PC

Keyboard with multi-purpose Crown, lots of nice touches

The Craft is the first keyboard that comes with a creative input dial, says Logitech. Dubbed the Crown, it can be used as a zoom tool for images, to adjust brightness and volume and activate play-pause functions.
The Craft is the first keyboard that comes with a creative input dial, says Logitech. Dubbed the Crown, it can be used as a zoom tool for images, to adjust brightness and volume and activate play-pause functions.PHOTO: LOGITECH

The Logitech Craft computer keyboard is like no other in the market. It is the first keyboard that comes with a creative input dial, according to its maker.

Dubbed the Crown, this aluminium touch-sensitive input dial recognises the applications that you are using, so you can instantly access context-specific functions.

For example in Adobe Photoshop CC, when using the crop tool, you can turn the Crown to zoom in and out of the picture.

If you are using the rectangular marquee tool, you can adjust image brightness by rotating the Crown. Tap lightly on the Crown to toggle between contrast and saturation and turn the Crown to adjust each setting accordingly.

To access these features, you need to install Logitech Options. The software will automatically look for the applications that support the Crown and prompt you to install profiles for these applications. The software also allows a certain degree of customisation for the functions of the Crown.

On an operating-system level for both macOS and Windows, turning the Crown lets you control volume by default. Pressing it activates Play or Pause, while pressing and turning at the same time adjusts your display's brightness level.

Using the Options software, I changed the Crown-turning action from controlling volume to navigating between applications. But you cannot customise the Crown-pressing action.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $329

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Logitech USB Unifying Receiver

    WEIGHT: 960g


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

In addition, the macOS version of Microsoft Office suite is not supported currently. But, in Windows, you can use the Crown to adjust font sizes for Word or create charts in Excel.

Looks-wise, the Craft looks like it has been crafted with the Apple Mac computers in mind. It has a strip of aluminium above the keys with the same shade of space grey as Apple's MacBook Pro. The Crown sits on the left side of this strip. The strip's rear has a power switch and a USB-C port for charging. A full charge will last you around a week.

Below the strip is a full-sized standard keyboard that comes in a black textured plastic casing with plastic keys in the same colour. Each key has a circular or oval depression (depending on shape of the key) that makes it nice to touch when pressed.

You get the usual F1-F12 keys, directional keys and numeric keypad. Above the numeric keypad, there is a screenshoot key, a calculator key and a lock key. There are three EasySwitch buttons - labelled 1, 2 and 3 - above the row of Insert, Home and PageUp keys.

This wireless keyboard can be paired with up to three computers. To pair, press 1, start the pairing process and repeat for the other two buttons. The Craft is quick to switch between the paired computers when you press on the EasySwitch buttons.

Another nice touch is that the keyboard's backlight will be lit up when your hands go near the keyboard. In addition, the backlight will adjust brightness according to your room's changing lighting conditions. For example, if your room's light is dimmed, the backlight will become brighter.

On the downside, key travel is quite shallow. It has the same feel of the Apple Magic Keyboard. For those who love a tactile-clicky feel with their keyboards, this is not the one to get.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: At $329, the Logitech Craft may be expensive for a work keyboard in the office. But, for creative professionals, the Crown input dial will help to streamline the workflow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Keyboard with multi-purpose Crown, lots of nice touches'. Print Edition | Subscribe