Logitech's $80 Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 for Mac, iPad, iPhone is one of my favorite Mac keyboards of the past few years, thanks to--as I put it in my review--an appealing design, good keys and key layout, a nice batch of special-function keys, a reasonable price, and multi-device Bluetooth support. The company has followed up with the $100 Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard K811, a keyboard that's similar to the K760 in many ways, yet different enough to make it even more tempting to some people. (The Easy-Switch is specifically designed for Apple devices; the Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 is a nearly identical keyboard designed for use with Windows PCs and Android devices.)
At 11.4 inches wide, 5.1 inches from front to back, and less than 0.5 inch thick, the Easy-Switch is about the same width and thickness as the K760, but the Easy-Switch is about 1.5 inch shallower than the K760 (and smaller overall than Apple's Wireless Keyboard). The Easy-Switch is also nearly flat, front to back, which is ergonomically preferable to a sloped design. And whereas the K760 was silver with white keys, the Easy-Switch's silver-and-black design is a better match for current Macs. My only complaint here is that the black keys show fingerprints and skin oils much more than did the K760's white keys. The body of the Easy-Switch feels sturdy and solid.
The Easy-Switch's smaller front-to-back dimension compared to the K760 is largely attributable to the fact that the Easy-Switch's rechargeable battery isn't solar-powered, so it doesn't need the K760's large swath of solar cells. Instead, you recharge the Easy-Switch by using the included cable to connect it to one of your computer's USB ports. According to Logitech, a 3-hour charge lasts for between 10 days (with key backlighting on full) and a year (with backlighting off), depending on how much you type each day. Over a month or so of using the Easy-Switch with the backlighting at the second-brightest setting, I needed to recharge it only once.
Light 'em up
Wait, backlighting? Yes, the Easy-Switch, unlike the K760 and most other wireless keyboards on the market, features laser-etched, backlit keys to make it easier to see the keys in dimly lit working environments: The keys' white characters are lit from behind. Unlike Apple's backlit laptop keyboards, this model shows a bit of light bleed around the edges of the keys, but overall the Easy-Switch's backlighting looks great. The keyboard automatically adjusts the brightness of the backlighting (four levels of brightness are available) based on the ambient light level, or you can press the F8 or F9 key to manually lower or raise, respectively, the brightness level. You can also manually disable backlighting to extend battery life.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.