Is this the best keyboard out there?
American-Swiss company Logitech refreshed its mainstream Bluetooth keyboard, the K380 a couple of months back in India. The latest version comes with slight improvements but overall, the main aspects remain unchanged. These familiar aspects include the design, the primary use-case, and the functionality. The company has priced the K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for $43,33. Logitech K380 is available in four different color options including Blue, Black, Rose, and Off-White. Interested users can head to Amazon India to get the Bluetooth keyboard. In addition, they can also check the availability if the keyboard in the mainstream retail store such as Croma.
Unlike the mainstream, regular keyboards, this Bluetooth keyboard is aimed at more informal use. Considering the name, one can also use it along with a plethora of Bluetooth-powered devices. Some of these device types include smartphones, laptops, traditional computers, tablets smart TVs or even streaming dongles. It is worth noting that PC accessory including Logitech have started making mainstream wireless keyboards. Most of them function on USB ports for charging regular but K380 is different from these keyboards. I have been using the K380 for last couple of months and here is my review.
Logitech has opted for a “minimalist, modern, and versatile” design for the Bluetooth keyboard. It comes in a slim profile while keeping its footprint company both in terms of dimensions and the weight. This compact footprint ensures that the keyboard does not look out of place regardless of the device-type. Looking back at past versions of the K380; there is not much that has changed on the exterior. We get familiar circular keys that are identical to classic typewriters. This key shape ensures that the company can fit more keys on a smaller body.
Looking around, we get a total of 79 keys with scissor switches excluding the power button on the left side of the keyboard. In addition, Logitech has also added four LED indicators on the keyboard. The first one is located on the left side to indicate the battery status. Rest three LED indicators are located above the top row of keys to indicate Bluetooth connection with three different devices. The company has added the traditional Function or F-leys on the top along with special buttons for quick functions on smartphones. These buttons feature functions including home, back, multi-tasking and the right click.
We also get “cmd” to “Command” along with “alt opt” labels for Mac, iOS or iPadOS users. These labels ensure that one can use this keyboard on any device without much friction. Design-wise we get a “logi” logo on the top of the function keys and a “K380” imprint towards the bottom of the rear panel. The rear panel also includes four silicone foots to rise the rest of the keyboard from the surface. Finally, the top of the rear panel includes a plastic cover to access the user-replaceable AAA batteries. Overall, Logitech has gone with “if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it”.
Multi-device connectivity and other features - The highlight of the K380 is the multi-device connectivity which allows one to quickly switch between multiple devices. This switching can simply be done with the tap of a button on the top left corner of the keyboard. Logitech has labelled these three buttons with “1”, “2”, and “3” along with the Bluetooth logo and “White” color paint. The paint and the labeling ensure that these buttons are unmistakably distinct. These buttons also feature dedicated LED indicators as mentioned above. This ensures that users can easily understand which device they are connected with along with the connection status.
Connecting to a new device is as easy as long pressing any of the three buttons for about 1.5-2 seconds. Once you get a rapidly blinking light, you can find K380 in the “Bluetooth” devices section on the other device. Solid LED light means connected, regular blinking light means searching for the other device and fast blinking means pairing mode. Switching between different devices is nearly instantaneous with just a second or two of delay. K380 works across multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac, ChromeOS, Android, iOS, Apple TV or even Android TV.
Performance: The scissor switches on this membrane keyboard offer good typing experience. The keyboard style does take some getting used to, but it is not that difficult. The inclusion of the right-click hot-key on the F6 key is a life saver ensuring that one can focusing on typing without fiddling with the mouse. I was able to use the Logitech K380 for extended typing sessions without any problems. The Bluetooth keyboard worked flawlessly with by Android smartphone, home desktop and multiple review laptops.
In fact, I was able to write this review with the K380 in just about an hour. I also tried to use the keyboard for gaming on my smartphone and it worked well in titles that do not require mouse input. However, considering that this uses Bluetooth, I will not recommend it for any serious or fast-paced gaming. You can also use the Logitech Options software for granular control of the keyboard. This includes checking connectivity options and even remapping the F4 to F7 keys with custom functions. Currently, the package that Logitech offers is good with great key travel and actuation. Though, good does not mean that it cannot be improved.
I do wish that the company added the “Home” and “End” buttons (and even Page up and Page down) to make navigation easier. It is worth noting that the keyboard does not come with backlighting or a device holder. Personally, given the claimed battery life and pricing, I did not find it a deal breaker. However, this may vary on your requirements and needs. As for the holder, you would want to invest in a cheap “holder” for your smartphone or tablet for on-the go functionality. Finally, it would have been great if the company offered more user customizable keys on the keyboard in Logitech Options.
Verdict: Should you buy the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth keyboard?
Logitech has created a good package with its Bluetooth keyboard, the K380. At Rs. 3,195, the accessory is well worth its price for people on the go. The K380 remains true to its name and offers a truly multi-device and flawless experience. However, it is also worth noting that this product comes with its strengths and does not cater to everyone. If you want something that works well regardless of the device type or OS, then K380 is an ideal candidate. However, if you want something more than you can look at other Bluetooth keyboards in the market. Some of these include the Logitech MK850, K780, or more