For those of you with a limited number of USB ports to play with or a serious aversion to clutter, Logitech has announced the Unifying Receiver, which lets multiple wireless peripherals connect to a computer via a single, tiny USB dongle. Four products will be released that support the proprietary technology: the Wireless Keyboard K350, Wireless Keyboard K340, Marathon Mouse M705 and Wireless Mouse M505.
Like several of Logitech's other wireless peripherals, the products use 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, via a USB dongle that protrudes only 8mm from the edge of the USB port. Whereas previously each wireless receiver needed its own USB transceiver, the Unifying technology lets up to six devices connect to the same one. Each additional peripheral needs to be set up using Logitech's Unifying software and connects securely using 128-bit AES encryption.
The high-end K350 is a fully featured keyboard with several media controls, shortcuts and an ergonomic, curvy design. The K340 (pictured top), on the other hand, has a much more minimal and compact design while still offering a full keyboard and number pad. Both boast up to three years of battery life and support for Windows 7.
The M705 mouse derives its 'Marathon' name from the same promised three-year battery life, thanks to a power switch and auto-sleep function. The laser-tracking mouse also has an option for hyper-fast scrolling, which is not available on the cheaper M505 (pictured right, with the wee dongle). The M505 also has a shorter battery life, at 15 months. Both will be compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Both keyboards are expected to be available in the UK in September, with the K350 retailing for £55 and the K340 for £35. The mice will be on sale later this month, with the M705 setting you back £50 and the M505 £35.