As people take their devices—laptops, tablets, and smartphones—and shift from one to another along the way, sometimes you want to cut the accessory clutter. The Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard is slim enough to carry with you in a laptop bag or backpack, and it swaps from your tablet, to your laptop, and again to your smartphone with the press of a button. Intelligent backlighting and proximity-sensing Bluetooth management help extend battery life, and built-in Windows 8 controls make it perfect for use with Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet. It’s a smart keyboard, and in addition to being the best Windows 8 keyboard we’ve seen, it’s our new Editors’ Choice for wireless keyboards.
Design and Features
The Logitech K810 is a Bluetooth keyboard that also offers self-adjusting backlight. The light shines through each of the laser-etched keys, adjusting the brightness automatically to accommodate changes in lighting. Hand-proximity sensing turns on the backlighting as your hands approach the keyboard, while ambient light sensing detects whether the backlight is needed or not. It also disengages Bluetooth when not in use, reconnecting it as your hands approach the keyboard.
The keyboard is stylish, with a brushed metal, dark grey face and a stripe of black polished glass running along the top edge. The design is very slim, with a slight wedge profile and no adjustable feet. As a desktop keyboard, the Logitech K810 is sleek and stylish, but measuring only 0.4 by 11.3 by 5.1 inches (HWD), the keyboard is also a little small. It’s not so small that it’s hard to type, but it feels just a little too tight. The keys have a slightly concave surface, curving inward to better accommodate a fingertip. It’s a subtle touch, but it does make the keyboard more comfortable.
The keyboard isn’t billed as a mobile device, but the slim dimensions and Bluetooth functionality make it an easy choice for anyone who wants a fuller typing experience for their tablet or phone. Bluetooth connectivity makes the K810 a good choice for mobile devices, leaving the scanty selection of USB ports untouched on your tablet or laptop.
The keyboard has a pretty good range. Bluetooth connectivity usually drops off around thirty feet, but even from forty feet away, the Bluetooth connection allowed me to type without losing connection. The K810 powers off of a rechargeable battery, which Logitech estimates will last nearly a month for the average typist. Recharging is done via USB cable, and you can continue typing while you do it.
While the K810 is adorned with the new square Windows logo, it’s not equipped with all of the Windows 8 Charms seen on the Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard . Instead, the F1-F12 buttons are normal hotkeys, with three Easy-Switch Bluetooth keys (for swapping between up to three paired devices), an App Cycle key, backlight controls, Play/Pause media control, Volume Mute/Down/Up, and two others.
The K810 also has Logitech Easy-Switch, the ability to pair with as many as three Bluetooth devices. And it’s not just for PCs; the K810 also supports Mac OS X and both Android and iOS devices. If you need a keyboard for use with your tablet or phone, it will do the trick. It also swaps between the various devices with the press of a button. The three Bluetooth keys are each paired to one Bluetooth profile, letting you use the keyboard with your tablet, hit a key to switch to your phone, and press the third to connect to a laptop or desktop PC. The versatility and ease of switching between devices makes the K810 much more valuable to anyone who uses multiple devices.
Setup and Performance
Setting up the K810 is quite simple, and nearly identical to that of the Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard or the Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard . Power on both the PC and the keyboard, and press the Bluetooth Connect button found on the bottom of the keyboard. When the blue lights above the Easy-Switch buttons start to blink, press one to assign that button to the desired device. On the PC, open up the device menu from the control panel, and find the keyboard listed under Bluetooth devices. Once selected, you will be prompted to type in a short string of numbers, and that completes the setup. The same process can be completed with two other devices, assigning each to its own Easy-Switch key. Once you’ve paired your various devices, swapping from one to the other is a simple as pushing the assigned button.
In terms of actual typing, the key travel is pretty shallow, similar to that seen on the Verbatim Wireless Slim Keyboard and Mouse , or the shallow travel seen on an ultrabook. The keys use a variation on the scissor switches used in many chiclet keyboards, but Logitech has tweaked the switches to better distribute the force of a keystroke across the entire key, even if you strike the key off center. It makes for a more accurate typing experience. The curved keycaps provide a slightly more comfortable typing feel, and the keys have a sufficient travel for comfort, but you won’t experience the full keystrokes and crisp tactile and audible feedback you might expect from a mechanical keyboard.
All in all, the Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard is a stylish-looking mobile keyboard, but the collection of features sets it above the rest. Swappable Bluetooth makes it perfect for use with multiple devices, across multiple operating systems, and smart features like intelligent backlight, proximity triggered Bluetooth connectivity, and built-in Windows 8 functionality make it an easy pick to replace the previous Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 as Editors’ Choice for wireless keyboards, and is the top Windows 8 keyboard we’ve seen.
Compare the Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard with several other keyboards side by side.
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Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc