Thereís a lot to like about Logitechís K480 Bluetooth keyboard. It switches quickly and smoothly between computer, tablet and phone. You can use it to jump from one operating system to another without your hands ever leaving the keyboard. It does all this at the twist of a dial.
If you own a mix of hardware from different brands and running different operating systems, it makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, you can do better than if every digital device in your home is just Android or Apple.
In testing I found the keyboard works well with almost everything. I tried it with an iPad, iPhone, Android phone, Android tablet, Macintosh and a Windows PC.
It didnít work out of the box with my Windows Phone or Blackberry and I didnít spend long trying to force the issue.
The K480 looks like a keyboard. Not a regular keyboard: Itís smaller and squarer than most. The design has a faint whiff of Fisher-Price about it. By that I mean it fat and chunky with rounded corners and rounded typewriter keys.
Thereís a groove set above the keys which acts as a stand for tablets and phones.
A dial set in the right of the case just above the escape key has three settings, marked 1, 2 and 3. You use this switch the keyboard control between devices. You have to remember which number is which, but thatís no big deal. Flicking the dial moves keyboard control seamlessly between the three pre-set options.
Move the dial to change the keyboard connection.
This isnít the greatest-ever keyboard. Logitech makes a number of better ones. If you type all day itís not for you. There isnít even a full set of PC keys. But you wouldnít buy this as a typistís keyboard, itís all about the device switching.
The other downside is the keyboard barely scrapes a pass mark for portability. At about 800g it weighs more than my iPad. Itís a little too thick and long to slip in a bag with a tablet. Again, youíd choose this if you think device switching trumps mobility.
One odd feature is the K480 needs two AAA batteries. Logitech says the batteries will last for two years. Iíve no idea how true that is, but after two months the batteries in my keyboard are going strong. On the whole I prefer rechargeable devices, but buying two AAA batteries every couple of years is no hardship.
Conclusion: The Logitech K480 Bluetooth keyboard is a smart answer to a specific problem. It does what it sets out to do with style and itís affordable. You can buy it for less than NZ$100.