Logitech K830 and TK820

The first set of keyboards we look at today is at the higher end of the pricing spectrum. The Logitech K830 and TK820 both come in at $99.99. The justification offered for the K830 is the presence of an internal rechargeable battery as well as backlighting for use in the dark. The TK820 (primarily meant for AiO systems) comes with a bigger than usual touchpad and support for a large number of gestures. We will first look into the K830 in detail, followed by the TK820.

Logitech K830

The external aspects of the Logitech K830 are summarized in the table below. The dimensions are similar to the Logitech K400 - any user comfortable with that keyboard will feel right at home with the K830 also. Due to the internal rechargeable battery, the unit is heavier compared to similar touchpad keyboards. Subjectively, the weight makes the unit feel solid in hand without being too cumbersome to carry around. The keyboard uses the Logitech Unifying Receiver that enables the receiver to communicate with up to five other compatible Logitech wireless equipment. In order to alleviate range issues, a USB extender cable is also supplied.

Device Type Keyboard + 2-button Touchpad
Keys Count 79 + 3 volume control keys
Dimensions 14.40" x 4.90" x 0.65"
Weight 1.09 lbs / 495 g
Power Source Internal rechargeable battery
Communication Technology 2.4 GHz RF
Touchpad Dimensions (Diagonal) 3.7"

The gallery below takes the reader around the various features in the keyboard chassis. There is an explicit on/off switch to conserve power. A micro-USB port enables the internal battery to be recharged using the USB port of any PC. A USB to micro-USB charging cable is bundled along with the unit.

Gallery: Logitech K830

Moving on to the keyboard layout, we find the function keys multiplexed with some shortcut keys (for multimedia operations as well as day-to-day Windows operations) using an orange Fn key. Unfortunately, the default behavior is of the Fn key being inactive (i.e, pressing the function keys activates the shortcut multimedia / Windows op, rather than the corresponding function key behavior). The other keys are in the expected areas, with only the half-height function keys representing a stumbling block for users accustomed to full-size keyboards.

Keyboard Layout 8/10

In terms of ergonomics, the keyboard is suitable for both single-handed operation as well as holding with both hands. The latter scenario is helped by the presence of a left click button on the left side of the top edge of the keyboard. The half-height arrow keys and the positioning relative to the Return key require some adjustment while typing for extended durations. In addition, the keys are placed a little bit closer together compared to traditional keyboards (to facilitate the smaller size), and this makes touch-typing a bit of a challenge. The back of the keyboard is also flat, and doesn't allow angle adjustment for a bettery typing setup - This could be addressed somewhat, but we can see where Logitech is positioning this device, and why that is not amongst the set of features that they would want to add to the unit.

Ergonomics 8/10

The build quality of the unit is top-notch, befitting that of a keyboard priced close to $100. Despite being made of plastic like the K400, it does look and feel more durable, and it can definitely take more abuse compared to the flimsy K400 while retaining its appearance. However, one of the issues that we observed in extended use was the fact that the keyboard material tended to be more susceptible to oily smudges compared to the K400. This takes the sheen off the unit after a few months.

The membrane keys are expected in a unit at this price and targeting the HTPC market niche. The unit is also thicker than comparable alternatives, but that again contributes to a solid feel (and hopefully, better durability).

Build Quality 9/10

The K830 has a MSRP of $99, but can be found for as low as $85 on sale. The availability of adjustable backlight as well as an internal rechargeable battery makes for a unique set of features - and this enables Logitech to demand the premium for the unit. The internal battery is Li-ion, and the recharge interval depends on the usage scenario. Logitech claims 20 hours of usage between recharges with the backlight on. The explicit on-off switch is quite helpful, but it would be nice to have one for the backlight also. The organge keys can be customized further with the help of Logitech's SetPoint / Logitech Options software, but we were able to use it without the softwares and had no issues for day-to-day HTPC usage. The touchpad also supports Windows 8 gestures such as swipe from right for the Charms bar and swipe from left to switch applications (without the need to install the SetPoint / Options software).

Logitech TK820

The external aspects of the Logitech TK820 are summarized in the table below. Compared to the K830, the keyboard is both wider, taller and heavier. The device targets All-in-Ones (AiOs) and that reflects in the keyboard's design. The four AA batteries are accommodated in the blulging area at the top of the unit. Like the K830, the TK820 also uses the Logitech Unifying Receiver.

Device Type Keyboard + Touchpad with integrated mechanical click
Keys Count 78 (with 11 multiplexed multimedia hotkeys)
Dimensions 16.1" x 5.7" x 0.8"
Weight 1.73 lbs / 783 g
Power Source 4x AA
Communication Technology 2.4 GHz RF
Touchpad Dimensions (Diagonal) 5.9"

The various external features of the TK820 are brought out in the gallery below. There is an explicit on/off switch right above the 'Backspace' key. This helps in power conservation as well as avoiding accidental keyboard / touchpad activation. 

Moving on to the keyboard layout, we find that the keys are spread apart compared to the K830. This enables users accustomed to full-sized keyboards to feel right at home with the arrangement as far as rapid typing is concerned. Since the AiOs are the target market, this is well and good. Unfortunately, the two main issues we had with the K830 get transferred here also. Similar to the orange 'Fn' keys in the K830, we have blue 'Fn' keys in the TK820, and the default behavior is that of the non-traditional shortcut keys being active in the F1-F12 row. Also, the arrow keys are half-height, making interaction challenging for extended typing durations. Logitech's SetPoint software needs to be installed in order to change the behavior of the blue 'Fn' keys - this really needs to be fixed to keep the default behavior to be the traditional one. The lack of dedicated Pg Up / Pg Dn / Home / End keys may be excused in a HTPC keyboard, but, for an AiO, it would be nice to have them back.

Keyboard Layout 8/10

In terms of ergonomics, the TK820 is way ahead of the K830. The bulging area at the top allows for a slight natural angle for extended typing scenarios. The keys are also spaced well apart. However, it ends up with the same score as that of the K830 for a few reasons. The half-height arrow keys and the multiplexed special function keys make the typist resort to unfamiliar keystroke combinations. However, the major issue is the touchpad. The sensitivity of the touchpad is quite strange - It often recognizes fingers gliding over the surface as 'press and drag' to select parts of the screen contents. Even though the touchpad area offers left click with a  single press in the bottom left corner and a right click with a single press in the bottom right corner, there are other gesture options for a right click (using two fingers) that might affect users not accustomed to them. Balancing these issues is the fact that multi-finger gestures work great on the keyboard without even having to install the software, and the tactile feedback on the keys is great.

Ergonomics 8/10

The build quality of the unit is acceptable, comparable to that of the K830. Given that they target the same price point, this is expected. The membrane keys in the keyboard are also not a surprise. However, given the target market - extended typing with AiOs, the unit could have come with a more sturdy and rigid frame using metal instead of plastic. However, for HTPC usage, the build quality is more than acceptable - making us rate it higher than the K830.

Build Quality 9/10

The TK820 has a MSRP of $99, but can be found for as low as $59 on sale. Other than the internal rechargeable battery and the backlight, other aspects mentioned about the K830 are applicable here also. The large touchpad area, mechanical click support and the large number of supported gestures serve as advantages for the unit. However, the touchpad behavior needs to be more consistent for the keyboard to be of good value for its price.

Introduction Perixx PERIBOARD-716 and 706 PLUS
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  • MxxCon - Monday, May 18, 2015 - link

    I wonder how these keyboards compare to Lenovo N5902
  • MHz Tweaker - Monday, May 25, 2015 - link

    I have had the luxury of owning the 400r, 820 and 830.

    I purchased the 400r for my home theater but found it difficult to see in dim lighting so I moved it to a seldom used rack PC that I did not want cluttered with a large wired keyboard.

    I purchased the TK820 to use on my home theater PC. I like the size of its touchpad and overall weight and quality build. I return it within 48hours. I absolutely hated this keyboard. The deal breaker is the unified touchpad with integrated left and right buttons. These designs are dismal for those who do any type of click-and-drag movement of items on a desktop. Pushing the corner of the touchpad often causes the cursor to go off in some type of geriatric palsy twerk causing movement of items and other missed targets with the pointer. OMG I hated this keyboard within 5 minutes. Give me separate distinct left and right trackpad buttons to click and hold and do not affect the mouse pointer when pressed. I despise laptops using this design as well.

    I purchased the K830 for the home theater and LOVE this keyboard. It is backlit, not too large, has good weigh and build quality, and has separate trackpad buttons!!!! I've had it for a few months and it has never gone dead. I recharged it after 3 months just in case. I say home theater loosely as I actually have a 2 channel tri-amped setup with Martin Logan Prodigy electrostats and a custom JBL 2242H Sub. The K830 controls the i5 based PC perfectly as I play FLAC and SACD 24/192 digital files through the Xonar Essence STX sound card DAC. This keyboard works well dragging files from a 2012R2 Xeon server to Foobar2000 playlists or running XBMC/Kodi Media player. I love the volume control buttons above the trackpad. Well done.
  • flimbs - Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - link

    The K830 doesn't support four finger multi-touch, only two finger. Seems pretty ridiculous for Logitech's flagship keyboard when the older TK820 model did support it. It may be short sided to get it if your using it for windows use as Microsoft keeps hinting at more OSX clone gestures for Windows 10. That being said I'm also not a fan of the keyboard portion of the TK820.

    What's wrong with three finger drag? Everyone seems to hate it and praise the two buttons on the K830.. I think it's fair to say anyone not using tap to click is a ham-fisted simpleton.
  • berryjuice - Monday, July 20, 2015 - link

    I just bought a new Logitech K830 and I noticed that there are 2 models: the old 920-006081 and newer 920-007182. The newer version support a different set of keys like the Back, Home, and Running apps keys of Android. It's also worth pointing out that the newer version supports Bluetooth.
  • berryjuice - Monday, July 20, 2015 - link

    The Back, Home, and Running Apps keys also work with Windows. They act as Back (like Alt+left arrow key), Home, and Running Programs (like pressing Alt+Tab). Technically, the newer K830 model can be used with a PC and Android (through Bluetooth or OTG cable + receiver). I haven't tested it with an iOS device.
  • tourofrooms - Saturday, July 25, 2015 - link

    There must be a huge mark-up because when some major retailers have a sale, ie: BestBuy the K830 sells for under $59. The K820's full retail price at my local BestBuy is $99, which is the same as the regular price of the K830. I think if review sites were to make an effective review that exploits all of the negative aspets of a a product, with the intent to that destroys the products credibility, pointing out just what a piece of crap it is, the ultimate reaction of alot of readers would be to avoid those models, and maybe even that brand, at all costs. What some of the higher premium of Logitech products DOES buy , based on my long term experience as a user, is excellent customer service when any of their products fail. They send out replacements without any resistence or contention. Of course I need to verify proof of purchase, but that's expected. They even allowed me to change/upgrade to a different mouse when my anywhere MX failed for the 3rd time from a mushy unresponsive button. I'm more apt to make compromises when I buy a product when I get good service after the sale but the keyboard is something that I will require quality to be good. Backlighting shoulg be automatic on any keyboard over $50 US Dollars, wired or wireless. What gets me sometimes is that one a feature on a previous model is well received, or highly regarded, why does the successor have to be DOWN-graded? I am referring to the way the k830's layout is so cramped and typing a letter or email is worst than the K820 due to the unappealing feel. Alot of keyboard with the same features can be bought for alot less than some of Logitech's offerings. I'm not hapy about the fact that Logitech has built many keyboards, and for great feel and quiet typing, I like the K800, size and layout, I like the K820, for the appearance the k810 and lastly, the options and touchpad with notebook like button that resemble the Lenovo thinkpads I like the K830. But Logitech doesn't know how to unify those more preferred elite features into 1 single keyboard.Instead, they give you only 1 or 2 things to satisfy and entice and I've had to endure those compromises that would otherwise make the keyboard I am using truly a great option. All keyboards, in order to qualify as top of the line offerings, should be backlit, with excellent key travel that is balanced, tried, and true, long battery life, flexiblility that allows a bluetooth or proprietary receiver. There is a way to achieve this but I still have not found many keyboards that meet ALL my requirements

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