K810 Multi-Channel Bluetooth Keyboard
Usually, I can't stand using Bluetooth keyboards with my iOS devices. I've gotten very adapt at using touch screens and lugging around the extra weight just to make my iPad more like something its not feels entirely unneeded. At this point, I type almost everything on a touch screen. I'm typing on one right now. However, I have found a place in my workflow for a Bluetooth keyboard and I have to say... It's pretty much genius.
The Logitech K810 is based around a simple idea that I am amazed I haven't seen before; multi-channel Bluetooth. Meaning, it can be synced with multiple devices and can quickly toggle between them. Where this really comes in handy is if you're working at a desk and you're typing on a desktop but you want to be able to quickly switch which device is connected. At this point, my K810 is synced to my PC, my iPad, and my Apple TV (which serves as the 4th monitor on my desk). At any time, I can be typing on my PC, respond to an iMessage, and create a playlist on iTunes Match, all without taking my fingers off the keyboard. Overall I may only be saving myself a few seconds, but the comfort and flow of simply tapping between devices is absolutely worth it.
The keyboard itself is pretty small. When I set it on top of my previous Logitech keyboard it was exactly the same size minus the bezel, number pad, and separated arrow keys. Although I have left this keyboard as the centerpiece of my desk, you would have no qualms carrying it with you if you were so inclined. Even though the keyboard itself is so small, the keys are still very comfortably large with plenty of space in between. If it wasn't apparent by the size, the K810 is thankfully, a mechanical keyboard. It would be a real shame if it wasn't as dome keyboards have become almost unpalatable to me. My only complaint in terms of layout is that that the arrow keys are a little close for my taste and, while it still has media buttons, it lacks fast forward and rewind keys.
As far as aesthetic, it's quite minimalistic. The K810 is a brushed grey with matte black keys and white backlighting. The keyboard itself may not take up enough space for some people and admittedly, it does look a little silly on my desk considering that it is smaller than the mousepad I have it next to. However, taken on its own, the design is fantastic for any minimal workspaces. The backlighting is easily adjusted and when unplugged, will automatically dim and illuminate based on a motion detector. This means that if it's too dark to see the keys, you won't need to tap around randomly to get them to re-illuminate. Instead, resting your hands above the keyboard will bring it back to life.
The functionality of the K810 is what you'd expect. It has the normal amount of special function keys covering all the usual ground (volume, media, navigation, ect.) and they all serve double functionality with iOS devices. The battery life of the K810 is amazing. After the initial charge I never turned the keyboard off and usually left the brightness at maximum. Yet still, I didn't have to recharge it for a full week. The Bluetooth channel buttons take the place of the F1, F2, and F3 keys. Admittedly, I would prefer dedicated channel keys above or to the left of the normal layout. I've never had any issues with accidentally changing devices but I could see how that problem could exist for some less precise tappers. Also, its worth noting that (once paired) the Bluetooth switch time is almost immediate. The Apple TV takes a few seconds to reconnect but that's on the side of the TV, not the keyboard.
The K810 is designed for Windows and universal tablets/smart phones. However, it does come in a silver/black variant designed for Mac and iOS specifically. The main advantage to this variant is that its design is more specific to iOS. While the K810 works with iOS (and works well) you may need to master some new shortcuts or learn some new icons. The Mac variant however, offers simple access to familiar iOS functions. I haven't personally gotten the chance to play with this version, but its good to know that more Mac centric users are welcome as well.
I really have no regrets purchasing the K810. I used to sacrifice the functionality of multiple keyboards to save desk space. Now, I have one keyboard that serves the place of three. Logitech has been one of my favorite keyboard manufacturers for a long time. The K810 upholds the standards I've developed based on previous purchases and adds new functionality. I own a lot of gadgets and hardware that I never thought I'd need. Many of them I bought for fun and only later grew to depend on. I've had the K810 for about 2 weeks and it has become one of my favorites. God forbid I ever have to move my arms again.
Review written by Samuel Strickland