When it comes to keyboards, Logitech's focus in the last couple years has been firmly in the gaming space. It seems like the company has released a mechanical gaming keyboard for just about every crowd. And while we do love to cuddle up with a good PC game as often as possible, there's work to be done, and sometimes the keyboard best-suited for gaming isn't the one for writing and Photoshopping. That's where Logitech's Craft keyboard comes in.
The latest productivity keyboard from Logitech grabs the clone-stamp tool and does its best to pick up the best features of Microsoft's Surface Dial. Sitting in the upper-left-hand corner of the keyboard is what Logitech is calling a "Crown." Whatever term for a rotating input device you prefer, this knob offers similar twist, touch, and click functionality to the Surface Dial, but with some nice cross-platform functionality. For the privilege of two input devices in one, Logitech asks a hefty $200 at e-tail right now.
Before we dig into what makes the Craft special, let's talk about how well it works as a pure keyboard. The Craft has clearly been built with a design-sensitive crowd in mind, and it has a definitively Apple-esque sensibility to it. The board sports a thin profile and features concave chiclet-style keys. A bulky aluminum bar runs along the top of the board, and it contains the keyboard's battery in addition to playing host to the knob at the left edge of the device.
The aluminum bar imparts a slight upward angle to the board's deck, but that's all the more height you'll get. In a move that again reminds me of an Apple keyboard and separates the Craft from your standard PC input device, there is no height adjustment available. Whether that's a plus or minus will depend on your preferences, but I find that the Craft is already situated at an ideal angle for my tastes. Still, this lack of adjustability might be hard to swallow for some, given the board's price tag.
Personally, I find the Craft a pleasure to type on. The low-profile, scissor-switch keys have a tactile feedback somewhere between a Thinkpad's relatively stiff keys and a Macbook Air's easier action, and it might be my favorite keyboard of this type so far. The shallow keys and low height kept my hands close to flat on the table, so I never had to keep my hands at a strange angle for very long to use this board. Some may miss a wrist rest, dislike the shallow angle, or find the key travel unappealing. These are the most subjective aspects of any keyboard, but if you absolutely hate typing on laptop-style keys, this might not be the board for you.
The typeface on the keys is nice and clean as well, a change of pace from the many other keyboards designed to look like retro typewriters and alien spaceships. Since the keys are backlit through the lettering, there's no worry about the letter wearing off after a few years of daily abuse. Furthering the Apple-friendly feel, the macOS command and option keys are already printed alongside their Windows counterparts, so folks with multiple machines or those who switch won't have to remember where they are (even if that becomes natural in time). There's also a dedicated calculator key. The one annoyance is that the Print Screen key is represented by a camera icon located above the tenkey pad. I won't lie: the obfuscation of this key had me lost for a little while, though I did get used to it.
Even without the features that set it apart from other keyboards, I wouldn't mind using this as a daily driver for office work. Since I work and play at the same computer, though, I'd have to keep a second keyboard in the wings for when it's time to jump into Overwatch. Though the concave keys feel nice in regular use, I don't find their low and flat profiles and short travel ideal for frantic gaming sessions. I much prefer a regular mechanical gaming keyboard with more typical mechanical switches. Given the subjective qualities of keyboards, though, the Craft might suit some gamers just fine when it's time to close down Photoshop for the day.
Overall, the Craft's basic layout and key feel lives up to its premium billing. This isn't just a board you'd buy for typing, though; it's all about that dial. Let's give it a twist.