Logitech made a smarter keyboard that has a brilliant customizable dial

Logitech’s MX Master mouse has long been considered one of the best options out there for creative and professional users. And now the company is finally making a keyboard that meets the standard set by the MX series of mice — the Craft keyboard.

The standout feature of the Craft is the “creative input dial,” a large silver knob in the top left corner of the keyboard. It’s sort of like a smaller Surface Dial, minus the part where you have to own a Surface device. Logitech has built integrations for seven apps — Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and InDesign; and Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (although the Office integrations are only available on Windows for now). There are also some generic functions, like volume control or forward / back on pages that can be manually applied to any application (assuming it supports that input).

The way it works is particularly clever: the top of the dial is touch sensitive, so simply tapping it brings up whatever contextual options are available. For example, if the brush tool is selected, tapping the top of the dial will pop up multiple options for brush size, softness, and more. Once you’ve selected your option, just rotate to adjust.

I was able to try it out for a few days, and Logitech’s integrations is seamless. While I’m not quite a professional user, the physical, tactile sensation of turning the dial just feels really nice, whether you’re scrolling through tabs or adjusting font size.

Options in other apps are more generalized. I could use the dial to adjust volume on my computer, or skip tracks in iTunes, but it lacked the same utility as the curated Logitech integrations. That said, the ability to use the dial to scroll between tabs in Chrome almost justifies the entire keyboard’s existence.

Of course, none of that would matter if the Craft wasn’t also a capable keyboard on its own, but fortunately, it stands out as one of the better non-gaming keyboards I’ve ever used. Each of the chiclet-style keys has an indented center that just naturally guides your finger to the keys, and the switches have just enough resistance to make each key press feel substantial. The keys are backlit, which isn’t the most important thing on a desktop keyboard, but Logitech has added some clever tech that causes them to automatically light up when you put your hands near the keys. My one major complaint is the space bar, which for some reason just feels mushier than the rest of the keys, but it’s a minor quibble on what’s otherwise an excellent keyboard.

Photo: Logitech

Logitech has also included the same Flow technology as the MX series of mice where you can switch between separate computers by just moving your mouse over. In fact, the Craft works in concert with Logitech’s MX mice, so switching devices on one will automatically switch the other, too. Like the MX Master and MX Anywhere, you can connect the Craft to up to three devices, and switch between them at the press of a button. And if you’re using an MX mouse, the same Flow feature . Logitech has also made the Craft usable for both Mac and PC, with keys listing both options where applicable, and even ensuring that all the specialized function keys work the same.

The Craft connects to your computer over either Bluetooth, Logitech’s Unifying Receiver, or a wired USB-C port (a USB-A to USB-C cable is included in the box). It’s made of the same, soft matte black plastic as the MX mice, with an aluminum bar to provide some weight and stability on the top of the device.

Along with the MX mice and the Craft, Logitech is rounding out its desktop collection with a new set of MX Sound speakers, which are designed to fit the same visual style of the company’s other pro products. Most notable are the connectivity options, with Logitech supporting up to two simultaneous Bluetooth devices and two 3.5mm inputs.

Both new products will be available in October. The Craft keyboard is set to cost $199.99, while the MX Sound will cost $99.99.

Comments

Someone is going to complain $199 is too much for a non-mechanical keyboard.

$199 is too much for a non-mechanical keyboard.

Dammit, got beaten to it.

I’ve been using a $5 keyboard for years now. I’m a professional, but I guess I’m not THAT professional.

lol n00b…

(Sorry, couldn’t resist, no offence intended!)

5$… my hands makes love to me, I suggest you cherish them more.

An artist is more than their tools — keep doing you. At the same time though, if this is a tool that will make your work easier and you can afford it… why not go for it

Until this summer, I have been doing the same. It was perfect, it did the job, it was nice. Then I wanted to try those $200 mechanical keyboards because "why not." Let’s just say that until you make the jump, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

It’s so true. I gripe all the time about how mushy the keyboards feel at the office compared to my mechanical keyboard at home. It’s like typing on a sponge.

I didn’t understand what the big deal was either and then I bought a mechanical keyboard for my gaming PC. I love how it feels and the "clickety" noises it makes.

This is exactly what I have always wanted. Have owned just about every keyboard out there, and never really found ‘the one’. The Corsair gaming keyboards come close, but use two USB cables so are a bit unwieldy and the keys noisy being gaming oriented. But this ticks all the boxes: Backlit, Bluetooth, nice low profile but tactile keys, control knob, media keys given priority over function keys, multi-device – and looks lovely.

+1

Finally a wireless keyboard with backlighting and media controls that looks good

should have been tkl or 96 key

yeah, we don’t need that.

Umm… Surface Dial works with ANY Windows 10 PC.

But not the put-on-the-screen functionality (which this doesn’t either). Do we know that this isn’t ACTUALLY a Surface Dial? Didn’t MS say that they would get other manufacturers to produce their own versions when they unveiled it?

I hope they introduce iMovie support.

I have a USB knob thing from trip mate that I use for scrubbing timelines and scrolling. It’s really old. But this looks nice.

Actually that’s what I have. Just the USB version. I forgot who made it.

It would be cool to integrate it into a new keyboard. I miss my number pad.

Logitech’s keyboard appears to be a combination of Microsoft’s sorely underused Surface Dial and Apple’s equally polarizing TouchBar, which based on this video looks… better?

I’m kinda torn. I think both Microsoft and Apple came up with some really great concepts that allow another level of dynamic interactivity that we’ve never seen from a mouse and/or keyboard before but Logitech’s attempt feels like it’s a good combination of the two technologies but more focused on what it wants to be, its intended use and target market.

I do think the price is a bit steep but, again, Logitech appears to be focused on design professionals who don’t mind paying a premium for hardware/software that makes life easier.

I feel like it would be easier to do most of this stuff with the trackpad or simple key commands.

Yup. Even in Photoshop, it’s only marginally useful.

Yeah and I’d guess that the vast majority of creatives that this is aimed at have all their Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator keyboard shortcuts and gestures memorised already.

Can anyone recommend a good wireless keyboard for gaming perhaps? This looks cool, but it’s up there in price and targeted towards creative professionals.

Logitech mouse are number one. Right now using mouse that can pair to 3 devices, bluetooth and dongle combined. Keyboards are too mushy and the last one I gave up was only because nudges on keys F and J were non-existent and I had to keep looking at the keyboard to position fingers.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑