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Mechanics and Backlight

Like any other manufacturer of PC hardware, Logitech couldn’t help making some loud marketing claims. They have come up with a special word for the K800’s mechanics: PerfectStroke. This is supposed to mean a special system which uniformly distributes the pressure of your finger on the key cap to ensure maximum typing comfort at minimum noise. This description refers to the ordinary scissor-switch mechanism, though.

Well, there is no lie in Logitech’s marketing statements. They only want to make the advertised product look as appealing as possible, which is a normal desire for every hardware maker. The “scissors” indeed distribute the pressure uniformly and prevent the key cap from wiggling. Thus, this type of key mechanism ensures a sharper response than what you get with the traditional and cheap dome-switch mechanism. The Logitech K800 is a notebook-style keyboard, meaning that its keys have a short travel distance and a low profile. Many users who process a lot of text documents prefer this type of keyboards. In terms of tactile impressions, the K800’s mechanics resembles the UltraX’s, but the keys move somewhat more softly and have a sharper response. The keys do not wiggle, so the mechanics of the K800 keyboard are high quality.

It is the shape of the keys, which is referred to as Incurve Keys, that is original. Differing strikingly from the classic keys of the wired Illuminated Keyboard, each key cap is smooth and has a hollow in the center. Logitech says this shape makes the keyboard more comfortable to use for the style of typing when you do not raise your fingers above the keyboard but instead slide them along the surface from one key to another. I can’t tell if this is really so because, even though I prefer short-travel keys, my typing technique is classical. The K800’s buttons are really agreeable to the touch, though. As usual, the F and J buttons of the main keyboard and the 5 button of the numpad have small protrusions on their caps for easier orientation when blind-typing.

The key-top markings are implemented like in the wired Illuminated Keyboard: there is a light-dispersion plate with special mask underneath the transparent letter-windows. Such markings cannot wear out as they are actually made on the inside of the keys. When the backlight is turned on, the whole surface below the keys’ scissor mechanisms is illuminated.

The K800 looks splendid in darkness. The backlight is even more uniform than that of the Illuminated Keyboard which has itself become an etalon in this respect. Every marking is perfectly visible while the spaces between the keys remain dark.

The backlight of the main markings is white. The additional markings are orange. If you use the Cyrillic version of the keyboard, you may find it inconvenient that the Latin and Cyrillic letters are all the same color. This can be easily corrected by painting over the mask with a red marker on the inside of each key. If Logitech implemented different-color backlighting of different alphabets in the regional versions of its K800 at the factory, this flagship product would be even more expensive.

The backlight has four levels of brightness which can be selected by pressing Fn+F5/F6. When turned off, the keyboard forgets the previously selected level of brightness and will always begin again with the third level. The K800 has a capacitive sensor for automatically turning the backlight on when you move your hand towards it. This feature can be enabled in the SetPoint control panel. Another variant is to make the backlight turn on after a first touch of any button. The keyboard is also supposed to have a technology for adjusting the level of backlight brightness depending on ambient lighting, but I could not make it work.

Thus, the Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 seems to have inherited everything best from its wired cousin in terms of mechanics and backlight, complementing them with somewhat improved ergonomics. On the other hand, ergonomics is a subjective thing, so some users may not like the exclusive Incurve Keys, for example.

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