As we all move into a multi-display world – where our computing is done across multiple devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones – some things have adapted but most have not. In fact, much of the hardware built today is very similar to just a few years ago, because few companies have seen fit to make a change.
After all, the iPad doesn’t support a mouse; most Android users wouldn’t make use of one if they had it. Keyboards are available per device. It’s commonplace for a tablet and smartphone owner to have two or three separate keyboards to support all of their computing devices. But that doesn’t make sense. As we use fewer and fewer electronics, we should also use fewer peripherals for those devices.
Logitech is the first company to build a keyboard that actually makes sense today. I previously reviewed the K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard and said that it was “The absolute best Bluetooth keyboard you can buy.” The K811 Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard is the K810’s fraternal twin brother, made specifically for Apple devices. And it’s just as good.
The K811 is an excellent keyboard for three reasons: first, it offers a near-perfect typing experience, one of the best of any keyboard tested. The low-profile keys are perfect for touch typists, and likewise the rubber keys don’t feel soft. They have a slight jump and remain completely noiseless. The K811 is a pleasure to type on. Switching to another keyboard afterwards is very difficult.
Second is the “easy-switch”, a selection of three buttons that changes to an alternate Bluetooth radio so that up to three different devices can be paired with the K811. This makes it especially easy to type on your desktop, switch over to your iPad, and again switch to your iPhone (or any Bluetooth device). Even if you only use two devices, this is the fastest and most convenient way to switch between them. I still firmly believe that Bluetooth is a fairly weak technology, but the K811 makes it perfectly manageable.
Home users can set the K811 up for their home computer, Apple TV, and your smartphone. With the K811 there’s no need to own multiple keyboards or leave them in any specific room. The K811 eliminates cluttering your media center, and it does so as a small but sturdy design. And thanks to the Apple-centric keys, users can use buttons like command, home, eject, and the program selector all with one touch. The K811 also has keys to adjust the volume, brightness, and media playback.
As if that weren’t enough, a built-in backlight will keep the K811 visible in the dark for over a week on a single charge. Logitech claims between 10 days and a year depending on illumination settings, though in my testing I found that the backlight readjusts brightness constantly unless users turn it off. Even when the battery is nearly dead, I managed to get another full two days of use out of it (sans backlight). The K811 includes a proximity sensor which snaps it out of sleep mode for typing and turns on the backlight. Finally, the keys are finely built so that they are concave instead of flat. This makes them more comfortable than Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. In fact, it’s better than the Wireless Keyboard in nearly every way.
I can’t speak more highly about the Logitech K811 Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard. It, along with the Windows-based K810, is the best Bluetooth keyboard you can buy. Heck, when a full-size keyboard (complete with a number pad) is available, I have no doubt that it will become the best solution for workplaces and home offices. The K811 meets so many needs – from an excellent typing experience to perfect symmetry with up to three separate computing devices – that it deserves only praise. It may seem a tad expensive for $100, but you can’t put a price on genius.
Bottom Line: The absolute best Bluetooth keyboard you can buy for Apple products
- Excellent type experience and feel
- Stunning lightweight, bold design
- Multiple Bluetooth profiles is still brilliant
- Proximity and ambient light sensors are excellent additions
- No carrying case means I can’t take it with me everywhere with complete confidence
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.