The Logitech K800 is a wireless keyboard that allows you to plug in via USB and charge while using it. But how does it work in the real world?
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 floppy. 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 on 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
- Unifying Wireless Receiver
- Multi-language Quick-setup manual (No driver disk!)
- 3-year limited warranty
How does it size up?
The K800 is sized as a standard keyboard lengthwise but adds 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 rarely 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.
The K800 is thin…really thin. As you can see in the picture, it’s giving a No. 2 pencils a run for its money. At 3.25 lbs, it’s relatively lightweight, but that’s still heavy when compared to other keyboards I’ve used.
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, two kick-stands pop out to raise it a few more millimeters.
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 plug into 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.
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 backlighting 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 of other feature settings completely missing from SetPoint. The only way to re-enable some automated features is to reset the device or restore settings to defaults.
The good news is that the backlight brightness automatically adjusts based on the lighting level 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 maximum brightness in a completely dark room and very easy to see.
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 you can use premium brand batteries for better performance, and they’re easy to swap out.
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.
I’m by no means a record-setting typist, but I chime in around 100 WPM the last time I checked. 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 the 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 noticed a slight (25ms) delay when typing with it on wireless. Attaching the USB cord seemed to straighten performance up.
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 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.