9.5All the features you love, minus the wires
As we add more and more devices to our desks and bags each year, the desire to be totally wireless only grows. On my desk right now I have a keyboard, a mouse, my phone, a microphone, and a headset. Unfortunately for me, only 3 of those devices are not plugged into something. It gets even worse when we I have to start charging devices. Wireless tech in keyboards and mice is nothing new, but earlier versions suffered from poor battery-life and connectivity issues. Even if you found one that solved your wired-issue, odds are good that it only worked with one platform, or on one device. There is no no shortage of wireless keyboards and mice on the market these days, but do your research, because models like the MK850 Performance can do a lot more than your average set. You can find the Logitech MK850 on sites like Logitech.com and Amazon.com.
The Logitech MK850 Performance is a full-sized keyboard and mouse combo, and Logitech took it a step farther by crafting the keys with 19mm spacing. The result is a keyboard that feels much more like a standard desktop keyboard, so you won’t suffer from mistypes and your productivity won’t slow down as you adjust to the new device. This combo will also benefit Mac and Windows users, as the keyboard and mouse are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems; including most mobile devices. The MK850 is also compatible with the Chrome operating system, so if you have a Chromebook as well as a desktop, you’re all set. The best part of thIS inter-connectivity is that the MK850 can be used with multiple devices, so you can switch from a Desktop PC to a MAC, and use the same wireless keyboard. All without missing a beat.
You probably know by now that Macs and PCs use different function keys, and Logitech solved this issue by using a color-coded system. PC keys are in standard print, and Mac command keys can be found using a softer grey. It’s still a little strange when I jump to PC from MAC, or back again, but after a few days of using the keyboard the Mac keys on the MK850 became second nature. Both the keyboard and the mouse can pair between three devices, so you’ll be able to hop from one device to the other easily, all while using the same keyboard. To use the MK850 on your device, you will need a USB port or Bluetooth, so check to see if your device supports an external keyboard (HID profile). If it does, you will be good to go in just a few easy steps. Popular systems like iPads already use this system, so you will be able to type away and skip the onscreen keyboard for once. Switching to different devices is as easy as pushing a button (once they are paired). You will find a set of keys labeled 1-3 on the top right of the keyboard, and those correspond to the three devices that you have paired with the device. Switching was easy and responsive. Normally I switch-on after turning on my device (or unlocking my device on mobile), and by the time everything was setup the keyboard was already synced.
“Comfort at your desk is key, especially when you really need to get stuff done,” said Art O Gnimh, global director of keyboards at Logitech. “Whether that’s researching, creating or communicating, all-day productivity requires comfort so you can reach your full potential. The MK850 Performance wireless keyboard and mouse combo gives you comfort and total control so you can type on any device and switch seamlessly between them to get your work done.”
As I mentioned before, wireless keyboard combos have had some issues in the past. You can certainly find cheaper options out there, but you get what you pay for in most cases. As for battery-life, the Logitech MK850 boasts 36 months of typing-life running on just 2 AAA batteries. That is assuming you type an average of 2M keystrokes a year, and honestly I don’t know if that is high or low. If you use this for work and home, your mileage will vary. If this is more of a ‘work’ purchase, then you will most likely be closer to the 3 year point. I haven’t tested the MK850 for 3 years of course, and I’m not about to start counting keystrokes, but I can say I’m still running on the same AAAs as day 1 and it’s going great. I did switch-out the included AAA batteries with a pair of Panasonic Eneloop rechargeable batteries, but it doesn’t seem like I will need to recharge them anytime soon. The mouse boasts a two-year lifespan per charge.
One key point to make is that this keyboard runs with wireless encryption, which is a must-have feature when shopping for a wireless keyboard. Your keystrokes can be logged from snooping third-parties without the feature, and every wireless keyboard you purchase should offer this protection.
The keyboard is also outfitted with a wide-array of extra features, and your personal use will decide how fantastic these are. I personally was thrilled to have customizable keys and all of the function keys present on the device. Even built in options like volume adjustment can be found on the keyboard, a feature I’ve grown to love since I’ve had the volume rocker on my Corsair K95. The volume control is even more useful when you are working on your mobile device, so you won’t have to pick it up or reach for it when you need to lower the volume or mute a song. Other features include a large cushioned palm rest, and the option to use the tilt-legs. The tilt option is perfect for typing on a desk, but make sure any model that you buy lets you collapse them in case you have to use the keyboard your lap. Logitech has made fantastic Mouse and Keyboard sets in the past, but everything really came together for MK850 combo. You get everything people have come to love from Logitech devices, working on multiple devices on a long-lasting battery.
Logitech DuoLink works through the Logitech Options software. DuoLink enables the mouse buttons to have a different set of actions and gestures when you hold the Fn key down on the keyboard. For example, you can easily swipe between desktops and bring up Task View or Mission Control by moving your mouse. While you are listening to music, you can also play and pause by middle-clicking, or change songs by tilting the scroll wheel left and right. You can watch a featured presentation from Logitech for a quick-view of the MK850 in action.
There are a few requirements to be aware of, but most users should already be operating on them. The Logitech MK850 works on Windows 7-10, and Mac users will have to be running Mac OS X 10.10 or later. On your mobile devices, make sure you are running iOS 5 or later, or Android 5.0 or later. Those mobile operating systems are pretty old at this point, and if you are running on them, it might be time to do a system update.