Magic mouse comes to the PC along with a keyboard that senses your hands.
Last week, we got a couple of items delivered from Logitech to our offices- the K800 keyboard and the M600 mouse. Both of these input devices are meant for everyday usage- especially the keyboard and thus, at first glance, don’t appear to have anything extraordinary about them. But nevertheless, they are products by Logitech product so I was expecting a better than average experience. Both these devices use the Logitech unifying receiver so you don’t have multiple dongles or blocked USB ports on your computer.
The Logitech K800 Keyboard
Lets start with the K800 is basically a wireless keyboard with a built-in rechargeable battery. Logitech uses the standard micro-USB to charge the keyboard which is a good idea as you can easily plug most mobile devices and charge them without any additional cables. As per Logitech, the charge time is between three to six hours and that gives you ten days of usage. I charged the keyboard last week and it lasted me after about 7 days, I can see about a third remaining so Logitech’s claims seem correct.
The K800 is the first wireless backlit keyboard that I have seen and it has a sensor that automatically turns the light on when your hands approach the keyboard. While this worked most of the time, there were times when I had to start typing for the backlight to turn on. The level of intensity on the backlight can be adjusted and the laser etched keys certainly look pretty awesome in the dark.
Besides the usual set of keys, you see an on/off switch on the keyboard as well as volume buttons and a dedicated calculator button. The F1-F12 keys can be used for other functions with the Fn key such as launching applications and controlling your media. Thankfully, the Fn key is placed on the right instead of the far left that some other keyboards place it at- swapping it for the CTRL key.
The keys are slightly curved that supposedly helps in a better typing experience but I prefer more of a chiclet design with a lesser throw. That’s not to say that typing on the K800 proved to be difficult- it’s more of a personal opinion. One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was the lack of noise this keyboard makes when typing on- it’s a whole lot quieter than most other keyboards I’ve tested.
The Logitech M600 Mouse
Coming to the M600 mouse, one of the things you will generally hear me complain about is how scrolling under Windows sucks compares to Macs. The trackpads on Apple laptops are unmatched when it comes to two finger scrolling and swiping actions, while on the non-portable side of things, Apple’s Magic Mouse and trackpad offer similar levels of experience. I hadn’t come across anything like that for Windows platform- that is until the Logitech M600 mouse landed on my desktop.
Like Apple’s Magic Mouse with a touch sensitive surface, the M600 looks a bit on the plain side with no visible buttons on or around the mouse as well as not scroll wheel- something that has become a standard on all Windows mice. Strangely our packaging did not include batteries but this was not a retail sample unit and Logitech is generally pretty good with bundling batteries so I’d be surprised if you don’t see a couple of AA sized ones bundled within the retail version.
Other than batteries, there were no drivers included either so I went ahead and downloaded sitepoint from Logitech’s website. With the drivers installed, I got the M600 working as expected- the mouse pointer moved fluidly and you have left and right click buttons that are hidden but offer good feedback. I was expecting scrolling to work like Magic Mouse where you slide your finger on the mouse and while that worked, it was nowhere as smooth as what you see on the Mac- instead, it was the usual three lines at a time.
But then I noticed Logitech’s Flow Scroll 4.0 app designed specifically for this mouse. After installing, the app asked me to restart my browser and following that, looks like Logitech found Apple’s secret recipe for getting scrolling to work. The inertia based scrolling works wonderfully- although only for applications supported by the app such as Chrome and Internet Explorer. Sadly the fluid motion does not exist outside supported apps so you end up with a very inconsistent experience.
One thing I would like Logitech to implement is using natural scrolling direction like you’re used to on your tablets and phones instead of inverted scrolling found traditionally on PCs. Same thing for gestures- you can swipe left or right on the mouse surface to activate back and forward on your browser. Also the lack of a separation between the mouse buttons can sometimes be a bit problematic and I had many instances where the right button got pressed when I wanted to press the left button.
All in all, both the Logitech K800 keyboard and the M600 mouse are pretty good but not exceptional products. The M600 certainly has the potential to be if Logitech can add Flow Scroll to the drivers. Priced at AED 399, the K800 keyboard is a bit on the higher side and I’m not sure it I would recommend it at that price, however the M600 mouse at close to AED 299 is a good replacement for anyone suffering from Apple envy.