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(Pocket-lint) - Logitech launched the first version of the Alto keyboard in the autumn of 2006, a year on and the keyboard has broken away from its included stand. But is that all that changed, and did you really need a wireless keyboard anyway? We get typing to find out.

Designed for Windows XP and Vista laptops 15.4-inches and less, the Alto Cordless like its predecessor promises to make the time you spend glued to your laptop a bit more comfortable.

The idea is that the adjustable stand places your notebook display at eye level while the full-sized keyboard lets you type faster and with less fatigue.

Unlike a traditional docking stations the Alto's only connection offering is a USB cable meaning that it will fit virtually any laptop you can find.

The USB cable plugs into your laptop and the offers three USB 2.0 sockets in the base in return so you can connect things that don't move off your desk like your printer or mouse without having to reconnect every time. Although power is taken from the laptop, there is a power supply included in the box if you're looking to charge bigger more power hungry devices like webcams and external drives.

Being Logitech, the virtually flat keyboard isn't just a standard 105-key affair and there are plenty of hot keys including shortcuts for music, search, volume and mail.

With no software or drivers to install, set-up is as simple as plugging it in and on the two laptops we tried - an Apple MacBook Pro and standard Windows PC, all functions of the keyboard worked perfectly from the word go. However because the MacBook Pro's front facing CD drive we were unable to use it when on the stand.


The Alto cordless does nothing more than add a cordless keyboard to the already successful product.

However in doing so you start to wonder why you don't just go and buy a laptop stand and separate wireless keyboard and save yourself some space and money.

The Alto does give you a solution out of the box without having to buy the separate pieces of the puzzle.

The result is that you can push your screen that little bit further away, or if you're being super lazy type from your lap while everything else is on the desk.

The Alto does kill two birds with one stone, by not only putting your screen in the right place but also giving you a decent keyboard to type on to boot.

Easy to use, like the first iteration, this ticks all the boxes, however you will probably find the sum of parts cheaper than this offering if you shop around.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 21 November 2007.