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Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard Review


Logitech s goal with the Logitech K780 is to provide a single keyboard that works with a tablet, phone, and PC, and can be easily switched between any of the three. How well does this £79.99 accessory meet this lofty aim? Read on to find out. At first glance, the K780 might look like any other desktop keyboard, but a second look will reveal a slot all the way across the top edge that functions as a cradle for holding tablets and phones. It is deep enough that we successfully used this to securely hold a wide variety of devices, including an iPad Pro1, a Nexus 92, and an iPhone 7 Plus3.

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard Review

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

As this cradle is 14.8 inches wide, there s room enough for even a large tablet and a big phone side-by-side. There is a limit to how thick the tablet can be, however. Our 0.6-inch thick Surface Pro 2 was too bulky for it, for example. Logitech says the max thickness of supported devices is 0.4 in. All phones and most tablets can be used in either landscape or portrait mode. Putting really big tablets, like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro4, in the slot in portrait mode really isn t recommended by Logitech, though.

The device angle at which dis determined partially by device thickness, with thinner devices leaning back five to 10 degrees more than thicker ones. The average is between 130 and 140 degrees, which is a decent viewing angle. Still, more flexibility would have been welcome.

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard Review

Logitech K780 Cradle Slot

With the whole K780 coming in at 2.0 pounds and measuring 15.0 x 6.2 inches, this isn t a particularly portable keyboard. That said, it runs off batteries, and wouldn t overcrowd a backpack or briefcase if taken on the occasional trip. Build quality is quite good. This looks and feels like a solidly-constructed piece of equipment. It s primarily made of plastic, though, and flexes very slightly with force a good reason to keep it on a desktop bound. The back of the K780 and most of the cradle are a lighter color. Logitech offers this product in two versions, with the only difference being this section is white or an off-white, speckled color. The main keyboard area is a very dark grey verging on black on both of these versions.

Although this accessory is designed to connect to tablets and phones over Bluetooth, it includes a Logitech Unifying USB receiver. This is a small dongle that plugs into a USB port and enables this keyboard to communicate with PCs and Macs that don t have Bluetooth. This requires extra software on the computer for the keyboard to fully function.

Keyboard

Unlike virtually all keyboard add-ons for tablets, the K780 includes a numbers pad, in addition to all the standard letter, symbol, and number keys in a QWERTY layout.

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard Review

Logitech K780 Keyboard with Numbers Pad

Without the numbers pad, the key area is 11.2 inches wide. This is the same size as a typical desktop keyboard because this IS a desktop keyboard. Most keys are round with a 0.65 inch diameter, and 0.1 inches of space between them. They are concave with good travel, and we found them to be comfortable for typing. This accessory sports the Logitech PerfectStroke key system, which intended to produce silent typing. We found the K780 to be fairly quiet, but not silent. Just above the keyboard is a row of convenient function keys. This includes the three buttons to quickly switch between paired devices. Next to these are a set of multi-media controls for iOS and Android devices, as well as a replacement Home button, a Back button, and a few more. For Windows computers, these are F1 through F12. There are no backlights for the keys, so typing in low light will be a struggle for most people. There are also no lights to indicate that Caps Lock or Num Lock are activated, either.

The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard connects to tablet, phone, and/or PC over Bluetooth, using 128-bit AES encryption. We experienced no issues using it with iOS, Android, and Windows computers. It also works with MacOS, though we were unable to test this. Shifting between the three devices that can be paired at any one time requires just the touch of button, allowing someone to very quickly switch from typing a Word document on a PC to answering an email on a tablet, and then back, for example. In our extensive testing, we never experienced a single dropped or duplicated keystroke.

Battery Life

Instead of building in a rechargeable battery, the K780 runs off a pair of AAAs (included in the packaging). Logitech says these are good for up to 14 months of use, but we still prefer the ability to recharge our keyboards, as batteries inevitably run out at the most inconvenient times. As it is, people would be wise to keep a spare pair of AAAs in their desk.

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard Review

Logitech K780

This product will automatically turn itself off after a few minutes of disuse to save its batteries. There s also a power switch on the right side to manually shut it down, or prevent it from being activated by touching the keys.

Value

Logitech s suggested retail price for the K780 is £79.99. This makes it considerably cheaper than add-on keyboards designed for specific tablets, which typically run £130 or more. On the other hand, it cost more than some general-use options like the ZAGG Messenger Universal (£69.99) or the iClever 3 Color Backlight Bluetooth Keyboard5 (£54.99). Unlike all of those models, however, the K780 can easily switch between three different computers, making it uniquely flexible. The standout feature of the Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard is the ability to pair with a PC, tablet, and phone, and shift between them at the push of a button. It s cradle also works well to hold a variety of devices, even two or more at once. We think it s an outstanding office accessory for any tablet user who also has a PC and a smartphone, but isn t right for those looking for a travel keyboard.

References

  1. ^ iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  2. ^ Nexus 9 (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  3. ^ iPhone 7 Plus (www.notebookreview.com)
  4. ^ 12.9-inch iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  5. ^ iClever 3 Color Backlight Bluetooth Keyboard (www.tabletpcreview.com)

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Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 review: HD video and stereo sound add polish to video calls


The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 really impresses with stellar video and audio.

As convenient as the built-in webcam on your PC might be, washed-out video and tinny audio probably won t instill confidence in your professionalism when Skyping with a client or broadcasting to legions of loyal followers. Logitech s HD Pro Webcam C920 can provide a little more polish with its 1080p resolution and stereo sound.

This £100 webcam (available for £68 on Amazon1) measures just over 3.5 inches at its widest. Its camera features a full HD glass lens and is flanked by two microphones to capture stereo sound. This head unit comes attached to a rubber-lined clip that fits snugly over laptop screens and external displays. If you want an angle other than the typical top-of-the-monitor shot, you can screw the C920 to a tripod using the built-in mount.

The C920 provides full HD 1080p video calling over Skype, and 720p for FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and other video call services. It also features Carl Zeiss optics and 20-step auto-focus for consistently high resolution.

One of the C920 s neatest tricks is its ability to record 1080p video clips using H.264 compression technology built right into the camera. By having the camera do the heavy lifting rather than your CPU, it guarantees sharp, smooth video even on older computers.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Review: HD Video And Stereo Sound Add Polish To Video Calls Logitech

Its list price is £100, but these days the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 can usually be found for less sometimes as low as £50.

The C920 requires minimal setup in Windows 8.1 or 10. Just plug in the attached USB cable, and the required Logitech camera app is downloaded automatically. (For use with Windows 7 or Vista, you’ll need to manually download and install Logitech Webcam Software.) The app lets you zoom and pan the camera, capture video and photos (up to 15 MP), toggle between multiple webcams, and adjust your camera s settings.

When using the C920, the pro in pro webcam becomes immediately apparent. Video quality is shockingly crisp, with clear details and vibrant colors. By comparison, the images from my Dell laptop s webcam looked dull and grainy. Even the video recorded from the C920 was more impressive than my laptop cam s live image. Audio was also clear and full and with minimal ambient noise.

I found the camera s 78-degree field of view to be more than enough to accommodate up to two people in the frame, making it a great choice for small-group powwows. You ll likely use the pan feature only to set up your initial framing. Similarly, the camera s security mode you can activate motion-detection so that it records video when it senses movement might be a novel way to keep an eye on your desk when you re away, but it s no substitute for a true security camera and you probably won t use the feature for much else.

For a consumer-grade webcam, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 really impressed with stellar video and audio. It s almost certainly an upgrade over your computer s built-in camera, and I highly recommend it for situations where video-call quality counts.

References

  1. ^ £68 on Amazon (www.amazon.com)

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ATF Blackbird VX-2SSD USB 3.1 review: Internal SATA speed at the end of a wire


Add fast SATA storage to your laptop or PC.

There are times when adding additional drives to your laptop or PC just isn t an option. That doesn t mean you have to make due with less storage, or even compromised performance from an external solution, as Atech Flash s Blackbird VX-2SSD proves. This dual-bay, 2.5-inch, external USB 3.1 enclosure lets SATA drives perform as quickly at the end of a cable as they would inside your computer. Kind of liberating, if you think about it. Of course, that s assuming your laptop or PC has 2nd-generation, 10Mbps USB 3.1 on board. If your PC doesn t have it, you can add it easily enough with a £35 PCIe card. If your laptop lacks it, you ll have to live with 5Mbps USB 3.x.

Hardware

The VX-2SSD (which has an MSRP of £149 but can be had for about £10 less on Amazon1) is a rather small, but extremely sturdy, approximately 4.6-inch long, by 2.2-inch high, by 4-inch wide black box. Styling is limited to the red accents around the front-accessible drive slots, and logos on the front and side.

A fair amount of pressure is required to insert and remove drives; perhaps more than you might comfortable with at first. But you ll get used to it, and a wee struggle now and again is certainly better than your drive popping or dropping out in mid-write. A lot better.

ATF Blackbird VX-2SSD USB 3.1 Review: Internal SATA Speed At The End Of A WireAFTech

The back of the VX-2SSD is home to a single USB 3.1 (Type C) port, the AC jack, a RAID-mode DIP switch, and a reset button. To configure or reconfigure the unit, you set the DIP switches to the desired mode: RAID 1 mirrored, RAID 0 striped, or JBOD, which in this case results in dual drives; then press and hold the reset button for about five seconds. There s a legend for the dip-switch settings printed on the back of the drive. Nice touch.

I had no issues setting up the VX-2SSD for the first time, but it seemed that when I wanted to change from RAID 0, to RAID 1 or JBOD, the unit would no longer mount i.e., show up in Windows. After reinitializing both drives, then partitioning them while directly attached to the motherboard, things were hunky-dory again. Atech Flash was as puzzled over this as I was, but I have a talent for making things misbehave, largely based on impatience. Go figure.

Performance

The VX-2SSD performed as expected like a SATA RAID array. We used two fast OCZ Vector 180 s configured in RAID 0 (striped) and saw 591MBps reading and 791MBps writing in AS SSD. Most enclosures are faster readers than writers, but we do see the reverse occasionally, depending on chipset and drives. Note that the same drives mounted in the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro2 performed in the more common manner.

Regardless, the VX-2SSD is a heck of a lot faster than a single internal SATA drive, as fast as dual-drive internal SATA RAID 0, and anything we ve seen from USB 3.0.

ATF Blackbird VX-2SSD USB 3.1 Review: Internal SATA Speed At The End Of A Wire

The VX-2SSD is an extremely fast writer, though read performance was slower than with the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro.

ATF Blackbird VX-2SSD USB 3.1 Review: Internal SATA Speed At The End Of A Wire

The VX-2SSD is a worthy competitor for the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro, and at considerably less than half the price.

Note that we used an Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard with the Asus Thunderex 3 PCIe expansion card for connecting the VX-2SSD.

Conclusion

The VX-2SSD is a great little product that allows you to leverage any type of 2.5-inch SATA media to best effect. I can see using it for data recovery, backup, and a host of other chores besides simple storage. It s easy to use, and at £149… Okay, I was hoping for £99, but it s still a fast and highly versatile enclosure. And certainly a lot less expensive than the Thunderbolt 3 SATA enclosures we ve seen so far.

References

  1. ^ Amazon (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro (www.pcworld.com)

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