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Logitech’s wireless all-in-one (AIO) tk820 keyboard is a nifty Windows 8 device that squashes a spacious touchpad onto the right-hand side of a rather heavy keyboard. It’s a little pricey at just over US$100 but in my opinion, Logitech proves that a costly keyboard is leagues ahead of a bargain basement one found on Gumtree.
Great to type with
Logitech’s keyboard is a best of both worlds, a neat keyboard that clicks and clacks, and a Windows 8 touchpad that’s smooth as silk. Having a combined keyboard and touchpad is what laptops are all about, so it makes sense to bring this into the PC arena. Luckily, Logitech’s done this without much fuss, and anyone who’s familiar with Apple’s magic touchpad will know what to expect.
The keys were made with “Perfect Stroke” tech and designed the “Incurve Key” way. Perfect Stroke makes it easier and faster to type with, while Incurve Keys are slightly concave, which neatly fits the shape of my fingers. It adds up to some rapid typing. I tested my mint-fresh keyboard’s speed with a few typing tests, and managed to get a high word-count with each test. So while buzzwords they may be, Logitech’s technology has been proven by me, to work.
Spacing is an art. The distance each key is from another matters when it comes to keyboards, and with cheaper models the keys are often cramped, which is abysmal for writing. The solution is to replicate the look and feel of a laptop’s keyboard to a tee. Which this keyboard does, brilliantly. The sturdy weight of the keyboard also helps it to no end.
Laptop keyboards are superlative in my opinion, especially on models such as the ASUS Zenbook. While the tk820 can’t quite meet the quality standards of that or a MacBook’s, there’s very little to bemoan. After a few weeks of constant, heavy usage, my fingers flew across the tk820 with very little effort. This is a writer’s keyboard, no doubt. Brain and fingers become one as words flow from this nifty, wireless device.
Eons ago, Logitech decided to wise up and cut the cord altogether. The tk820 is yet another keyboard which uses the 2.4Ghz wireless unifying receiver, which is great for existing Logitech users, because it connects compatible mice, keyboards and gamepads to one USB dongle. Downside: a USB port is gone, forever. I tested the tk820 on a laptop with only two USB ports, so this was a major burden for me, having to plug and unplug devices daily. Still, less cables yet at the cost of a port.
Wireless means battery. And the battery life so far is rock-solid. Four AA batteries come with the keyboard, and I’d expect two to three months more battery life at a push.
The reason the tk820 doesn’t get a perfect score is down to its lack of secondary functions. With a normal keyboard, for instance, pressing F2 on an icon would let me change the name. Here, it opens up a search box. If I want to use the F2 key, I have to push the “function” key first. This means that Logitech has placed Windows 8 shortcuts ahead of the standard keyboard functions. For a power user, it’s going to irritate. I am certain though that this can be disabled. It’s just a bother that I have to do so.
Which leads me to the left-hand-hating touchpad. Like I said, it’s excellent and responsive but only works well if you’re right-handed. Then it’s touch, type, pinch, swipe, whatever. There’s no thought process to it, but as a left-handed user I was left in the cold. A detachable touchpad that connects to the left or right of the keyboard — that would have been a game-changer.
This touchpad loves Windows 8, but works equally well in Windows 7. A left-click is one finger, a right-click needs two fingers. Either way, it works every time. And by swiping from the edges, various Windows 8 functions can be accessed.
Verdict: There’s nothing really wrong with the keyboard. Typing is swift, the Windows 8 specific gestures work, the trackpad is solid (but I wish it was on the left-hand side), and the price is right for a device of this calibre. I’d also wager that for a home theater PC setup, this wireless keyboard would be the ideal remote replacement. In all, a clever little keyboard — and for those who are right-handed, feel free to add two more points to this review.