Feeds

back to article Guess who PC-slaying tablets are killing next? Keyboard biz Logitech

The industry shift to slabs didn't just catch out major PC makers: peripherals builder Logitech also found life hard going, judging by the amount of red ink scrawled over its Q4 2012 financial figures. The mouse, keyboard and speaker tech purveyor reported operating losses of $37m for Q4 (ended 31 March), including $16m in …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

2.3bn......... Never thought mice, keyboards, speakers, remotes....whatever else they dabble in, sold so much.

0
0

bollocks

its not the tablet business thats killing logitech, its logitechs overinflated prices and rapidly diminishing quality thats doing the nasty for them.

customers just arent stupid enough to pay £80 for a keyboard and £120 for a mouse when they can buy from a lesser known brand a direct equivelant of higher quality build with better materials for £30 or less (total for both peripherals)

cry me a river logitech, i'll use it for kayaking thanks :)

16
1
Silver badge

Re: bollocks

Logitech do make mice that are good value- well featured for around the £20-£25 mark- but they don't seem to be available in any retail stores. The cheapest Logitech mice, as you say, offer nothing over cheaper generic mice. Logitech's expensive mice are good but overkill- not many will spend a £50 premium for a mouse that works on glass when they can just use a mouse-mat.

3
0

Re: bollocks

I too thought bollocks. its not just that the PC has slowed while tablets are growing. its the fact that Logitech used to be the prestigious mouse/keyboard that you could get from most pc shops. But over the last 10 years alot of websites (overclockers, aria, scan etc...) have now got a very wide range of really top quality keyboards and mice. Razor pretty much remaining fairly dominant in the gaming industry where as Corsair have released some really good peripherals over the last few years. What have Logitech done? off the top of my head, i cant think of anything...

1
0
Bronze badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: bollocks

Add LCD's to everything

2
0

Re: bollocks

Double bollocks. On buying a couple of Raspberry Pis I needed a keyboard for each as all mine were PS2. The Logitech K120 was less than $15, bought over the counter in Staples and is perhaps the nicest keyboard I've used in years, action-wise. The wireless Logitech mouse I got for use with my laptop was so good at around $15 I bought two more of them. My early adopter Logitech PC wireless mouse is still going strong ten years and more down the road, and did not break the bank (though it was a sight more than 20 bux and the receiver is the size of a small ash tray).

If what you want is a solid piece of kit that gets the job done, my experience is that Logitech can provide it at a reasonable price. If you want all the bolt-on cruft and want it wireless, then you can start paying a lot.

And while I am willing to believe the UK sees a ferocious markup on these things, if you are telling me that you can get the same build quality at 30 quid that you'll pay 120 for for Logitech kit, well, I have trouble accepting that without seeing a teardown report supporting that claim.

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: bollocks

>if you are telling me that you can get the same build quality at 30 quid that you'll pay 120 for for Logitech kit, well, I have trouble accepting that without seeing a teardown report supporting that claim.

Suggest you browse www.keyboardco.com , here you will find "professional" keyboards that are vastly superior to Logitech's for less ...

Don't work for them but I buy my keyboards and mice from them.

0
0
Silver badge

Margin is the killer

Sure Logitech do make some lower cost products, but those don't make as much money.

I think it is more likely market saturation. Once you've bought a good mouse, where's the motivation to buy another?

Like everyone else, Logitech need to come up with some compelling new products if they want to make some money. More of the same is not enough. Nor is it enough to sell new technologies/products unless they have some compelling features.

1
0
Silver badge

I've been trying to buy a Logitech mouse from a retail store for a mate, and can't find one worth getting.... PC World has a selection of two dozen mice, most of them generic 'notebook' mice from Dell or whoever with a scroll wheel. The only Logitech mice with 'hyper-scroll' wheels they stock are the expensive 'Darkfield' MX models which are very nice but a bit overkill if you don't use them on glass (plus the battery life isn't convenient). The rest are overpriced mice with capacitive touch-pads, urgh. There are no mid-priced, well-featured Logitech mice (to tempt people to upgrade from whatever came with their computer) available from any local retail store.

1
0
Silver badge

Upgrade ...

What came with your computer may be OK or may be completely ghastly. If you want a good keyboard and mouse at a low price, I'd still recommend Logitech entry-level ones over all others I've tried. As for the expensive gadgets - whatever floats your boat, but I've never been able to view the extra bits as anything other than a nuisance.

The trouble for Logitech is that once you've got a mouse and keyboard you like, why buy another? The PC market is now mature and saturated. People don't replace kit until it's worn out. Logitech will still have a business, but it'll be shrinking not growing, and the competition (far-east no-name stuff) is raising its game.

1
0
Silver badge

"$6m goodwill impairment"

"$6m goodwill impairment"

How do they calculate that?

1
0
FAIL

Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

Squeezebox was doing pretty well, a loyal fan base which was slowly growing but then they went and bought UE, removed all of the decent functionality from the Squeeze products, added some unnamed and unnoticeable UE gubbins and flogged it for well over the previous price.

3
0
Facepalm

Re: Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

Count me in as one of the Squeezebox "loyal fab base" - I have a Duet (Controller and Receiver) running off Logitech Media Server on a Synology NAS (one of the lower-end ARM-based models). The Syno can take a while to buffer the audio to the Receiver before playback, but it's great to be able to play my digital music library through some half-decent hi-fi separates.

I was lucky enough to snap up the Duet as a "blemished box" just around the time Logitech discontinued the range (about 50% off, and the unit was untouched). A Squeezebox Radio might've been nice too, but now I think I'd just cough up for a reasonable speaker-dock and plug in my iPhone (especially as there are apps like Squeezecast and iPeng which basically turn your iThing into a Squeezebox).

It'll be a crying shame if Logitech lets Squeezebox die off - seem to me there are so few network-aware digital music player systems at hi-fi level, which don't require a stockbroker's salary to afford. Even fewer support FLAC - at least I won't have to go looking for SB alternatives for a while yet.

Oh, and FWIW, I use a K400 wireless keyboard/touchpad with my Raspberry Pi. Quite happy with it...

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

Oh, and FWIW, I use a K400 wireless keyboard/touchpad with my Raspberry Pi. Quite happy with it...

I can't agree.

The K400 is a piece of shit. I bought it for the media centre, and although it WOULD have worked nicely based on specs and functionality, the range and angle was so iffy that it would constantly drop out. I even moved the USB Unifying receiver around - it helped, but didn't address the issues even though I had never gone past two metres distance. I even tried extending and routing around the internal antenna - again, it improved things a bit, but it was still misbehaving. I finally settled on cracking the bloody thing in half and throwing it out, well within the warranty period - I was that pissed off with it.

I settled on moving my K800 from my desktop to the media centre, and all the problems went away, even the range is now ridiculously better. I lose the track pad, but it just pissed me off anyway (though everyone else liked it).

Logitech is a game of pot luck. All the research and user reviews won't help, sometimes you get something that works well (even with the less than stellar reviews) or sometimes you just get a piece of shit (with great reviews). The fact that I just can't tell anymore means I go for just about any OTHER brand now.

0
0

Re: K400

I was pleasantly surprised by the K400 myself, very neat indeed and works very well for me. The overall "feel" of the plastics isn't great though, if you took the logo off I wouldn't guess it was Logitech.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

"The K400 is a piece of shit. I bought it for the media centre, and although it WOULD have worked nicely based on specs and functionality, the range and angle was so iffy that it would constantly drop out."

Sounds like you got a defective unit or there's some kind of radio interference. I have a K400 and it works very well to control my HTPC from across my living room. I don't know what the exact distance is. Maybe 10 feet or so. I'm very pleased with it. MUCH better than the wireless keyboard and mouse that came with the HP in the first place.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

I have a K400 myself, and I move it around from place to place. It works well for PCs and for my Samsung Smart TV. When it comes to the Pi, though, it's hit or miss. I suspect this is more to do with power constraints. I'll give it a try against a self-powered hub and see if it works better. AFAICT, any problems with the device stem more from compatibility issues than the device itself.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Don't mention Squeezebox or Ultimate Ears

Sounds like you got a defective unit or there's some kind of radio interference.

As far as interference goes, I don't think so. I'm running the same USB dongle as before, AND with an M905 mouse worked faultlessly (I hate trackpads). I put the dongle at the end of a USB extender cable to bring it around to the front of the box, and that helped, but still didn't "fix" the issue. With the K800 keyboard, I moved the USB dongle to the back of the box for neatness, so now it's obscured, and it STILL works around the room at any angle, even farther than I would normally use it.

As far as faults go, I didn't think of that, namely because while many claimed distance, no-one claimed "any angle" - and that's where my primary problem was. Going on the placement of the PCB antenna, it did appear to be optimised to "facing" the receiver, and yes, providing the receiver was around the front, I did indeed get about the quoted range with the keyboard facing the front. But I don't use it like that. With mods (moving the USB dongle and re-tracing a new antenna at a better angle) improved the situation, but as above, didn't fix it.

Don't get me wrong here, this is not a "didn't work for me so it's shit" review, the weight, battery life and feature set really worked well for me, it's just the comms. I tried, really _tried_ to get this working, and through my testing had no reason to believe that interference or faults were to blame - under the "right" conditions, it did indeed function to specification. Problem was, THEIR right contitions were not MY right conditions AND the specs or reviews never disputed either one.

0
0

@John Tserkezis - K400 issues

Sorry to hear about the issues you had with your K400 - I could only speak for my own experience, but a trawl round the Raspberry Pi forum shows you're not alone in encountering problems. I think I've been lucky, though I may have avoided some trouble by plugging the K's receiver dongle into a powered USB hub - connecting any power-hungry USB device directly to the Pi is a recipe for headaches - but overall the combo has worked well for me.

I do agree, though, that the build-quality of the K400 doesn't impress - it feels light and insubstantial, and I try and treat it carefully. Yes, take the logo off, and I'd guess it was a £20 effort from the Amazon Marketplace - I was fortunate to get it as a Christmas present. For all the K400's functioning well in use, I'd have felt somewhat ripped off if I'd forked out £40 for it (or whatever the RRP is).

If Logitech's going to survive the next year or two, I think it really has to raise its game. They can do better than they've been doing - I hope...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

Logitech is in denial. I have used their products for years and up until a few years ago they were good products. Since they decided to branch off into toys and other foolishness, their product quality has dropped like a rock and thus I no longer buy their products yearly. Instead I buy other brands as Logitech's products are now crapware IME.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

+1

I've been using the same Logitech wired keyboard and mouse for the last 9 years and they're great products. (Nothing fancy, either. I think they were the cheapest ones Logitech sold at the time.) Earlier this year I investigated switching to wireless and checked out what Logitech had on offer and found it appalling. Cheap plastic, cheap printing, and worst of all, the keys had less travel and felt mushier than an ultra-low-budget laptop. Very disappointing.

0
0
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

+1 for most comments above.

Used their products for years, good build, good spec, maybe a little pricey, but you got a quality product for the money. But unfortunately that all seems to be past tense now :-/

To me they were a premium price, but for a premium product. But now they just seem meh.

Still got a couple of their older products, a Harmony One remote from about 6-7 years back, still going strong.

Plus a G7 wireless mouse, which I've wanted to upgrade for years, (wanting a mouse with additional thumb buttons but can never find one like the G7). Logitech never seemed to produced a replacement or upgrade path for the G7!

Main selling point for me on the G7 was two battery packs with a separate charger, so you don't loose your mouse when you need to charge it by having to stick it in a cradle, or plug a USB cable in, just eject the flat battery, stick the charged one in the mouse, and the flat one in the charger (2-3 secs to swap round). Ideal for LAN parties (back in the day...). Plus no noticeable lag, something many wireless ones do suffer from, and as a fan of FPS games (bigger fan of strategy games though), lag is important (or rather the lack of it).

Shame they seem to be heading down the pan, too many bad decisions over the last few years me thinks....

0
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

>Logitech never seemed to produced a replacement or upgrade path for the G7!

The G9x is not a replacement but I have to admit when you get the weights right it does feel very nice in my hands . Being a console gamer I bought it to try and be the man on computer first person games. That didn't work out but I got myself the nicest $80 web surfing mouse ever.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

A G7?

I've still got a C7 floating around somewhere - now all I have to do is find a computer with an RS232 port to see if still works. Does anyone remember Point, the rather nifty windowing text editor for MS-DOS that came with it?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

Agreed - I use a Logitech wireless setup on my desktop (what I actually wanted was a laptop-style keyboard to get rid of the mouse, but I couldn't find one) five or six years ago. The only niggle is the spacebar on the keyboard - it seems to have the microswitch positioned off-centre, and so it needs a good tap with the left-hand to make it work. I recently looked around to see what is on the market these days, and I was really disappointed with Logitech's quality. Even if they produced a trackpad/nipple-mouse keyboard, I doubt I'd buy it from them ...

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

I agree Logitech's kit can be hit and miss, but I would still choose a Logitech over any else's mouse.

The original MX Revolution mouse is brilliant (IMO). Used daily for more than 5 years, still on the original battery, and it was a refurb when I got it. I also have a little Bluetooth V470 that lives in a laptop backpack and still survives.

Their keyboards I'm not so keen on. An expensive Bluetooth one with an LCD screen, and one that came in a pack with a mouse and media remote control, got ditched - horrible to type on and non-standard key layouts.

0
0
Bronze badge

you forgot one area - webcams

Which except for a desktop PC or server are fitted to every other computing device these days....

0
0
Meh

The Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball is OK

I hope they keep on making Trackball. They stopped the wired USB ones some time ago. Less and less trackball around every year now.

1
0
Thumb Up

Re: The Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball is OK

+1 on that. I've been using mine for years and love it.

I've just recently bought the K800 wireless illuminated keyboard and that's brilliant too. Uses the same receiver as the trackball as well, so no need for 2 USB ports to be used up.

0
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: The Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball is OK

I have used wired Logitech trackballs for some years (I never understood why people use mice). They are brilliant, the ball seems to float on its bearings; just need to clean the fluff out every 6 months. I noticed a couple of years ago that they had vanished from the shops, so I bought serveral from e-Bay - terrified I might not find a replacement if one failed (but they never have).

I don't quite get the sense of a wireless trackball. Yes, with a wired mouse you are dragging a bunch of wire around with it all the time, but a trackball stays put.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

history of poor decisions...

did they somehow manage to push the write-off from the google tv fiasco into Q4 2012?

0
0
Silver badge

i've got a k360

Which was the only one I could find at the local office/crapdepot that would fit, along with my lenovo L430, into my laptop case. (since the l430 has the control key in the wrong place I've not used the builtin keyboard since the second day)

0
0
LDS
Silver badge

THey no longer make useful keyboards or mice

I used Logitech keyboards for years. Than they started to change the key layout (ins/del) , shrink F Keys, very little choice of wired keyboard (I don't need a wireless one on my desktop), and quality dropped. Every time I look for a keyboard I can't find a Logitech that suits my needs. And buy something else.

2
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Logitech...

For the last few years have been selling based on the reputation they built years ago.

Anything they make nowadays which is interesting is incredibly expensive, and the rest is at the very least forgettable.

And the software they bundle... oh my god, that deserves a separate article/post.

1
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Logitech? Check their Apple keyboard

A bluetooth switch and backlit keyboard don't allow you to charge double Apple's prices.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Re: Logitec Linux fail

what on earth are you talking about? My logitech mouse and keyboard work just fine with linux. ~$20 each and no problems, what's not to like?

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Bronze badge
Holmes

@Eadon - Re: Logitec Linux fail

Take an upvote, but you should have made it clear that you were not talking about keyboards and mice.

In fact, some years ago (c2000) Logitech did not even support Windows NT, only Win9x crap. I had a fast scanner (Pagescan Color), worked like a mangle, it was brilliant. Crazy that such a professional quality thing would only work with a crock-of-shite entry-level OS. I even phoned them up at the time to be told they had no intention of writing NT drivers for their hardware.

When I buy hardware (like an HP monitor recently) it always comes with a CD for use with Windows. As I use Linux nowadays I ignore these CDs - what the hell is on them? Why does anyone need a CD to connect a monitor or a mouse, even for Windows?

1
0
Silver badge
Windows

Re: @Eadon - Logitec Linux fail

> Why does anyone need a CD to connect a monitor or a mouse, even for Windows?

Shows how far things have come with the OS makers including drivers out of the box and high speed internet. In the dark days of dialup, downloading drivers could end up being a major pain in the ass so the CD was often the media of choice (except on Linux where you often had to do everything by hand including monitor timings in x config files and hope you didn't blow up your CRT). Also not only did you need the drivers for the thing to work at all (nothing was generic) but you often had to set jumpers on the device as well so the IRQ didn't conflict with other existing devices. Still the CD was great because it didn't require swapping out 17 floppy disks to get anything installed.

0
0

Re: Logitec Linux fail

You're wrong Eadon, the Unifier software is not just for Windows, it's also available for OSX (and works well with it).

It's easy to bash things when you make up facts.

0
0
Silver badge

I bought a Logitech keyboard recently. I will hopefully not make the same mistake again.

It's backlit, but the backlight needs to be on permanently or the visibility of the characters is poor. The backlights are not very bright in a lit room. The backlights are two colours only (GB), when based on the publicity material I thought I was getting RGB, so you are stuck with one or other end of the visible spectrum; this is ergonomically poor.

0
0

Mine's fine.

I got a K800 and it's fine. The backlight comes on when you type and goes off a few seconds after. It also comes on when your hand is over the keyboard (proximity sensor) so the light comes on before you start typing.

The letters are quite clearly visible in daylight without the backlight on though. They look like a light silver colour on black; there are no visibility issues there.

The backlight is white.

0
0
Meh

I was reading these comments about how their product quality has slipped and shaking my head not really agreeing, but then I remembered the Last Logitech keyboard I had. Mushy PoS that cost almost £40 and the insert/home cluster was completely fucked up. That was nearly ten years ago. I have a couple of 1st gen MX Revolution mice though and, apart from some loss of feedback from the scroll wheel in clck-mode, these have just kept on going. No need to buy another as they're still going strong after years of intensive daily use.

0
0
Silver badge

Logitech killed themselves

They started as the distributor for Modula-2 and one of the first Mouse makers (perhaps due to Lileth?).

But long ago their products became tacky and overpriced compared to better Asian ones. The "Universal" Remote idea is good but the Logitech ones are too expensive and actually not the best concept.

They need to seriously rethink their product lines.

0
0
Gold badge
Meh

Product range.

Can't say I'm surprised, let's look at what they sell:

Keyboards and mice that aren't as good as the MS ones. Webcams ditto.

Bluetooth headsets that aren't as good as Plantronics'

Speakers that aren't as good as Creative's.

Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

1
0
Bronze badge
Devil

Logitech are way better than most on the market and shine in some categories

I have several Logitech products, two K750 wireless solar keyboards, an Anywhere Mouse MX "Darkfield mouse, and a K400 Wireless keyboard with touchpad.

All of them work well albeit the K750 keys take some getting used to, the K400 is perfect for my media PC and works well over 30 ft from the computer and nobody offers such a convenient keyboard/touchpad combo. The MX mouse is great as it works on ANY surface VERY well and battery life is not as bad as many have made out. I don't turn it off and use it every day at work and the batteries last 3 over months. I have never replaced batteries in the K400 since I bought it 6 months ago and yes it could have been better made but it only cost $24 at Walmart and it works fine for what I need it for.

I have never broken any Logitech product yet either. In my experience Microsoft products have invariably sucked, particularly their mice.

It seems so easy to complain about everything on ElReg. Let's see some commentards tell us what the like or recommend instead.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Logitech are way better than most on the market and shine in some categories

> Let's see some commentards tell us what the like or recommend instead.

If they had more likes instead of complaints in general they probably would be bleeding so much red ink (what the article was about remember).

0
0

I still swear by the TypeMatrix design for more efficient typing (or "keying", or "keyboarding") which may not seem to be an issue to most people, until they age and have to deal with wrist pain. The standard off-set key design with the QWERTY layout is not ergonomically sound. People are just used to it.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.