The K860 is Logitech’s new ergonomic keyboard. Launched last year in the United States, it is now available in France and we tested it for a month on a daily basis.
- Unexpected comfort
- A keyboard that relieves your hands
- Programmable keys
- Up to 3 registered and Logitech Flow compatible devices
- 2 years of autonomy (theoretical)
We don’t like
- The adaptation time
- Requires you to relearn how to type on the keyboard
- Bulky keyboard on a small desk
- No backlight
With its Ergo K860, Logitech confronts us with a destabilizing proposition. We have the same sensations as with the MX Vertical, its ergonomic mouse. At first glance, we are therefore lost and then we regain our marks by typing and finally we wonder how we managed to write until then with another keyboard. A disturbing experience, but relaxing for the hands. These no longer move and are oriented naturally, limiting the pain caused by prolonged use of a keyboard. Comfort is also there. For our part, we regret the position of the screenshot button, activated too often without wanting it. Finally, the size of the K860 is not to be neglected. The comfort is spread out and the Logitech keyboard takes up space on a desk. A TKL version would be interesting.
By learning the release of the K860, we are tempted to say one more keyboard. Especially since it is an office oriented device. And yet, the K860 is not like its congeners. It is said to be ergonomic, namely that its design has been shaped to best meet the expectations of consumers concerned about their comfort of use and especially their joints.
The ergonomic keyboard is nothing new. Already more than 20 years ago, Microsoft offered its Natural Keyboard which looks like the K860 from Logitech. Nonetheless, Logitech has built a reputation as an accessory designer aware of the bone problems that keyboards and mice can cause. We were therefore entitled in particular to the MX Vertical that we tested in 2019, a mouse that adopts the natural position of the hand. Two years later, the Swiss manufacturer allows us to complete this ergonomic mouse with a keyboard of the same ilk.
The K860 is naturally curved for your comfort
The design is certainly the most important point of this K860. Indeed, and it is obvious, the formation of the keys is unusual there. And the entire keyboard layout has been designed around this peak layout. A landmark choice in the history of ergonomic keyboards. We were talking about Microsoft, all of its references Naturel Keyboard adopts this system which respects the natural position of the hands when you start typing.
The K860 is large: 456 x 233 mm. It requires a little space on its work support. No compact version is planned to our knowledge. Also, this one comes with a full number pad. For a next iteration, we would appreciate that Logitech take an example from the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic which has the good idea to separate the numeric keypad from the body of the keyboard.
Under the keys, there is a fleece border on which the cuffs rest. This backing is covered with a soft plastic that won’t irritate, stick or sweat. Well designed, it provides good comfort during long typing sessions. Fortunately, moreover, since the very design of the K860 fixes the hands, which do not move or move very little. It’s the fingers that wander instead, but we’ll come back to that below.
Among all its ergonomic keys, Logitech also adds small legs to raise the keyboard. If we are used to finding these elements in front of the keyboard, they are here placed on the part closest to the user, right under the palm rest. Surprising at first glance, this arrangement was designed for standing work. Depending on the height of the surface where the keyboard is placed, you can adjust its inclination in order to always adopt the most natural position for your hands.
Logitech Ergo K860: connectivity and software
The Ergo K860 can be linked to a PC, tablet or smartphone, or all three at the same time. For this, Logitech leaves two choices: either by Bluetooth or via a USB dongle. In Bluetooth, it can be paired with three devices at the same time. Then you just have to juggle between each one via the dedicated buttons on the keyboard. The USB dongle, contained under a hatch located under the keyboard, is a Unifying device, meaning that it allows you to connect several compatible Logitech peripherals, with a single dongle.
We should add that it is Logitech Flow compatible. With a Logitech mouse like the excellent MX Master 3, you can for example use the keyboard simultaneously on a PC and a Mac, the latter switching systems as soon as the mouse pointer switches from one to the other. Note also that the inscriptions of the keys of the K860 display the provisions of Windows and OSX.
The K860 is obviously part of the Logitech ecosystem. It is therefore accompanied by the Logi Options application, which allows it to be administered. Nevertheless, the options are quite succinct. From our experience, we retain the possibility of changing the commands of the function / multimedia keys according to its applications. You can thus have a personalized keyboard for each of them, according to your needs.
On the other hand, one feature that the K860 lacks is Logitech Flow. As a reminder, this allows you to use the same Logitech peripheral on several computers at the same time.
Ease of use and efficiency of the K860
If one can be put off at first glance, one quickly realizes that the position of the hands on the K860 is absolutely logical. Logitech accentuates the comfort offered by completely bulging the shell of its keyboard. This has the effect of keeping the hands slightly turned outwards, a position in which they stand naturally.
Coming from a basic keyboard, we took a long time to take our marks. For long hours, our typing speed was drastically reduced. In question, our little academic use of the keyboard. The K860 is demanding. To be effective, you must have fixed hands and that each one deals only with its part of the keyboard. In our case, we always type the “B” with the right hand, whereas this letter must be touched by the left index finger if we follow the typing lessons.
However, redoubling our efforts, we managed to adapt to the Logitech keyboard. Typing has also become very pleasant over the weeks, the production speed having returned. But this is an essential point to remember before buying this type of keyboard: it requires knowing how to use a keyboard correctly and can therefore require relearning to type.
As for the typing experience, the keys are quite thin, without being as low as a laptop keyboard. The downforce is reasonable and does not tire the fingers too much. We particularly like the space bar. It is here split in half, allowing every inch to push it in properly. On the other hand, we have long railed against the “Print Screen” key. This is located just above the backspace key, which is often used when typing. Neither one nor two, repeatedly we took screenshots unintentionally. Fortunately, this is not irreversible. Like all the buttons on the top banner, it can be reconfigured via Logi Options by assigning it another function. On the other hand, impossible to deactivate it completely.
Backlighting sacrificed for the benefit of autonomy
The K860 is powered by batteries, not batteries. It requires two AAA batteries, which are preinstalled. Logitech assures that its keyboard offers an autonomy of 2 years with them. Data that we obviously could not verify. However, we note that the keyboard has an on-off button on its upper edge, which ensures zero consumption in the event of prolonged absence.
Another point related to autonomy, we note that the backlight shines in its absence on the K860. It is regrettable as this function is so essential. No doubt this is still a function that consumes too much energy for two AAA batteries. It would not have made it possible to guarantee a substantial autonomy. For reference, the K800 Illuminated offers 10 days of battery life and operates on a rechargeable battery.
Edouard le Ricque