Creative work is all about flow, whether it's art, music, or writing. Interruptions and stutters are kept to a minimum to keep that movement going. Logitech is hoping to help content creators with its new Craft Advanced Keyboard.
Where many of the keyboards we've had our eyes on lately put emphasis on macros, mechanical switches, and lighting, the Craft's most notable feature is the dial in the upper-left corner that Logitech calls the Crown. Similar to Microsoft's Surface Dial, the Crown gives direct access to a variety of functions across multiple programs.
Besides the twist functionality obvious at first glance, the dial allows for touch, tap, and turn. Logitech says that for example, a Photoshop user would be able to do things like tweak image brightness, adjust brush size, and change fonts all from this one control. The company calls out support for applications like Adobe's Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office, and even Spotify. Logitech's Options Software will allow some customizable assignment, and there's an SDK on the way that will let software developers add custom functionality.
The Craft also has backlighting that responds to usage and room conditions, and a wireless connection that works through a wireless Logitech Unifying USB receiver or via Bluetooth. PC World says the battery inside has a 1,500 mAh capacity and is rechargeable from a USB Type-C port. Logitech says there's enough juice for about 3 months with the backlighting off. Turning the lights on dwarfs that period down to a week. The metal bar along the top of the Craft keyboard and the battery pack inside it contribute to a pretty hefty weight of 2 lbs (906 g).
Logitech doesn't mention what type of switch we'll find beneath those retro typewriter-style caps, but the folks at Wired say the keys have "slightly more travel than a laptop keyboard," and describe the tactile sensation as "a bit squishy." At first sight, that would point to a membrane hiding under the faceplate.
The keyboard is unquestionably intended for workplace use, thanks to the shortcut-oriented Crown and the rather steep $199 price tag. Logitech says the Craft Advanced Keyboard will be available this October.