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Go Wired or Wireless – Logitech K800 Keyboard Review

Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been using the Logitech K800 for about three weeks now and am ready to tell you whether this thing is groovy, or floopy. For starters, it’s a unique keyboard that works both wired over USB and wirelessly over 2.4 GHz. When it’s plugged in, the battery is charged by the USB connection while using it. I haven’t seen that in a keyboard before, and honestly that was the selling point for me. But the question is, does it hold up to the hype?

What’s in the box:

  • 6 ft. USB to mini-USB cable
  • 3 ft. Wireless receiver extender USB  cable
  • Keyboard
  • Unifying Wireless Receiver
  • Multi-language Quick-setup manual (No driver disk!)
  • 3-year limited warranty

Logitech K800 box

How does it size up?

The K800 is sized as a standard keyboard lengthwise, but adds on a little extra width to accommodate a hard-wrist-pad. It has four extra buttons at the top-right, along with a power switch (which I almost never use) and a function key where the menu key would normally be. Across the F1-F12 row are added functions such as Home Page, email, zoom, etc… The menu key is still available via FN + Print Screen for those that need or use it.

k800 size comparison with standard keyboard

The K800 is thin…really thin. As you can see in the picture it’s giving a No. 2 pencil a run for its money.  At 3.25 lbs it’s relatively light-weight, but that’s still heavy when compared to other keyboards I’ve used.

k-800 thickness

Ergonomics

The back rear of the keyboard does arch up, and the front has a built-in resting area for wrists, so it also has ergonomics down. I’ve used this keyboard for extended periods of time without getting sore wrists. And in case the rear incline isn’t enough, there’s two kick-stands that pop out to raise it up a few more millimeters.

k800 battery and recliners

The charging and connection port is located at the top-right of the keyboard. The cable slot is a mini-USB connector, and the other end will plugin to any standard USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 slot open on your computer. I liked that Logitech used mini-USB, as the cord also works on just about all of the tablets and smartphones that make it to my desk. The cord also includes a built-in Velcro strap that helps with cable management.

mini usb plugin

All of the keys are backlit. The K800 has built-in sensors that detect hand movement and touch before typing has started. I like this feature, but more often than not the back lighting stays on longer than it needs to be. There are customization settings to change the backlight timeout delay in Logitech’s SetPoint driver software, but even with it turned down all the way it feels like the keyboard likes to stay lit-up until I get up from my desk and walk away. There are also a couple other feature settings completely missing from SetPoint. The only way to re-enable some of the automated features is to reset the device or restore settings to defaults.

The good news is the backlight brightness automatically adjusts based on the level of lighting in the room, or it can be manually adjusted on-the-fly via the function keys. The keyboard can get really bright, as seen below the K800 is at maximum brightness in a completely dark room and very easy to see.

illuminated keys

Battery Life

Found on the top of the back of the keyboard, the battery bay houses two AA 2000mAh no name brand batteries from China. They work well enough, but for better performance you can use premium brand batteries, and they’re easy to swap out.

Regardless of whether you use the stock or custom batteries, Logitech SetPoint does a handy job of tracking the battery levels via an on-screen notification. With the default backlight settings, the battery lasts roughly 10 days. I’ve turned off backlighting and extended it to two weeks. I also tried the reverse with the backlighting at full brightness which resulted in a complete drain after 15 hours. Needless to say, if you want to run the keyboard with backlighting turned up it is best to keep the USB cable plugged in.

battery k800

Performance

I’m by no means a record setting typist, but the last time I checked I chime in around 100 WPM. Over the past three weeks I’ve yet to see the keyboard miss a stroke, and I’ve been using it wirelessly the majority of the time. I also tested the keyboard out while playing Super Meat Boy game. Some of the keys creak a little if being pressed strenuously, so I’m not sure how long this keyboard could endure the stress of heavy gaming.

It starts to lag on the wireless connection if you’re doing something that requires pressing multiple keys at once. I also did notice that there’s a slight (25ms) delay when typing with it on wireless. Attaching the USB cord seemed to straighten performance up.

key layout

Conclusion

Overall I’m very impressed with the Logitech K800. Between its auto-illuminated keys, easy recharging, and dual wireless-or-wire connection, it’s easily the most versatile keyboard I’ve ever used. The keys feel comfortable and precise, although I do worry about how long they will physically last. The keyboard feels a bit like what you would find on a laptop, and I’d consider the noise it makes while typing rather standard.

Logitech’s SetPoint software for it could use some improvement, but it still allows for moderate customization of the illumination and functions. At $79.99 on Amazon it isn’t the cheapest keyboard available, but I’d recommend it to anyone that wants a convenient and effective wireless keyboard.

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2 Responses to Go Wired or Wireless – Logitech K800 Keyboard Review

  1. Andrew June 4, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Does it really work as a wired keyboard? Mine only seem to charge via the USB-cable. It seems to be wireless all the time as mine wont work without the wireless dongle even thought its plugged in via USB.

    • Janos July 17, 2014 at 4:30 am #

      The K800 keyboard only charges vie the USB wire. There is no data connection. Source: Logitech support.

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