K310 Washable Keyboard
Recommended Retail Price: S$59
Connectivity: wired USB
Compatible devices: Windows
Award: International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree

K310 Washable Keyboard (Chester Tan)

The Logitech K310 is a durable keyboard that’s easy to clean and dry. It can be submerged in approximately 30cm of water (more than any ordinary spillage) and has drainage holes at the back of the keyboard to allow for easy drying. Even after multiple washes, the characters on the keyboard would not fade as they are laser-printed and UV coated to ensure durability. The familiar layout of the F-keys and number pad are designed in a sleek manner, giving them a contemporary look that ensures your keyboard looks and feels good (to type). The K310 is really easy and handy to use as there is no software to install and allows you to access your 12 most-used applications with a single keystroke.

My review: There is no compromise with the K310. It contains the complete set of keys including number pad, and the key actions are responsive. I like how the key mechanism is elevated so there is no way any accidental liquid spills will get inside the keyboard. No mention about whether the keyboard can work underwater, though I suspect it could. Instructions clearly state that one should dry the keyboard before re-using.

One thing is for sure: with the K310, gone are the days of keyboards that accumulate dust and bacteria in between the key grooves. And no longer do you need to throw away a keyboard because it's dirty.

K400r Wireless Touch Keyboard
Recommended Retail Price: S$65
Connectivity: Wireless with Unifying USB receiver
Compatible devices: Windows, Android
Battery life: 12 months with power switch

K400r Wireless Touch Keyboard (Chester Tan)

Product Information: The Logitech K400r lets you control your laptop without getting up from the couch thanks to the 10-metre (33-foot) wireless range. The large 3.5-inch Windows 8 compatible touchpad with multi-touch navigation makes vertical and horizontal scrolling intuitive. Setup is simple, too. You just plug the tiny Logitech Unifying receiver into a USB port – no software needed. The sleek, low-profile keys feel good and barely make a sound. And you can enjoy it all for up to a year without the hassle of changing batteries.

My review: My peers who bought the earlier K400 version (that does not support Windows 8 trackpad gestures) use it mainly when they hook up their laptop to the TV screen and then sit at a distance with just the keyboard and touchpad. Sad to say, the key actions are poor especially the space bar which you must hit on the centre of the bar. The keyboard layout is also cramped and so it is not possible for me to type accurately and fast.

The 3.5-inch trackpad contains all the usual gestures for Windows 8, like swipe from edge, scroll, zoom, and also has shortcut buttons for for the 4 "charm" actions. But do be careful of your right little finger, as it might touch the trackpad and move your cursor.

Despite the above unfavourable comments, this is one keyboard that you should get if you are operating Android-based TV boxes with USB port. I tried it on my "no-brand" TV Box, inserted the Unifying USB receiver to the USB port, and the keyboard works instantly. Most shortcut buttons works, like volume, playback controls, "home" button, and even the on-off button. The trackpad also works beautifully, including 2-finger swipe gestures.

In short, the K400r is best used as a single-unit keyboard-trackpad to operate your Windows or Android devices in a comfortable laid-back setting. And for the price, it will serve its target segment well.

Logitech Tablet Keyboard  for Windows 8, Windows RT and Android 3.0+
Recommended Retail Price: S$95
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Compatible devices: Windows, Android, iOS
 

Logitech Tablet Keyboard (Chester Tan)

The Logitech Tablet Keyboard is a lightweight, combo keyboard and stand that travels easily, sets up quickly and does double-duty. Its carrying case protects against damage while you’re traveling and converts into a sturdy stand for your Windows 8 or Android tablet. And the keyboard pairs easily with your tablet over Bluetooth wireless so you can use it at your desk, on your lap or within 30 feet of your device.

My Review: This keyboard is made for lugging around, thanks to the convertible hard-case premium sleeve that can be folded as a sturdy stand for large tablets. The sleeve exterior is leather-wrapped and its interior is fabric-laden, offering good protection for your pricey investment. It runs on 4 AAA batteries.

Keyboard action is good and firm, and there are ample shortcut keys that work with Windows and Android devices. For instance, the 4 Windows 8 "charms" actions, Android's 3 soft keys, music playback and volume buttons. Though it has only 5 rows of keys, you can invoke F1-12 with the "Fn" key. You can also connect the keyboard to a Macbook but some function keys might not work.

While there are many low-priced Bluetooth keyboards in the market, the Logitech Tablet Keyboard connects to your device a lot faster, the keys feel better, the build is better, and it comes with a useful hard case. Highly recommended and in my to-buy list.

K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard
Recommended Retail Price: S$169
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Compatible devices: Windows, Android, iOS
Battery life: 10 days with backlight, 1 year without backlight. Built-in battery rechargeable via micro USB.
Award: International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree

K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard (Chester Tan)

Product Information: The Logitech K810 makes multi-tasking easy with one-touch switching among devices such as your PC, ultrabook, tablet or smartphone, regardless of the platform. Its keys are backlit with bright illumination that automatically adjusts to light levels, and its built-in sensors detect your hands’ approach, turning the illumination on or off accordingly. Recharging the keyboard is made simple by plugging in the USB cable, and you can even recharge it while you type. Its real brushed-aluminum design and minimalist size will fit both your style and your desk space.

My review: A beautifully crafted product, the K810 offers a convenient solution to a multi-device problem. With one single keyboard, you can pair 3 Bluetooth devices and use the same keyboard with all the devices. Pairing is fast: just press the "Connect" button behind the K810 and press one of the 3 Bluetooth device buttons. I can even pair to a generic Bluetooth 2.0 USB dongle plugged to my laptop. Switching among the paired Bluetooth devices is rather fast, the keyboard size is just nice for me, and the keyboard action feels firm and responsive, though a tad harder than the normal keyboards.

In reality, having one keyboard to use for multiple devices might not be a good idea. As I found out myself, I often forget to switch the Bluetooth connection and end up typing on the wrong device. And among the new Logitech keyboards I have tested, the K810 contains the least OS-dedicated shortcut keys and alternative FN keys. For instance, there are no "Home", "Pg Up", "Pg Down", context menu (right-click) keys.

Showdown

Between the Logitech Tablet Keyboard ($95) and the K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard ($169), my vote goes to the Logitech Tablet Keyboard because it is more affordable and better-value with an extra case accessory that comes in handy to use on the go. The K810 feels more premium thanks to its gorgeous backlit keys, and caters to home-use consumers who prefer fewer devices on their work desks.

T400 Zone Touch Mouse
Recommended Retail Price: S$59
Connectivity: Wireless with Unifying USB receiver
Compatible devices: all Windows OS
Battery life: 18 months with power switch and battery indicator
Award: International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree

T400 Zone Touch Mouse (Chester Tan)

Press Information: The Logitech T400 is a comfortable hybrid mouse that supports Windows 8 navigation with a touch zone and traditional mouse buttons. Scroll horizontally and vertically through Windows 8 with simple, intuitive swipes of your finger, and quickly access all of your favorite apps in the Windows 8 Start screen with a simple click on the touch-zone. You can enjoy up to 18 months of battery life, and with a built-in battery status indicator, you’ll never be caught without power.

My review: Once you plug the Unifying USB Receiver into a Windows 8 computer, the Logitech SetPoint software will be installed automatically to enable the gestures on the mouse. For older Windows, you would need to install the software manually, which is highly recommended. Once installed, you can configure the T400 to conveniently access the Start Screen and switch applications by clicking the designated zone on the mouse. The touch zone replaces the mechanical scroll wheel and lets you scroll your screen by sliding your fingers up-down or left-right. It also supports zooming by tapping (not clicking) the zone.

The mouse buttons give out a dampened click sound unlike generic mice and is therefore less annoying. I like the rubber texture at the sides of the mouse as it gives me more grip. The mouse is not completely compatible with Mac OS: only the left button, right button and zone touch scroll actions are supported.

T620 Touch Mouse
Recommended Retail Price: S$89
Connectivity: Wireless with Unifying USB receiver
Compatible devices: all Windows OS
Battery life: 6 months

T620 Touch Mouse (Chester Tan)

Press Information: The Logitech T620 is an ultra-sleek and comfortable mouse with a full touch surface designed for natural, fluid navigation through Windows 8. Move through your favorite screens and apps with intuitive scrolling and swiping, making navigation as smooth as on your smartphone. The mouse’s rounded shape lets your hand rest at ease for hours while you enjoy precise cursor movement thanks to a laser-grade optical sensor.

My review: The entire surface of the T620 is touch-enabled so your touch gestures are not restricted to zones. But as you gesture on a larger mouse surface, care has to be taken not to accidentally click the mouse, which could easily happen if you put pressure on the mouse with your thumb and ring finger. And among all the gestures I tried, the most difficult to invoke would be the back-forward 2-finger swipe gesture.

To enable the full suite of touch gestures on Windows, you should install the Logitech SetPoint software. The available gestures varies with Windows versions. With the latest Windows 8 and RT, you can bring up the charms and switch applications with the same gestures as on-screen touch. With older Windows, the T620 can show/hide desktop and show a summary of tiled windows using various gestures. Just like the T400, the T620 is not completely compatible with Mac OS: only the left button, right button and touch scroll actions are supported.

Being a premium product, the T620 package comes with a cloth pouch to protect the mouse. For ease of transporting the T620, there is a slot to keep the Unifying USB Receiver inside the battery compartment.

My Choice

T400 adheres to the traditional click mechanism while T620 design is similar to the Apple Magic Mouse, which might take some getting used to. The T620 offers additional gesture options not available on T400. While there appears to some lag when invoking some of the touch gestures, I appreciate a quieter environment without the annoying scroll-wheel noises. The SetPoint software intelligently identifies the Logitech product that is plugged in and displays the available options. Though the T400 and T620 are marketed for Windows 8, they work equally well with older Windows OS.

Logitech Wireless Touchpad T650

If your life depends on a large touchpad or if you are running Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen device, you might want to consider getting an external touchpad to make your life easier. Here's one from Logitech.
 

Logitech Wireless Touchpad T650 (Chester Tan)

Recommended Retail Price: S$109
Connectivity: Wireless with Unifying USB Receiver
Compatible Devices: Windows
Battery Life: 1 month with power switch
Dimensions (LxWxH): 129x134x12mm


Product Information: The wireless Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 provides fast, fluid navigation of Windows 8, with a wider range of gestures compared to most touch mice. Let your fingers roam across the large, smooth glass surface, where you can swipe from the edges to activate charms and switch apps, scroll with ease through Web pages and pinch to zoom in on your family photos. The ultra-smooth glass surface is resistant to fingerprints and scratches so it looks as good as it feels. Plus, the entire touchpad acts as a large button – you can click wherever your finger rests. Conveniently rechargeable through USB, you never have to worry about losing power.

My Review: Like all the new Logitech wireless keyboards and mice, it's a breeze to get the T650 working. On Windows 8, there will be a pop-up to download the SetPoint software. On other Windows OS, you would need to download manually in order to use all the gesture commands.

The matte glass surface is comfortable to the fingers. There are gestures for 1 to 4 fingers totalling 13 (less if you are using older Windows). For swipe-in gestures, there is no need to swipe from the outside edge of the touchpad, as we usually do on laptop touchpads. By trial and error, I found that you can achieve accurate swipe-in actions when you start from placing your finger just at the sides of the touchpad then swipe inwards.

The touchpad is clickable, almost too faint for you to actually feel the click, and you need more strength than the usual mouse to click the touchpad. The click action is not entirely redundant: to select on-screen text, you need to click with one finger and use another finger to slide on the touchpad. I find using the click-and-slide technique easier if you use 2 hands: one to click on the touchpad while the other finger slide to navigate the mouse pointer. The large T650 touchpad lets you do this with great ease.

I like it that the T650 comes with a power switch so that I can switch off to conserve battery life, for moving around, or even for cleaning. There is a tiny LED indicator on the top right corner of the touchpad that lights up for a while when you power up and disappears thereafter, another intelligent design (compared to a constant-on light).

Like any previous wireless devices I have reviewed, there are occasions where the T650 did not respond to my gestures. This is a side effect that you will always have to accept when using any wireless device.

Summary
While I am not really a touchpad user, I do find value in having a larger responsive touchpad. Being wireless means you can use the T650 touchpad on any surface, something not achievable with mouse devices. I also like the additional gestures not available in laptop trackpads. The Logitech T650 is a simple-looking and nicely-crafted touchpad that lets you fully make use of Windows 8 touch functionality for better interactivity.