Logitech has a great reputation for creating great computer peripherals without forcing consumers to cough up an arm and a leg. A reputation which has only been enhanced by its latest lineup of Mac, PC and tablet compatible keyboards. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover has won much praise, as it should, but one which I’ve been equally impressed with over the past couple of weeks is the K810 Bluetooth keyboard. There’s very little I don’t like about it, from its sleek and stylish look to its practicality and efficient device switching.
Design-wise, we’re looking at an all black and smokey affair. The main body of the device and all the keys are made up of a black plastic, albeit different finishes. Sat on top of the plastic base is a dark brushed aluminum that frames the keys perfectly. It looks stunning. There’s something about the combination of dark grey metal and black that just screams “classic” every time you see it. Despite the svelte appearance, the keys and keyboard are all rounded off at the corners making it completely un-intimidating. To finish it off, Logitech opted for a shiner black finish on the top panel to distinguish between the matte keys and the base. It’s a great effect and adds to the stylish look of the K810. Apart from the keyboard, there’s very little else going on. On the right edge is a small sliding power key, on the top edge is a Micro USB input for charging. On the underside is the Bluetooth pairing button. This is perhaps one of the best design decisions made during the process of creating this gem. It’s small, and out of the way. After all, once you’ve paired the device, you won’t need to keep using the pairing feature.
The combination of a very slight angle and shallow recess on all the keys makes typing on the K810 a breeze. It’s a very comfortable experience indeed. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to my hands. My Apple Wireless keyboard is much steeper, and requires my hands to be at a more acute angle putting extra strain on my hands and wrists that I could do without. It’s worth noting, I’ve used a wrist rest for 2 years now to minimize that affect. The reason behind this difference is clear: batteries. Logitech’s has an inbuilt Lithium based battery, the Apple keyboard has AA batteries at the top edge, raising the height. I much prefer Logitech’s approach.
If you’re a fan of chunky, noisy keys, this is clearly not for you. Typing is smooth, and the buttons give subtle but pleasing tactile feedback. The only thing I struggle with in regards to using it was that this particular model is optimized for use with Windows, not Mac. So, when using it with my computer, I had to adjust to compensate for the lack of a CMD button, and use shortcuts using the Windows button which is further away from the Space Bar than it would be on an Apple keyboard. (The answer to that problem: don’t get the K810, get the Easy-Switch Bluetooth keyboard instead).
The Logitech K810 isn’t just a pretty accessory, it has some fantastic features built in too. Chief of which is the Easy-Switch technology. Using three Bluetooth “channels” you can pair three separate devices, and switch between them using the dedicated buttons above the numerical keys. Switching from Mac to iPad to switch tasks is achieved in 1-2 seconds. To test it (not at all a real-world example), I had an iMessage chat open on my Mac, an Evernote document on my iPad 3, and a Facebook chat on the iPad mini. Simply press one of the three bespoke F1, F2 and F3 keys to hope from one device to the other. This feature could come in incredibly useful if I was using my iPad to keep an eye on my twitter feed constantly while reading and writing news on my Mac.
Negative points: there’s not a lot I can say here. The K810 doesn’t feel as sturdy or industrial as the Apple Wireless keyboard. The keys are perhaps on the small side, but they’re very well spaced and not difficult at all to type on. Battery life isn’t as good as using a pair of AA cells, but I’m happy with that compromise if it means a) not having to keep charging/replacing batteries b) not getting RSI.
Overall, I’m delighted with the keyboard. It’s replaced my Apple Wireless keyboard, and I wouldn’t think about switching back. Not even for a second. At $99.99 it’s something of an investment, but my only regret is that I didn’t try out the Easy-Switch keyboard instead with its Apple-optimized keys. The only problem for me now: I want a mouse and trackpad to match.
If you have a Windows PC check out the K810 here: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/bluetooth-illuminated-keyboard-k810?crid=26
If you have a Mac, go for this instead (same price, but more Apple-y): http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/illuminated-keyboard-for-mac-ipad-iphone?crid=26