With Google's Nexus event just ended, it seems like an opportune time to review a Bluetooth keyboard. With the Pixel C now a reality, it seems Microsoft was right about the surface. Tablets may not do well, but hybrids are far from dead and companies are willing to take another shot at them. Which consequently means that devices like the Logitech K480 also have a ways to go in the market. So, what do you look for in a Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet? Here's the Logitech K480 review.
Personally, I've always believed that whether a keyboard is good or bad depends on the person using it, but there are certain areas that remain common. For example, the Logitech K480 offers extremely good key travel, even if the feedback is a tad low, which makes it for the ideal for people like me, who type for the better part of their day. In addition, the pitch is also good for a keyboard this size and I never pressed a wrong key on this thing.
What I like the most though is the clicky sound the keyboard makes when you're using it. It makes up for the somewhat low feedback, ensuring that all of your keystrokes fall right. It runs on two AAA batteries, which Logitech says will last for two years. While I can't confirm that, they've been holding up for the two weeks that I've been using the keyboard, including two days when the device was kept connected to the Surface and my phone continuously.
The best part though..
Is that the Logitech K480 can connect to three devices at the same time. Often this comes out to be a feature that doesn't function as desired, but not with the K480. The keyboard has a dial on the top left corner, which has 1,2 and 3 marked on it. You connect a device to each of these numbers and simply rotate the dial to the device you want to type on. I tried connecting to a Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet, a Moto X Play smartphone and a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone, and the keyboard switched seamlessly. The same was true when I replaced the Galaxy Note 5 with an iPad.
There's about a second's Bluetooth lag when switching between devices, but that never really becomes a problem. The K480 once paired can effortlessly keep your hands on the keyboard, irrespective of which device you want to type on. At a price point of around Rs. 2,800, it's a feature worth trying this keyboard out for.
The sub-3k price point though doesn't come without its compromises. A kind of problematic aspect is the power button on the back. Once the K480 has been connected, their are no light indicating its state. This meant that on multiple occasions, when I was watching movies, I then forgot to turn the keyboard off, thereby wasting some battery that I could have conserved. This was in fact the reason why at one point the keyboard was connected to my phone and tablet continuously for two whole days.
Lastly, the AAA batteries powering this device may have lasted me this long, but that doesn't make me like them. While the K480 does have a low battery indicator, I don't want a point after two years (if indeed it lasts that long) when I have to file a story at night and the keyboard goes off charge. In addition, for a keyboard that's 20mm thick, I imagine some sort of a rechargeable battery mechanism is in order. Of course, a Lithium-Ion battery would most likely have raised the price, so Logitech made a gamble here.
Perhaps the only thing that I did not like about this keyboard is that it weighs a good 820 grams. This is heavy and makes it irksome to carry this around for a portable keyboard. In a recent trip, I decided to carry the Surface keyboard-less, since I could do my reading through touch alone anyway, but on the way back, I chose to put off writing till I was back on the ground.
So, once again, what do you look for in a Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet? I say the Logitech K480 gets the essentials right. It's a treat to type on and except the weight, there's nothing that its sub-3k price tag can't justify. In addition, seamlessly connecting to three devices more than makes up for its shortcomings. So, if you're looking for an inexpensive Bluetooth keyboard that you don't want to travel with, this is the perfect option!