Logitech K810 Illuminated Keyboard Review


I have been a satisfied user of Logitech's Tablet Keyboard for iPad, but one of the limitations with it and other tablet-oriented Bluetooth keyboards is its lack of multiple device configurations. If I wanted to switch using the keyboard between an iPhone and an iPad, I would have to re-associate a pairing with each device each time I used it. Others at Logitech recognized this hassle and created the K810, capable of storing up to 3 different associations. And unlike their original Tablet keyboard, the K810 is rechargeable. Read on to see what other features make the K810 an improved keyboard experience.
Next on this list of features that this modern wireless keyboard has to offer is in the name of the product - it's illuminated! I can't tell you how many times I used a standard Bluetooth keyboard with a tablet in a low light setting only to occasionally angle the keyboard toward the iPad or vice versa just to be able to see a function key. Apple made illuminated keyboards a nice high-end standard in their laptops, and it's good to see the concept become available in this multi-platform product. Logitech's implementation also increases or decreases the brightness of the keys based on the ambient light in the room, so you're not indiscriminately burning battery charge with an always-on keyboard illumination. And it's also smart enough to turn off illumination when your hands are not near the keyboard. This is one of those smart features that make you further appreciate the thoughtful design effort that went into this keyboard.
Logitech K810 Keyboard
As mentioned earlier, Logitech allows up to 3 devices to be paired with the K810. They call this feature 'Easy-Switch' and it's as easy as it sounds. When you're ready to switch from using the K810 from your desktop to your iPad, simply select the Bluetooth key you used to pair your device with the keyboard, and voila - the keypad is automatically re-configured and ready to associate with your iPad. I found it to be a terrific timesaver and one of those critical wireless keyboard features that is so obvious to have now that it's available.
The K810 also has a nice set of function keys that work across Android, iOS, OSX and Windows platforms, helping you to standardize on function keys for a change, instead of special keys on each custom-built, platform-specific keyboard alternatives.  Pressing the music pause/play key produced the expected effect universally regardless of the OS platform I used. It was a pleasant surprise not having to manually reconfigure keyboard actions for each target platform I tested.
The key action also feels very comfortable and responsive, though the keys have a more rounded, concave feel compared to Logitech's older Tablet keyboard. Having tuned my keyboard skills to that model, it felt a bit strange at first but as I spent more time with the K810, I warmed up to their trademarked Incurve key design. Logitech knows a thing or two about effective keyboard hardware design, and the K810 has that experience noticeably poured into it. From the perfect touch typing height of the keys to the weighty (but not too heavy) key press action, the tactile sensation feels like a quality desktop keyboard tuned for use with a portable desktop or mobile device.
There is a very minor issues that may dissuade iPad purists from considering this keyboard. It is not built exclusively for iPad use. In fact, it has a Windows 8 logo on the special (also known as the Apple key on Apple keyboards) key. While I personally don't care either way, I can understand why advertising Microsoft's brand while using the keyboard with an Apple product might rub those hardcore enthusiasts the wrong way. But for the millions of people who use Windows desktop PC's for work and Apple iPads for play, the addition of the Windows key speaks to that audience with a familiar keyboard face. I suppose Logitech could have used a generic icon for the key, but probably figured it would catch some Windows 8 buzz since the keyboard was made available around the same time as the consumer launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 OS.
Beyond this merely cosmetic issue, the one feature I do miss when comparing the K810 to the original Logitech Tablet keyboard is the lack of a keyboard case that doubles as an iPad stand. Not only did the case do a nice job of protecting the keyboard from being squashed in transit, but the stand came in handy when propping up the iPad on desks and airplane seat fold-out trays. Perhaps due to the flood of various iPad cases with integrated stands (some of which Logitech manufactures), Logitech perhaps correctly assumed that the case/stand was redundant and dead weight for most users. Still, I do miss the multifunctional keyboard cover and I am slightly more concerned about the K810 getting damaged or scratched as it free-floats in my travel bag.
Even with these mild criticisms, the K810 is a terrific product that combines the best functional aspects of a desktop wireless keyboard that also works great with tablets like the iPad. The illumination and multi-pairing capabilities raise the K810 above competing mobile Bluetooth keyboards, even those older models designed by Logitech themselves. If you're looking for a solid, multi-functional wireless keyboard, the K810 should be at the top of your list.
Manufacturer: Logitech
Price: $99.99
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.