Working at a desk or table with a laptop and an iPad screams for a sharable keyboard to use on both devices. After all, who is going to type on both machines at the same time? That’s where the Logitech Bluetooth Easy Switch Keyboard fits. Users can connect it via Bluetooth to three Mac OSX or iOS devices, like an iPad, iPad mini or iPhone. The keyboard can also connect to other machines, but since Logitech includes Apple related keys, like Command and Option, it’s not as elegant a solution for Windows or Android.
The keyboard takes up only slightly more space on a table or desk than the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. It feels a lot like the Apple keyboard, except the keys are slightly softer to type on. The Logitech keyboard also functions a lot like Apple’s. Across the top we get the same function keys. These work in OS X and iOS. Key placement mirrors Apple’s perfectly spaced keyboard with tiny exceptions, namely smaller arrow keys and tinier keys.
The Logitech keyboard comes with three big improvements over Apple’s keyboard. First, we get backlit keys, a real benefit when typing in low light. Second, the keyboard’s buttons feel smoother and more comfortable to the touch. Finally, and most importantly, Logitech allows users to connect up to three devices at once.
That’s why it’s an “easy switch keyboard.”
The user switches between the devices using the three function keys just right of the ESC key. The first key gets assigned to the first device paired with the keyboard. We connected a MacBook Pro to the first key, a 10″ iPad on number two and an iPad mini on the third.
Once the keyboard gets paired to the three devices, switching happens quickly. Tap the function key assigned to a device and, if the Bluetooth radio on that device is on, the keyboard will connect to the device within a second. The user can then start typing with the keyboard on the other device. When finished, switch back. Using the same keyboard to type on up to three devices makes the user more proficient, since they get used to feel and layout of a single keyboard.
The Logitech Bluetooth Easy Switch Keyboard comes with a USB to micro-USB charging cable. Plug it into a USB port on the computer for charging only. It won’t function as an external keyboard when plugged in. A rechargeable battery means we don’t need AA batteries. That saves money.
The Apple keyboard costs $69 new at Apple. The Logitech Bluetooth Easy Switch Keyboard will set buyers back $99.99 direct, or get one for just $81.57 at Amazon. We think that price is a steal. Buying a great keyboard for both will cost well over $100, but adding only $11 over the cost of the Apple keyboard to share one keyboard among three devices makes a lot of sense. We love the Logitech Bluetooth Easy Switch Keyboard, so there’s no good reason not to buy one if a person has the available cash.