Logitech K830 and TK820

The first set of keyboards we look at today is at the higher end of the pricing spectrum. The Logitech K830 and TK820 both come in at $99.99. The justification offered for the K830 is the presence of an internal rechargeable battery as well as backlighting for use in the dark. The TK820 (primarily meant for AiO systems) comes with a bigger than usual touchpad and support for a large number of gestures. We will first look into the K830 in detail, followed by the TK820.

Logitech K830

The external aspects of the Logitech K830 are summarized in the table below. The dimensions are similar to the Logitech K400 - any user comfortable with that keyboard will feel right at home with the K830 also. Due to the internal rechargeable battery, the unit is heavier compared to similar touchpad keyboards. Subjectively, the weight makes the unit feel solid in hand without being too cumbersome to carry around. The keyboard uses the Logitech Unifying Receiver that enables the receiver to communicate with up to five other compatible Logitech wireless equipment. In order to alleviate range issues, a USB extender cable is also supplied.

Device Type Keyboard + 2-button Touchpad
Keys Count 79 + 3 volume control keys
Dimensions 14.40" x 4.90" x 0.65"
Weight 1.09 lbs / 495 g
Power Source Internal rechargeable battery
Communication Technology 2.4 GHz RF
Touchpad Dimensions (Diagonal) 3.7"

The gallery below takes the reader around the various features in the keyboard chassis. There is an explicit on/off switch to conserve power. A micro-USB port enables the internal battery to be recharged using the USB port of any PC. A USB to micro-USB charging cable is bundled along with the unit.

Gallery: Logitech K830

Moving on to the keyboard layout, we find the function keys multiplexed with some shortcut keys (for multimedia operations as well as day-to-day Windows operations) using an orange Fn key. Unfortunately, the default behavior is of the Fn key being inactive (i.e, pressing the function keys activates the shortcut multimedia / Windows op, rather than the corresponding function key behavior). The other keys are in the expected areas, with only the half-height function keys representing a stumbling block for users accustomed to full-size keyboards.

Keyboard Layout 8/10

In terms of ergonomics, the keyboard is suitable for both single-handed operation as well as holding with both hands. The latter scenario is helped by the presence of a left click button on the left side of the top edge of the keyboard. The half-height arrow keys and the positioning relative to the Return key require some adjustment while typing for extended durations. In addition, the keys are placed a little bit closer together compared to traditional keyboards (to facilitate the smaller size), and this makes touch-typing a bit of a challenge. The back of the keyboard is also flat, and doesn't allow angle adjustment for a bettery typing setup - This could be addressed somewhat, but we can see where Logitech is positioning this device, and why that is not amongst the set of features that they would want to add to the unit.

Ergonomics 8/10

The build quality of the unit is top-notch, befitting that of a keyboard priced close to $100. Despite being made of plastic like the K400, it does look and feel more durable, and it can definitely take more abuse compared to the flimsy K400 while retaining its appearance. However, one of the issues that we observed in extended use was the fact that the keyboard material tended to be more susceptible to oily smudges compared to the K400. This takes the sheen off the unit after a few months.

The membrane keys are expected in a unit at this price and targeting the HTPC market niche. The unit is also thicker than comparable alternatives, but that again contributes to a solid feel (and hopefully, better durability).

Build Quality 9/10

The K830 has a MSRP of $99, but can be found for as low as $85 on sale. The availability of adjustable backlight as well as an internal rechargeable battery makes for a unique set of features - and this enables Logitech to demand the premium for the unit. The internal battery is Li-ion, and the recharge interval depends on the usage scenario. Logitech claims 20 hours of usage between recharges with the backlight on. The explicit on-off switch is quite helpful, but it would be nice to have one for the backlight also. The organge keys can be customized further with the help of Logitech's SetPoint / Logitech Options software, but we were able to use it without the softwares and had no issues for day-to-day HTPC usage. The touchpad also supports Windows 8 gestures such as swipe from right for the Charms bar and swipe from left to switch applications (without the need to install the SetPoint / Options software).

Logitech TK820

The external aspects of the Logitech TK820 are summarized in the table below. Compared to the K830, the keyboard is both wider, taller and heavier. The device targets All-in-Ones (AiOs) and that reflects in the keyboard's design. The four AA batteries are accommodated in the blulging area at the top of the unit. Like the K830, the TK820 also uses the Logitech Unifying Receiver.

Device Type Keyboard + Touchpad with integrated mechanical click
Keys Count 78 (with 11 multiplexed multimedia hotkeys)
Dimensions 16.1" x 5.7" x 0.8"
Weight 1.73 lbs / 783 g
Power Source 4x AA
Communication Technology 2.4 GHz RF
Touchpad Dimensions (Diagonal) 5.9"

The various external features of the TK820 are brought out in the gallery below. There is an explicit on/off switch right above the 'Backspace' key. This helps in power conservation as well as avoiding accidental keyboard / touchpad activation. 

Moving on to the keyboard layout, we find that the keys are spread apart compared to the K830. This enables users accustomed to full-sized keyboards to feel right at home with the arrangement as far as rapid typing is concerned. Since the AiOs are the target market, this is well and good. Unfortunately, the two main issues we had with the K830 get transferred here also. Similar to the orange 'Fn' keys in the K830, we have blue 'Fn' keys in the TK820, and the default behavior is that of the non-traditional shortcut keys being active in the F1-F12 row. Also, the arrow keys are half-height, making interaction challenging for extended typing durations. Logitech's SetPoint software needs to be installed in order to change the behavior of the blue 'Fn' keys - this really needs to be fixed to keep the default behavior to be the traditional one. The lack of dedicated Pg Up / Pg Dn / Home / End keys may be excused in a HTPC keyboard, but, for an AiO, it would be nice to have them back.

Keyboard Layout 8/10

In terms of ergonomics, the TK820 is way ahead of the K830. The bulging area at the top allows for a slight natural angle for extended typing scenarios. The keys are also spaced well apart. However, it ends up with the same score as that of the K830 for a few reasons. The half-height arrow keys and the multiplexed special function keys make the typist resort to unfamiliar keystroke combinations. However, the major issue is the touchpad. The sensitivity of the touchpad is quite strange - It often recognizes fingers gliding over the surface as 'press and drag' to select parts of the screen contents. Even though the touchpad area offers left click with a  single press in the bottom left corner and a right click with a single press in the bottom right corner, there are other gesture options for a right click (using two fingers) that might affect users not accustomed to them. Balancing these issues is the fact that multi-finger gestures work great on the keyboard without even having to install the software, and the tactile feedback on the keys is great.

Ergonomics 8/10

The build quality of the unit is acceptable, comparable to that of the K830. Given that they target the same price point, this is expected. The membrane keys in the keyboard are also not a surprise. However, given the target market - extended typing with AiOs, the unit could have come with a more sturdy and rigid frame using metal instead of plastic. However, for HTPC usage, the build quality is more than acceptable - making us rate it higher than the K830.

Build Quality 9/10

The TK820 has a MSRP of $99, but can be found for as low as $59 on sale. Other than the internal rechargeable battery and the backlight, other aspects mentioned about the K830 are applicable here also. The large touchpad area, mechanical click support and the large number of supported gestures serve as advantages for the unit. However, the touchpad behavior needs to be more consistent for the keyboard to be of good value for its price.

Introduction Perixx PERIBOARD-716 and 706 PLUS
POST A COMMENT

76 Comments

View All Comments

  • Salvor - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    Disappointing to me that none of these are left-handed or least ambidextrous, but such is life shopping for peripherals as a lefty. Reply
  • superflex - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Visit the Leftorium in Springfield.
    Ned Flanders, proprietor.
    Reply
  • Ilmarinen - Friday, May 15, 2015 - link

    website: www.stupidflanders.com Reply
  • Refuge - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    So, either Logitech is getting away with highway robbery, or we are buying disposable razors?

    Not to sound like a dick, but I feel like you were way to soft in this one. If the thing is scratching you, why does it almost get the same ratings as the Logitech's? That seems like a massive design flaw.

    Logitech's are over priced pieces of junk, and the Perixx's are disposable razors. Neither are really a solution to the problem, they are just two bad products for a Niche that up until now hasn't seen much attention.

    If you tell them they suck, they might start paying attention. :)
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    The Microsoft N9Z-00001 is $25 and kills everything in this list. It doesn't have backlit keys, but it does last a year on two AA batteries making the K8xx presumably lithium battery unnecessary.

    What really bothers me about all the HTPC keyboards now is the lack of Bluetooth for interference-free long range use, and a dedicated sleep button.
    Reply
  • jann5s - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    +1, the microsoft keyboard could have bin in this review as well.

    And i'm looking forward to the new razor turret, but that has not been released yet
    Reply
  • ClockworkPirate - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    I have the Microsoft keyboard, and while quantitatively it's quite good (media/shortcut keys, trackpad gestures), qualitatively I don't like it at all. The keys are mushy, the trackpad isn't a Precision Touchpad for some unfathomable reason, and of course it doesn't connect with Bluetooth. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    It's a $25 keyboard of course the keys are mushy, but granted the key "feel" on the Logitech is snappier (it's a thicker keyboard.) The nail in the coffin is the caps, though. My correction rate on stepped keys is very high.

    With some tweaking the trackpad can be quite good. Turn off "enhance pointer precision" and it doesn't feel so floaty.

    The Microsoft Media keyboard is far from perfect, but I think its substantially better than the K400 in every respect.
    Reply
  • alexrw - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    I just got the MS keyboard as well and I agree. It looks better than the K400 but it's quite a lot worse when you actually use it. The track pad is simply erratic in comparison, and because the buttons are underneath, I find it awkward and uncomfortable to click as my finger always hits the plastic rim instead. Keys are ok-ish. The only thing that's better than the K400 is the layout (larger keys on the right side, helps if you type for longer). Reply
  • johnny_boy - Friday, May 15, 2015 - link

    I have the MS keyboard as well. I've had it for quite some time and while it looks nice, it's pretty bad and I wouldn't recommend it. The keys are squishy and the trackpad horrible, at least on linux. They've also designed the pad so that it has that upside-down "natural" scroll and the settings aren't configurable in linux because it doesn't use a standard touchpad driver. The reception on the receiver doesn't seem to be that great either, but I know the 2.4Ghz band here is a bit congested. Not a great piece of tech by any means. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now