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Manufacturer: Logitech
Min OS X: 10.2.8    Requires: USB Port

Logitech S530 Wireless Desktop for Mac
June 27, 2006 | William Miller

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Logitech's newest made-for-Mac wireless keyboard, the Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser, arrived at my office a few days ago. Excited at the prospect of lazing in my chair several meters from my MacBook Pro, effectively escaping the intense heat it creates, while simultaneously repairing the damage to my wrists and hands procured over years of typing with horrible posture via a set of ergonomically designed peripherals, I was eager to give it a try. I must say that after having used it exclusively for the last few days that I am a bit disappointed.

When I purchase (or in this case receive) something made of shiny white plastic and emblazoned with Made-for-Mac logos, I expect a flawless experience. Not only do I expect the product to work with ease, but also that the product be presented nicely and be easy to set up. When I opened the box, I knew I was in trouble.

The first thing I was confronted with was a huge fold-out instruction poster. That's right. A poster. Adding insult to injury, depicted on this poster was the unnecessarily complicated procedure for setting up the Laser on a PC! Assuming this was some mistake made on the assembly line, a singular anomaly only affecting my particular unit, I threw this in the garbage. Next, I see another, smaller instruction booklet, presumably containing the instructions for setting up the Laser on a Mac. Being a man, and needing no instructions, I threw that aside as well.

Finally! My new wireless desktop. The whole assembly consists of a keyboard, a mouse, a USB wireless dongle, and a USB dongle dock. It even came with batteries, which almost made up for its earlier digressions. I plugged in the dongle, and up comes OS X's nice wireless keyboard configuration utility. I run through that, and everything works...almost.

One of the cool features shared by most of these third party keyboards is the collection of buttons that correspond to different applications and functions. These "one touch" controls are designed to give you instant access to your most-used applications. The Laser has such buttons for iTunes, iPhoto, Safari, Mail, and Spotlight, as well as sound volume and monitor brightness controls. In addition, the mouse features several buttons for quick access to browser functionality. Of course, these buttons are fully customizable. In order for all of this neat stuff to work, one must install the Logitech Control Center.

Eager to get all of this working, I pop in the CD and am horrified to find next to the installer application an UNINSTALLER application. The delete key should be the only uninstaller application I need. Strike one. The installer takes a few seconds to finish, then asks me to restart my computer. This is no trivial matter for me, as I run around a thousand applications at any given time, all of which need to be shut down before I can restart. Strike two. Reluctantly, I comply. Once my computer has restarted, I hop over to System Preferences and fire up the Control Center, only to find that it won't open, presumably due to some incompatibility with my new Intel Mac. Strike three.


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