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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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Brydge 12.9 Review: Premium Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro

There are numerous options for turning a 12.9-Inch iPad Pro1 into a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop. The Apple Smart Keyboard2 is best known, the Brydge 12.9 deserves some attention, as it boasts a casing milled from a solid block of aluminum and backlit keys. Note: Those who have the smaller version of the iPad Pro should read our Brydge 9.7 Review3. The Brydge 12.9 attaches to one edge of Apple s tablet with a pair of rubberized clamps that also function as hinges. This makes the iPad and its keyboard into a clamshell that looks a bit like a MacBook. The two go together so well that some observers might be confused into thinking that the combination is a laptop running iOS.

Brydge offers this product in silver, space grey, and gold4 to match the colors of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The accessory has exactly the same length and width as its matching iPad, 12 x 8.75 inches, so it can completely cover the front of the tablet, protecting the screen when it s being transported. However, there s no coverage for the back or sides of the computer.

Brydge 12.9 Review: Premium Keyboard For 12.9-inch IPad Pro

Brydge 12.9 with iPad Pro

The Brydge 12.9 is 0.25 inches thick, so when it s closed down over the iPad Pro the combination is just a touch over half an inch5. That s not including the hinges, which bring the total width up to about 0.75 inches. The body of this product is machined from a block of high-grade aluminum, and it feels very, very solid. It s as lightweight as it can be, but still adds 1.58 pounds to the tablet, so together they total just over 3 lbs. Brydge couldn t shave pounds off this keyboard because it needs to support the iPad Pro when it s open; if the base weighed less, the clamshell would tumble over.

As it is, the iPad and Brydge 12.9 offer excellent lapability ; they can be easily used together when held in one s lap. On a desk or table, the tablet is held up firmly, so that the screen doesn t wiggle during typing.

Hinges

The dual hinges set the design apart from most of its rivals. They clamp the tablet and keyboard together, as well as swiveling to make the combination function like a clamshell laptop. Unlike a traditional laptop, however, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can be separated from its keyboard with a tug, allowing it to be more easily used for reading ebooks, playing games, or just casual web access or social networking. The clamps are cushioned with rubberized plastic inserts, and hold the iPad firmly without scratching its finish. If the clamps get loose, a squeeze tightens them.

Brydge 12.9 Review: Premium Keyboard For 12.9-inch IPad Pro

Brydge 12.9 Hinges/Clamps

The hinges can rotate 180 degrees, giving the Brydge 12.9 a far wider range of viewing angles than most tablet keyboards, and even some laptops. There s a caveat though: past about 140 degrees, the weight of the iPad becomes too much for the hinges and the tablet will slowly rotate on its own until it s lying flat. The base cannot rotate a full 360 degrees, so that the keyboard is behind the display. However, the iPad Pro can be removed from the clamps, flipped around, and then reinserted. Brydge s designers don t espouse this because, in this arrangement, the outer hinges cover the lower corners of the display. Nevertheless, we find it useful for watching video as well as drawing with the Apple Pencil6.

Opening the clamshell automatically activates the tablet, and closing it puts it back to sleep.

Keyboard

There are five rows of letter and number keys embedded in the Brydge 12.9, as well as a sixth row of function keys. Most are 0.6 x 0.6 inches, with 0.1 in. of space between them. The keyboard itself stretches across 10.7 in. and is 4.1 in. high. What all these specs mean is that this keyboard is similar in size to one designed for a desktop, just without the number pad.

Brydge 12.9 Review: Premium Keyboard For 12.9-inch IPad Pro

Brydge 12.9 Keyboard

Brydge s designers included backlights for the keys, so typing in dimly lit areas is easier. There are three levels of brightness, but the only color option is white. The function keys are very convenient, allowing audio volume and display backlight adjustments, plus there s a set of multimedia controls. An extra Home key is one of the most useful additions. The Brydge 12.9 communicates with Apple s tablet over Bluetooth 3.0, which is how iPad add-on keyboards have worked for years. Support for this type of wireless accessory is built into iOS, and it functions exactly as designed. Pairing the two is simple and needs to be done only once.

That said, Apple added the Smart Connector to the iPad Pro series specifically for add-on keyboards, but the Brydge 12.9 doesn t use it. If it did, this accessory wouldn t need its own battery, and there would never be the short delay required every time a Bluetooth device is activated. We asked several volunteers to try typing on this keyboard, and the comments were universally positive. In our testing, we experienced no problems with dropped or repeated characters.

Brydge 12.9 Review: Premium Keyboard For 12.9-inch IPad Pro

Brydge 12.9 Edge View

Battery Life

Brydge says this accessory will last for up to 3 months on a single charge. Presumably, this will be affected by the keyboard backlighting, as this can be a significant drain. Pressing the battery key gives a rough indication of remaining power. After our testing over four days, frequently using the backlights, the charge had just dropped below 75%.

Value

The list price for the Brydge 12.9 is £189.99. For comparison, the Apple Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro 12.9 is £169, while the ZAGG slim book for this model is £139.99. Although Brydge s offering is the most expensive of these, it s the only one made primarily of aluminum rather than plastic so there s some justification for the premium price. The Brydge 12.9 is beautifully designed and solidly made. Any executive who wants to convert a 12.9-inch iPad Pro into an iOS-powered laptop should seriously consider it.

References

  1. ^ 12.9-Inch iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  2. ^ Apple Smart Keyboard (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  3. ^ Brydge 9.7 Review (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  4. ^ silver, space grey, and gold (93b00a24bd188d49d428-5353a8a2802c90717395ac989c1a694a.r74.cf1.rackcdn.com)
  5. ^ just a touch over half an inch (93b00a24bd188d49d428-5353a8a2802c90717395ac989c1a694a.r74.cf1.rackcdn.com)
  6. ^ Apple Pencil (www.tabletpcreview.com)

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