I type a lot. As a writer and someone involved in the web design field, most of my day is spent at the keyboard writing emails, web copy, etc. Needless to say, the speed at which I can type without making errors and having to go back to correct them is huge.
After I’d gotten my hands on a Thinkpad E500 laptop it really made the keyboard I’d been using at my PC feel clunky (and it was a bit worn out, too).
Let me tell you about my experience with the Logitech K800 and why I think it’s a great solution to anyone looking for smooth speed typing.
Buttery Smooth, Backlit Keys
While most of my work takes place during the day, I also game on my PC and am a bit of a night owl. Backlit keys are a nice touch, and not something I’d really prioritized prior to this keyboard. The office lights can feel a bit harsh at night, but the light from the monitor plus the keyboard lighting its keys up seems like plenty to stay active in the dark if needed.
I actually think it helps clearly identify keys even in a well-lit room, and you can adjust the intensity of the backlighting.
(Since this keyboard is wireless and battery powered, the backlight intensity also affects battery life of course.)
I find both the shape and fluidity of the keys ideal for fast typing. Each key depressed smoothly with enough feedback to type without looking (and feel sure you’re hitting the right keys) but not so much that it’s fatiguing for long hours of typing. The keyboard isn’t the quietest I’ve used, but it’s on par with a quality laptop keyboard and shouldn’t bother those sitting near you.
It’s certainly not a particularly loud or plucky-sounding keyboard like more basic models tend to be.
The first day using the keyboard I found myself in a hurry at one point to quickly write a couple emails and return to another task, and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my fingers could fly through the sentences with minimal typos or backtracks. This may sound like a strange point to make, but after getting used to this keyboard I find that when I use basic keyboards my typing is far slower and a bit aggravating, comparatively.
This certainly isn’t a niche keyboard like many of the $100+ models that have whole strips of macro keys. I find that to be overkill, personally, and think that what the K800 includes is perfect for daily use.
The first 4 F-keys have secondary functions for home, email, search, and tab view. The second set (F5-F8) control the backlighting brightness, shows battery level, and can put the computer to sleep. F9-F12 are your music controls like stop, forward, play/pause.
There are also four quick keys in the upper right (above the numpad) to mute PC volume, volume up or down, and to open the calculator. I didn’t think the calculator one would be that useful, but even if you only use it every now and again it’s great if you’re trying to get quick numbers without having to find your app.
Since I listen to music when I work regularly, the volume keys are something I use all the time.
Since this is a wireless keyboard, you’re probably wondering about how that works and what the battery life is like.
The keyboard uses Logitech’s small “unifying receivers” which is handy if you also use a logitech mouse since you can control both from the one receiver. That means you only have to use one USB slot.
Rather than using AAA batteries like some wireless keyboards, this one comes equipped with its own li-ion battery that you can recharge as needed via a micro-USB slot at the top.
I find that even with long days at the computer using the keyboard constantly I only need to charge once every ~2 weeks. Doing that is as simple as running a micro-USB cord from one of the front slots of my PC to the keyboard for a couple hours, and then it’s good to go for another week or two.
The battery level readout is displayed above the numpad via a small light. Basically, 3 lit-up bars shows max power, down to one bar to show you it’s getting low.
I believe the battery icon itself will flash red if you let the keyboard power get low enough that it’s in danger of shutting off.
Note that you can also flip the on/off switch to power the keyboard down if you’ll be away from the computer for awhile on vacation or any other reason (so you can conserve power).
I admit I was a little reluctant to step into a li-ion keyboard because I wasn’t sure how it would compare to AA/AAA keyboards that seem like they’d last a lot longer. That part is true; you can often go 6 months at a time on traditional batteries.
However, not having to go hunting for batteries in the middle of a work day is a plus, and charging this keyboard is easy.
The 1-3 weeks of battery life I typically get feels reasonable and is neither annoying nor obtrusive. Even when I notice the keyboard is getting low, I know I can finish any projects I’m working on without worry and plug it in later.
All in all, I think this is a solid choice for casual gaming, avid typists, bloggers, and more at a reasonable mid-level price point.