With the global PC market seemingly in perpetual decline , one could be forgiven for thinking that the desktop computer accessory market would be well on its way to oblivion. Well, not according to Logitech.
In the past six months alone, the Swiss peripheral producer has brought new mechanical keyboards to market , newheadphones, a freshmouse product line, and a new HD webcam for livestreaming . However, a big focus for these products has been the gaming fraternity. For the broader consumer market, the company has been working on products that aren’t built purely for PCs, but are adaptable for the multi-device toting user of 2016.
Meet the Logitech K780
The aptly named Logitech K780 Multi-Device keyboard , like many others on the market, is able to connect to any number of Bluetooth-enabled devices through pairing. But what Logitech’s incarnation strives for is to make the process of working across multiple devices as seamless and smooth as possible.
The $80 unit is designed to work with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS machines. It was introduced to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) market back in June, and it was finally launched in North America a couple of weeks back. VentureBeat has gotten its proverbial hands on one of these puppies to see what it’s capable of, and whether it really lives up to its promise of making multi-device workstations more productive.
The K780 represents an upgrade of sorts to the K380 it launched last year , but the two devices are sufficiently different to merit a closer look this time around. First up, the K780 sports a cradle to house your tablet and mobile phone, the idea being that if you’re working on your PC and you need to quickly switch to typing a message on your mobile device, you can do so without having to lay a finger on a phone or tablet.
Above: K780: Side-on
In addition to the cradle, the K780 is also a full-featured desktop keyboard compared to the K380, which was more designed as a lightweight mobile keyboard that can be taken on the road. The K780 has a number keypad on the right, which hints that this is designed as a desktop keyboard primarily, with the added bonus of being able to work with multiple devices.
Cradles and number pads are all well and good, but digging down into the inner workings of the K780 is where things get interesting. Of course any Bluetooth keyboard is capable of working with multiple devices, but it is a real pain having to connect and reconnect as you switch between them. And this is why the K780 leans on the smarts of Bluetooth LE, meaning you can switch devices on a whim by hitting one of three buttons.
Along the top left row, next to the ESC key, you’ll see three big white keys numbered 1, 2, and 3 (these also double as the F1, F2, and F3 keys). To associate a device with one of these keys, you hold the key down for 3 seconds until the button flashes, then you connect the device through the usual Bluetooth settings on your mobile contraption.