There’s a certain luxury that’s afforded when you have room to spare around your desk, in your house or elsewhere. So when I recently moved to a larger house, but found that I had a smaller office, I knew that I had some downsizing decisions to make. Logitech’s Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard has made that task a bit less painful by allowing me to use a single keyboard with my iPad, MacBook Air and (gasp!) even a Windows machine.
The keyboard itself is roughly the same size as Apple’s tried and true Bluetooth offering. It lacks a dedicated number pad, but does include OS X and iOS-specific function keys along the F-row. Unlike Apple’s own keyboard, however, Logitech’s is backlit and rechargable.
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Oh, and you can also pair Logitech’s keyboard with up to three devices at the same time. Consider this the trump card.
The switching function is fairly straightforward. There’s a standard “Connect” button on the bottom of the keyboard. When pressed, three keys light up on the top of the device. Selecting one of these keys allows you to assign a device and pair with it. Once paired, you can replace that device by completing the same process again.
It’s a killer feature, for me, because I often find myself traveling with only my iPad, but switching keyboards constantly does indeed slow down your work somewhat. Though it’s a minor annoyance, it’s an annoyance all the same and it’s nice to keep the same keyboard at my fingertips regardless of where I’m typing.
Beyond the annoyance-fixing factor, however, is my original point. Space is a premium in my new office, so having two keyboards on my desk, plus another for my iPad, further cramps an already-tight spot.
Akin to Logitech’s rechargable trackpad for Mac, the Easy-Switch Keyboard ships with a micro-USB cable. Battery life is excellent, lasting around a week for me with extremely heavy use. I could probably get even more time, but I tend to leave the backlighting on a high setting because I like how it looks. Though the device is smart, and a proximity sensor will power off the lighting when it’s not in use.
But if the battery happens to get low, I can plug in the device and continue using it. However, be forewarned that the micro-USB is a charging port only. If your device doesn’t have Bluetooth then the keyboard’s simply not going to work. Fortunately, a power switch on the right side of the device allows you to safely stash it in a bag without having to worry about errant key presses or running down your battery.
Logitech’s device sits slightly flatter than Apple’s, but I still find it to be extremely comfortable. I’ve used it for up to 13 hours in a day without any strain from the flat typing position, though a flip-out set of risers would have been welcome for those who prefer different ergonomics.
The key press to Logitech’s keyboard requires slightly more force than Apple’s, but not so much as to be uncomfortable. In fact, the more that I’ve used it, the more I’ve grown to like the firmer feel of the keys.
If you’re a user of multiple Apple devices, I can’t recommend the Logitech Easy-Switch Keyboard any higher. At $100 MSRP, it’s simply incredible, and convenient beyond words. My only wish is that Logitech would take this same philosophy and apply it to a mouse. KVM switches, be gone.