The Creative Craft
A wireless keyboard meant for creative and productivity use!
The Logitech Craft is an object lesson in not judging a book by its cover. By all appearances, it’s seems to be a standard chiclet keyboard with a volume wheel. Nothing impressive, though, sure, it looks sleek. For those willing to look just as little bit closer, you’ll find one of the most versatile keyboards on the market today. That “volume wheel” is more than meets the eye and has the potential to provide a more efficient workflow for creatives and business professionals alike.
Specifications and Design
- MSRP: $199.99 (Amazon.com)
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 32 mm x 430 mm x 149 mm
- Connectivity: Logitech Unifying 2.4GHz wireless technology, USB 2.0, Bluetooth Low Energy technology
- Program Compatibility:
- Microsoft Word®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, Microsoft Excel® 2010, 2013 and 2016 – Windows only
- Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® Classic CC, Adobe® Illustrator®CC, Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC 2017 and above – Windows and Mac, Adobe Reader DC
- VLC Media Player – Windows
- Preview, Quicktime, Safari® – Mac
- Spotify™ – Windows and Mac
- Additional Features:
- 10m wireless range
- Wireless encryption
- On/Off power switch
- 3 connection indicator lights
- Caps lock indicator light
- Battery indicator light
- Rechargeable with USB type C
- Compatible with Logitech Flow enabled mice
- Weight: 960g
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
Beginning with packaging, the Craft ships in a nice black box with a nice render of the keyboard on the front. It’s simple and elegant, matching the keyboard itself. Inside you’ll find the keyboard is wrapped in an adhesive dust-protective film. Underneath, we have the USB Type-C cable, 2.4GHz wireless USB insert, and our documentation.
Taking it out of the box, we find what appears to be a standard 104-key chiclet keyboard with a large metal bar on the top. The Craft is slightly more compact than a traditional keyboard coming in at just under 17-inches wide. The keyboard is thin but surprisingly heavy with a solid 2.1 pounds to keep it stationary on your desk. Much of this seems due to the bar on the top; however, the chassis is also fairly rigid and angled to diminish any flex in normal use.
The one notable difference in layout comes in the center navigation and editing area where your “lock” keys have been swapped with profile keys. The Craft is able to connect using Logitech Unifying 2.4GHz wireless technology (using an unobtrusive USB insert), Bluetooth, or through USB 2.0. Using the profile buttons easily allows you to swap which device you’re connected to. To the right, above the numpad, we Scroll Lock and Print Screen, as well as Calculator and Windows Lock buttons.
Above these buttons is the battery indicator light. The Craft comes with a 1500mAH battery which Logitech estimates will last about a week, depending on how much you use the multifunction Crown and backlight. In my case, I found that to be pretty accurate, needing a recharge midway through the eighth day after my first full charge. I don’t do creative work in my day job, so graphic artists or video editors may find their time between charges a bit less than my own.
Logitech has clearly spent some time considering how intently creatives gaze at their screen. In the midst of a project, their focus is much more likely to be on the minute details of their creation than looking down at the keyboard to find the right key. As a result, the surface of the Craft is a bit like a tactile map. Your standard keying surfaces all feature a concave face preventing you from accidentally moving out of place. The top and bottom rows, however, don’t feature this. If you have a keyboard shortcut bound to “/”, for example, feel alone will tell you when your pinky is actually on the nearby Fn button. The Craft also keeps your standard “home row” nubs. Combined, you have indicators on the top, middle, and bottom rows to guide your presses without ever needing to look at the keyboard. Since the concave surfaces are identical, it won’t suddenly make you a touch typist but it’s a nice bit of design nonetheless.
The Craft uses low-profile scissor switches, not unlike what you might find on a Mac – which is good because the Craft is obviously being targeted toward Mac and PC users alike with those multi-OS navigation buttons. These switches have a slightly heavier resistance to them than your standard chiclet keyboard and a great tactile bump. As scissor switches, they have a shorter travel distance and their low-profile height does result in a bit of a learning curve if you’re coming from a standard height keyboard.
That said, they do feel very nice to type on and are quite quiet. After exclusively using mechanical keyboards for the last several years, it’s a huge change but one my wife and students certainly appreciate.
The keys also have a tasteful white underglow for when you work into the night.
Turning the Craft to its side, you can see how thin it actually is. There are no buttons or adornments on either side other than the Crown in the upper left.
Around the rear of the keyboard, we find a similarly simple layout. We have our on and off switch and USB Type-C port. Nothing too special here.
We may have a trend. The bottom is completely basic, featuring only five rubber feet to keep it from sliding around on your desk. Absent are any kind of tilt feet, which is disappointing as the Crown-bar is a bit too slight for my personal taste. Your mileage may vary but it would have been nice to see some kind of adjustment option, even if it were just screw-on feet as found on full-aluminum keyboard chassis’.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about Logitech’s crowning achievement. (I’m a dad, okay? Puns are kind of my thing.) The Crown has a multitude of uses that change depending on the app you’re using thanks to Logitech’s Options software. It’s touch sensitive, so in an application like Adobe Photoshop, a quick tap brings up a menu of parameters you can control with a twist of the knob. It’s also pressable, allowing you to select and confirm different selections. It also has a nice tactile feedback, allow for precision control. By default, it acts as a volume wheel but this can easily be customized with each action – turning, pressing, pressing and turning – each assignable to different tasks.
The latest version of Logitech Options comes prepared with control profiles for the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, VLC, Spotify, Chrome, Safari, and Mac (to name a few). There’s also an SDK available, which should allow developers to program in new profiles for additional programs. If the Craft is successful, it’s also likely that Logitech will develop more their own.
In practice, using the Crown is incredibly intuitive. In Photoshop, being able to adjust opacity, swap tools, and then tap to tweak brush settings feels like second nature. Even something as simple as using the dial to swap through open apps and browser tabs was faster and easier than using a normal mouse. The Craft’s Crown is a true bit of keyboard innovation that could easily increase the workflow of users making their living on the PC.
The only real limitation here comes down to the controlled system Logitech has designed. Unlike many of their gaming keyboards, there’s no macro functionality here. Keys can only be assigned from a list of existing functions, so gamers may find themselves coming up short. It should be clear that the Craft isn’t intended for gamers; however, heavy users of Adobe Premiere may find themselves with the same complaint. Logitech allows a great deal of programmability with the Craft but it’s within their ecosystem of functions. If you’re a video editor looking to automate elements of your workflow, this keyboard isn’t for you.
The Logitech Craft is an excellent, chiclet style keyboard. It’s cleanly and simply built, which can be deceptive if you haven’t done your research. Together with Logitech Options, the Crown presents one of the best keyboard innovations for creators I’ve seen in some time, with obvious potential to increase your productivity. For an MSRP of $199.99, it’s a hard sell for the average person, but if you’re spending your days bedded down in Adobe’s Creative Suite or tweaking charts and presentations in PowerPoint and Excel, the Logitech Craft is a solid piece of kit.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:||The product is on loan from Logitech for the purpose of this review.|
|What happens to the product after review:||The product remains the property of Logitech but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.|
|Company involvement:||Logitech had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.|
|PC Perspective Compensation:||Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Logitech for this review.|
|Advertising Disclosure:||Logitech has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.|
|Affiliate links:||This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.|
|Consulting Disclosure:||Logitech is not a current client of Shrout Research for products or services related to this review.|