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Logitech's Easy-Switch Keyboard pairs with everything

Dan Frakes | April 18, 2013
Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard takes much of what was good about the company's K760—including great keys and the capability to pair with up to three devices simultaneously—and adds backlighting and a more-portable design.

Speaking of backlighting and battery life, my favorite feature of these backlit keys--beside the fact that they're backlit, of course--is that the Easy-Switch automatically disables backlighting after a period of inactivity, and restores it using a motion sensor. Whenever the keyboard detects your hands over the keys, it immediately turns the backlighting back on.

There's also a physical power-toggle switch--are you listening, Apple?--on the rear edge of the Easy-Switch to turn the keyboard off completely. Alas, it's difficult to figure out exactly what the current battery level is, as the Easy-Switch offers only a single battery-indicator light. This light glows red when the battery is getting low or green when the keyboard is actively charging; if you turn off the keyboard and then turn it back on, the light flashes green to indicate an "adequate" charge, or red if the keyboard needs charging. Other than that, there's no way to determine the current charge level of the keyboard's battery without installing Logitech's optional software, which can present an onscreen notification when the keyboard's battery gets low (but not a specific battery level when the battery isn't low).

Bluetooth times three

Like the K760, the Easy-Switch pairs with multiple devices using Bluetooth and makes it simple to switch between them (hence the keyboard's name). Specifically, you can pair simultaneously with up to three devices: any combination of Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPod touch models, or Apple TVs. The keyboard's F1, F2, and F3 keys are each labeled with the Bluetooth symbol, and each corresponds to one of your paired devices--pressing one of these three keys immediately connects the Easy-Switch to the device assigned to that key. A blue LED above the key flashes as the keyboard connects, and then glows solid for a couple seconds to indicate that an active connection has been established.

I paired the keyboard with my iPad (F1), my iMac (F2), and the Apple TV (F3) in my office. In my testing, switching between devices worked quickly and flawlessly, taking only a few seconds for each switch. As with the K760, I appreciated being able to use the same keyboard for all those devices, quickly switching between them without having to lift my fingers from the keys. And the Easy-Switch is so compact and light that I could easily toss it in my bag for on-the-go iPad typing--which is why I recommended the Easy-Switch in my recent iPad keyboard buying guide. (Unlike with Apple's keyboard, you don't have to worry about the Easy-Switch accidentally turning on in your bag, thanks to the physical power switch.)

The only hitch here is remembering which F-key corresponds to which device. To keep them straight, I created little iPad, iMac, and ATV labels with a label-maker and stuck them just above the F-keys.

 

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