Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A great portable writing station, Logitech Wired Keyboard, "clicky"

Finally, a portable keyboard with "clicky" keys...


The LWK with iPad Mini, my new favorite
away-from-home writing station. The cable is shortish,
but I later found a 1-meter extension cord on eBay. 

So, I've gotten a new keyboard... again!
This is the Logitech Wired Keyboard with Lightning Connector for iPad.
It is excellent. In fact, if I had to pick right now, I think it's my favorite of portable keyboards.
At about $58 at the moment, it's more expensive than for example the Amazon Basics keyboard, but it's much more rugged and to me feels better.
It's nice that you don't have to fumble with Bluetooth, which I find unreliable (like I find all wireless technologies). You also don't have to fumble or remember batteries, it gets the power from the iPad (but uses very little).

I wondered why the bottom of the keyboard is neon green (!). But when I saw that it is mean primarily for classrooms, that was explained.
My top favorite sort-of-portable keyboard is on the Alphasmart Neo. That in fact is a fantastic keyboard.
So I guess we can conclude that when companies build for young students, they make better keyboards. I think it is because they are then not afraid to make the device a bit thicker than is the vogue these days. Like the fashion industry, they are endangering the functions of the models by squeezing them thinner and thinner.

The Logitech is *almost exactly* the size of Apple's portable Bluetooth keyboard. The keys are the same size. It is a few milimeters wider and thicker. And it is 25 grams lighter. In fact it weighs only 300 grams (10.6oz), like the iPad Mini. Nice. And while the Apple keyboard is a good keyboard (and looks great), this one has a deeper travel, which I like.

LWK with iPhone 5s
This means they had the space to make the keys more "clicky" (or "clacky"), meaning they give a slight sound (it's pretty quiet though), and you can *feel* when the key activates. This is, for many typists, very important for comfortable and speedy typing, and it's the first portable keyboard I've had that I could say this about. (That's the main reason I've bought so many!)
Of course it's not as "clicky" as the top-shelf keyboards like the DAS Keyboard or the Matias Tactile Pro, but it's much better than other portables I've tried.

Because of the Lightning connector, it does not work with Android devices or early iPads. It only works with iPads with the Lightning Connector, Like iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini. And new iPhones! (But they also have one with the older wide plug.)

In fact, just because it was to hand, I'm typing this review on my iPhone 5s. The screen and the max font size (of this app, My Writing Nook) are a bit small, but it works. (Other apps may have bigger fonts, and hopefully soon Apple will see the light and make a BIGGER PHONE. (Did you hear that, Apple?) Peter, who made the app, says it may get a bigger max font. All bearing in mind that an iPad is better.)

Update:
Especially with the iPad Mini, this make for a great portable writing station. In caf├ęs, on holidays, on the beach, when you wait... Seriously. 600 grams including a full sized keyboard. And the iPad, of course, additionally has all the surfing, research material access, reading, and video you could require on the go.
(I'm not sure why I find the Mini so fitting here. Maybe just my old fetish for compact and light, but effective technology. Anyhow, the iPad Air would be awesome too.)

Have fun, Eolake

Update2:
TCGirl said:

That's a pretty cute keyboard! I have to say that I'm pretty much "in LOVE" w/my new MacBook Air... I tried the mini and it didn't much do it for me... It would be cool if they made that in wireless; must check...even though, right now, I don' t have any use for it... :-/

Heck, there's hardly much not to love about the Macbook Air!

The first one was slightly slow and overly expensive (over 2k). But the second generation, in two sizes, was faster, and just half the price, and it predictably started the current huge trend in super-slim laptops.
And of course it can run apps which the iPad can't, like the popular Scrivener app for writers who need to keep track of bits of writing and research etc, under one project.

I could as easily use that for writing on the road. I guess only a couple of things tilts it to the iPad: my weakness for simplicity, and having the iPad with me for text and media consumption.
And the Mini is much easier to hold for a length of time without tiring the hand.

Oh, and also, because of the Macbook Air's super-slimness, this Logitech keyboard actually have deeper (to me: better) key travel than the Airbook's. (Though I must say that considering the space available, they made a damn fine keyboard on that machine.)

 It does not require any special software, it just works like any keyboard.

6 comments:

TC [Girl] said...

That's a pretty cute keyboard! I have to say that I'm pretty much "in LOVE" w/my new MacBook Air... I tried the mini and it didn't much do it for me... It would be cool if they made that in wireless; must check...even though, right now, I don' t have any use for it... :-/

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Heck, there's hardly much not to love about the Macbook Air!

The first one was slow and overly expensive (over 2k). But the second generation, in two sizes, was faster, and just half the price, and it justifiably started a huge trend in super-slim laptops.

I could as easily use that for writing on the road. I guess only a couple of things tilts it to the iPad: my weakness for simplicity, and having the iPad with me for text and media consumption.
And the Mini is much easier to hold for a length of time without tiring the hand.

TC [Girl] said...

Yes, I could see it being handy, on a road trip, for sure... Myself, I was hoping to use a mini, when out shooting images, but...need to do more research; thinking of using a Galaxy phone to do what I'd like to do...we'll see...

I can't even believe that there is absolutely NO NOISE coming from this MacBook Air; and...gees...as the name implies, there's really not much weight to grumble about w/this one!! My only "disappointment;" that they didn't make a 10-key number pad on it...but I guess you can't have everything you want, in life... :-/

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It is very fortunate that lower power consumption while still becoming faster is one of the big gains in both hardware and software in recent years.
Especially a Highly Sensitive Person like me appreciate that.
Some years ago, my big G5 could become like a jet engine when running hot. When they shifted to Intel processors, that was *dramatically* reduced, hallelujah. And now we hear that the new circular Mac Pro is so quiet as to be called "silent".

Anonymous said...

This is less of a comment and more of a question. Does this keyboard require an external app? I.e., my biggest interest in this keyboard is to compose lengthier emails using the email utility on my iPhone 5, or to type word/excel documents on the DocsToGo app. Would this keyboard work for such a purpose?

TC [Girl] said...

Looks like you might have miss an Anon question, here, Eo? And...figures... :-P