Logitech has added another keyboard to its arsenal, and this time they’ve integrated an input dial into it as well. The CRAFT Advanced Keyboard is designed for “creators” in the same vein as the Surface Dial, and it provides similar functionality, albeit without the on-display capabilities.

Logitech is calling their dial the Crown, and it sits in the top left corner of the keyboard. The idea behind it is much like the Surface Dial, in that you would use your left hand to run the Crown, while your right hand is on the mouse. There’s no reason you couldn’t swap those hands around if you prefer mouse duties with your left hand, but the placement of the Crown isn’t going to be as well suited to that without moving the keyboard.

Logitech is touting the same functionality as the Surface Dial as well, in particular in creative apps like Adobe Photoshop, where you can control context-specific functions. Ian got a chance to check out the CRAFT keyboard at IFA doing just that.

In addition to the Crown, the keyboard itself is typical membrane keyboard, but it does offer “Smart Illumination” which automatically lights up the keys when your hands approach the keyboard, and the lighting adjusts to the ambient lighting. The keyboard can be connected to up to three devices, and has a switch to change which device has focus. It can be connected either over the Logitech Unifying receiver, of with Bluetooth LE.

With macOS and Windows support, the keyboard would be a way to bring the Surface Dial to a Mac.

On either OS, the capabilities of the Crown are connected through Logitech’s software suite. On a Mac, that makes sense, but on Windows, it would have been nice to see integration with the Windows Dial APIs so that the Crown could be used with any app that supported that as well, but that’s not the case, and that’s a miss by Logitech. Even if the Dial doesn’t have widespread support, there’s already plenty of apps that do support it, and none of those can be controlled via the Crown.

Logitech’s CRAFT keyboard is at the premium end of their lineup, and will be available on October for $199.99

Source: Logitech

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  • Tams80 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - link

    You'd think they'd have more than one dial and some buttons (Logitech of all companies should know how to make some damn macro buttons).

    Then again 'minimalism' seems to be back in style again. Functionality be damned.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - link

    Right? There's a company by the name of Palette Gear which makes these modules your can combine as desired, they have knobs/dials, level sliders, and buttons... They seem pricey tho, the buttons in particular look a like arcade-like (dunno why they didn't go for 2-4 buttons per module) and I've no idea how it works in practice.

    I guess the Surface Dial is the other popular option right now... It's not the first time we've had a fad of these things tho, Griffin made a popular USB dial for a few years before they stopped supporting it on newer Windows versions. Dunno if the market for it dried up or what...
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    The Palette Gear stuff is far to expensive for what they offer.

    I know his opinion is not the best to go with, but Taran Van Hemert has pointed out some significant flaws with them.
    Reply
  • Yuriman - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - link

    Logitech is ahead of the curve here. I don't think knobs and switches are out of fashion enough, or quite ready to come back and replace digital buttons and touch screens. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    Nice except the ridiculous price. Reply
  • nikon133 - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    Sadly, Logitech has pretty much forgotten left-handed people. Even their symmetrically designed mice usually have side buttons only for right thumb.

    As such, MS Dial has endlessly better practicality. Not just it can be used with either hand, on desk and on screen... but it also can be paired with any keyboard. And it seems one can match good keyboard and MS Dial for the price of this keyboard.
    Reply

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