While new renditions of gaming keyboards and Bluetooth-enabled keyboards for tablets and phones seem to pop-up every week, Logitech has created the Logitech CRAFT for the creative and professional community. With a focus on precision and customizable features, the Craft stands apart as one of the best professional keyboards on the market today. While we loved the MX 2S line that Logitech released this year, the Logitech Crown is one of the more productive keyboards we’ve seen released in a long time.
The ‘Crown’ on the Logitech Craft is one of the most useful additions to the standard keyboard that I’ve seen in years. Logitech’s Crown is a simple input dial that allows users to easily navigate desktops, switch application settings, adjust Photoshop controls, or to instantly execute custom commands. Right out of the box the Crown works intuitively with several major applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Google Chrome, and Microsoft’s Word, Excel and Powerpoint applications on the Windows Platform. These apps, and several others, all have pre-set commands that can be applied to the three inputs on the Crown (Turn, Tap, and Press and Turn). You are also free to create your own custom commands or macros for the Crown, and you can easily assign basic Windows 10 commands to any of the three inputs.
If you have ever used a gaming keyboard or an advanced mouse, then you should be familiar with the wide-array of customization options that peripherals like this often have, but if not, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options at your disposal. Logitech’s application software (called Logitech Options) does a terrific job of guiding you through all of the customizations offered with the Craft, and the UI is easy to master. The device only takes a few moments to configure, and adjusting your settings for each application (or adding new applications) just takes a few minutes. You can adjust all of these settings whenever you like, and the keyboard automatically recognizes the application you are using, and adjust the inputs accordingly. In short, the Logitech Crown can sense when you are working in Photoshop and when you switch to Google Chrome. The dial will adjust the input-commands on the Crown accordingly, and you can set any of the keys or inputs to whatever you like for each application. As an example, you may want the Turn Command to adjust brightness in Photoshop, but in Chrome you may want the Turn Command to adjust the system volume. All of this is configured behind the scenes, and adjusts on the fly per application if that’s what you want. For the Photoshop users out there, you can watch the promotional video below to see the Logitech Craft in action.
Another terrific feature on the Logitech Craft is the ability to assign F-Keys on a per-application basis, just another example of the almost endless customization options that you have at your disposal using the free software. You can also easily adjust the Global Controls of the Crown, to fit your exact needs. If you work on a shared computer, or workstation, the Logitech Options application does support profiles, so you can save your settings and return to them at anytime.
The build quality of the Logitech Craft is superb, offering a full-sized keyboard in a compact 32mm x 430mm x 149mm frame. It’s professional through and through, without any of the RBG nonsense and digital extras that have been plaguing keyboards over the last few years. Key-labels are provided for both Mac OS and Windows 10 users, making the keyboard a perfect choice for either platform. The backlighting highlights the keys wonderfully in a darker setting, and the backlighting also adjusts to your surroundings, and the whole keyboard comes in at just 2.1lbs.
Typing on the keyboard is solid, the keys are sculpted with rounded inlays scalloped into the square keys. The entire keyboard is sturdy and rigid on a desk, and while gamers may prefer mechanical keyboards, this one is a perfect pairing for an office or workstation. Logitech’s term for the keycap’s design is “spherical key dishing,” and it’s one of the more pleasant redesigns I’ve seen on keyboards over the past few months. I have grown accustomed to have more of an incline with my keyboard, and the Logitech Craft doesn’t tilt as much as I would like, but I won’t hold my personal wishes against the designers. If you already use Logitech peripherals with your setup, then you will be happy to know that this will work with your Logitech Unifying adapter, but the device also comes with one if you don’t.
Just one point that I have to make is the turning mech within The Crown. This was just brilliant and I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention it. While the dial spins fluidly, without resistance, when you using it to turn up the volume, it will then mechanically switch to a ratchet mode for certain features. When you are changing tabs in Google Chrome, or adjusting the brightness in Photoshop, the dial turns with satisfying and sturdy clicks, so you have exact measurements each time. You will feel a slight whirl within the dial when it changes from fluid to ratched mode, then it returns to the default state of your choosing. Logitech’s Scroll Wheel on the Logitech MX Master Mouse ($96 on Amazon) does almost the same thing, though this is a bit more precise.
Overall the Logitech Craft is a superb keyboard choice for creatives, writers, bloggers, designers, or anyone that works with Microsoft’s Office suite. The $199 price-tag is steep, but the features and customizations offered with the keyboard, ensure longevity with the purchase. Logitech already has a wide-array of low-priced keyboards out there, like the Logitech K780 ($60 on Amazon), and having a premium option for professionals is a smart step for the company, and a great option for consumers.