I unpacked the mouse I realized it was bigger than a mobile mouse, but smaller than a standard desktop. The MK710 also features soft touch keys, but because of this they are quite a bit flatter than keys on a regular keyboard. I will admit that after a few minutes of using the keyboard set I was pretty confident that I was going to return it after a few days… that changed after a day or two of use.
While the differences were hard to adapt to at first, I found myself liking how well the mouse fit into my hand, as well as how easy the keys were to push. The design of both the keyboard and mouse has clearly been well thought out and makes the MK710 by far one of the best keyboard sets I’ve ever owned. I also really enjoy the low profile receiver as well as the simple operation of the function keys on the keyboard. The mouse also has some well placed “forward” and “backward” buttons that are easy to access when browsing. There is a neat feature on the mouse which is the ability to change the scroll speed with the push of a toggle button. While the feature is neat, I found myself leaving it on the standard setting as the “Hyper-fast” setting was a little too much for me. Although it’s nice to have the options for those times that I need the fast scrolling, the toggle switch could use some work as it is clunky and feels out of place compared to the smooth sense of the rest of the keyboard set.
Overall I am very impressed with the Logitech MK710 Desktop set – it’s functional, smooth to operate and very comfortable to use. With that being said, I am glad that I bought it on sale as I don’t personally think the set is worth the regular price of $104.99 – but maybe I’m just cheap.
Over the years I’ve found myself using a combination of various audio equipment in my office including both basic home theatre speakers and large 1980s-ish Cerwin-Vega’s – basically I was spoiled. As you can imagine when it came time for me to downsize to a regular set of 2.1 computer speakers I was going to be a hard customer to please. For the past few months I’ve been making do with some hand-me-down speakers but nothing that I was happy with. I’ve spent a lot of time going out to a variety of stores listening to speakers from $40 up to $400. Although I really liked some of the Bose Companion speakers the reality was that unless I wanted a divorce they were too far out of my price point (and lets face it – that wasn’t an option either as my wife would probably end up with them anyway).
I ended up just focusing on $100 to $200 speakers and while I really enjoyed the sound of the THX certified Logitech z623 speakers I didn’t think that when they were compared to the Logitech z523s that they were worth double the price. I settled on the Logitech z523 speakers but as a good husband I decided that I’d wait to buy speakers until after Christmas – seeing as I’ve ruined gifts in the past with pre-christmas purchases. As it turns out I wouldn’t have caused any anger as I didn’t end up getting any speakers for Christmas. Although a little sad at first, I found the next day that this subsided pretty quick when I saw that Future Shop had the Logitech Z623 speakers on sale for the same price as the Z523. I went out and purchased them, came home and set them up. I was happy with the sound.
Given the price that I paid for the Logitech Z623 speakers I do really feel that they are a great bang for the buck. The speakers produce a very full range and so far I have been very impressed with the sound that I’ve experienced of the last couple weeks. The only real weak area in the range is that when listening to hi-hat heavy songs they do fall a little flat; however, many computer speakers are of this flaw. I find that the Logitech Z623s also really excel in the lower and mid-range being extremely flexible for each listeners taste. While I prefer to leave this range a little bit lower (maybe I’m getting old), I find there is plenty of power even running the Bass control under halfway. That being said, if I were more hip (see what I mean? I just used the word hip) and wanted to really crank the bass I do have the ability to do so. It’s also important to note that there is plenty of volume flexibility behind these speakers and that most of that time I run these speakers under the halfway mark which means that there’s plenty of room to go louder if I wish.
Now for the negative part – while I personally feel that the range on the Logitech Z623s are very comparable to some of the Bose speakers I previously mentioned, where I find the Bose speakers really excel is “filling the room.” I’m not sure how Bose does it but in all of their products they have found a way to make the sound feel like it’s beyond 2.1. Don’t get me wrong – these speakers do sound great, but I feel like I’m listening to 2.1 speakers – unlike the Bose systems. On the flip side I suppose I could play with the location of the speakers to improve this issue, but the fact is that I wouldn’t need to with the Bose Companions.
Overall I’m extremely impressed with the Logitech Z623 speakers, especially given the price I paid for them. It should be noted though that I had to exchange my first set because of a rattle in the right speaker, but the second set has had no issues at all. The subwoofer is a decent size too and is definitely capable of disturbing your tenants should you wish, but conversely it is also capable of just adding the little Bass needed to make a song sound full. Although I’m happy with my purchase, had these speakers not been on sale I think I probably would have settled on the Logitech Z523 for half the price. If you have the money though – I say go with the Logitech Z623 – they just have a bit more range and the subwoofer is a little better balanced too.