Gadget Bits: Logitech Builds the Multi-Device Keyboard I Asked For

Logitech K780

Two years ago, I reviewed the Logitech K480 multi-function keyboard. It was a great idea – a bluetooth keyboard built to handle the modern, multiple device-using power geek. It had a slot where you could set both a phone and a tablet, and a little dial that allowed you to manipulate each one distinctly via Bluetooth; I liked it (and indeed, I still have it and still use it). But there were issues:

First, I think the knob for switching devices is a bit too manual. Three buttons, each with an LED that blinks occasionally to let you know which device is active would be more elegant. Also, more than once when I picked it up and reached underneath to switch it off, I found it far too easy to accidentally open the battery compartment. Some design that locks it closed a bit more soundly would be good.

Further, while the K480 was obviously designed as an alternative to the Apple Wireless Keyboard, I want to see a full-sized version of this with a number pad on the right. If this is meant to be a desktop keyboard replacement, it needs to replace a true desktop keyboard.

Fast forward to now. Logitech sent me one of their new models, the K780. It’s a multi-device Bluetooth keyboard, built to run a phone, a tablet, and a desktop or laptop computer (PC or Mac) at the same time with the push of a button (not a knob) that lights up to indicate which one is primary. The on/off switch is on the side, nowhere near the well-secured battery compartment. And it has a number pad, making it a full-fledged desktop keyboard. In short, I now believe that Logitech is reading my reviews and making design choices based upon my recommendations (certainly not that I pointed out some obviously design flaws and next steps).

I liked the K480, but I love the K780. It’s now sitting on the countertop in the kitchen where we have a Mac Mini that’s sort of our home brain center with the family calendar and shared music. It’s perfect because I can come in, plop my phone in the slot on the keyboard, push a button, and quickly respond to emails, Slack chats, and Twitter messages on my phone, without opening the apps on the computer. And it adds the number pad to the desktop toolset so I can quickly do some home economics calculations when needed. It’s a well-designed keyboard, like Logitech does – solidly built with a great keystroke feel, and it looks good. In short, it’s a winner.

My one recommendation for the next model, oh ever-listening Logitech engineers? Make this, with a lockable hinge in the middle so it folds up and slips into an everyday carry bag. Then you can really survive with a table and a phone as your mobile work tools, and come into the office or home where you just need a CPU and monitor for desktop power. Mind blown.

The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard is available from Amazon for $69.

[Note: Logitech sent me a unit for review; the opinions are my own.]

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