In the test: Logitech Craft keyboard with rotary wheel for more options in Photoshop and Co.

Logitech Craft in the test

The Logitech Craft keyboard is a few years old now, but Logitech was still able to provide me with a copy. I already liked the idea of ​​the rotary wheel on the keyboard when it came out in 2017, but the almost 200 euros it cost at the time were just too much for me to try out.

You can get them now at Amazon for about 150 euros and with gravis it is offered for just under 130 euros plus shipping. For the price you can have a look at them.

The Logitech Craft box promises an advanced keyboard - let's see how advanced it is in practice (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

Who is the Logitech Craft for?

The big question that one asks when looking at the wheel on the keyboard is: who needs something like this? Most reports state that the keyboard is for professional users, but I wouldn't subscribe to that. Because even if you only occasionally have to use the Crown (this is what Logitech calls the rotary wheel), the Craft keyboard is still an interesting choice.

In my opinion, it scores with two other features that can be just as important - depending on the personal application:

  1. she is a excellent alternative to the Apple keyboard, because the assignment is almost identical and you gain a reasonable cursor block as well as a block of 10 and keys such as DEL. I hardly had any problems when switching from the Magic Keyboard to the Logitech Craft and was able to continue working without restrictions and without getting used to, since even key combinations such as CMD + SHIFT + 4 for screenshots are just like the layout of the Apple keyboard. So it does not require any relearning of the muscle memory.
  2. The Logitech Craft can paired with up to three devices and it can be Windows, Mac or iOS systems. In my case, I switch back and forth between my 12,9-inch iPad Pro and my MacBook Pro and enjoy being able to operate both devices with the same keyboard. With a few special keys you can even adjust the brightness and volume, trigger a screenshot, call up the calculator, log out of the device or call up the home screen. Media controls with pause / play, song forwards and backwards are of course also available and work under macOS as under iOS or iPadOS.
In addition to the Craft, the scope of delivery also includes a USB-C charging cable, the Unifying adapter and the quick start guide.

In addition to the Craft, the scope of delivery also includes a USB-C charging cable, the Unifying adapter and the quick start guide.

Technical data of the Logitech Craft

In order to deal with the boring - but necessary - specs as quickly as possible, I would like to briefly present them here as bullet points:

  • Dimensions: 32 x 430 x 149 mm
  • Weight: 960 g
  • Wireless connection: Bluetooth LE or Logitech 2,4 GHz Unifying
  • Scope of delivery: wireless keyboard, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, Unifying receiver
  • Connection with up to three devices
  • On / off switch
  • 3 LEDs to indicate the connection
  • Lock indicator
  • Battery level LED
  • Charging port: USB-C
  • Compatible with Logitech FLOW-enabled mice
  • Running time: with the keyboard lighting switched on, approx. 1 week, otherwise several weeks
  • available keyboard layouts: QWERTZ, QWERTY, AZERTY
The Logitech keyboard is charged via a USB-C port.

The Logitech keyboard is charged via a USB-C port.

Supported software

There are a few programs that the Logitech Craft is compatible with that allow the wheel to perform special functions. The list is available on the manufacturer's website and you also receive a list of the recognized, compatible software when installing the Logitech software.

  • Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Reader
  • Preview app
  • Quicktime
  • Safari
  • Spotify

 

The Logitec Craft not only works with Photoshop, but also with Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and Lightroom - and of course with the Microsoft programs Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The Logitech Craft not only works with Photoshop, but also with Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and Lightroom - and of course with the Microsoft programs Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Individual assignment of the function keys and the crown

The software with which you can configure the Logitech Craft is extremely well made. A comprehensible user interface can be used to reassign all of the multifunctional buttons in the top row as well as the various operating options on the Crown.

If the rotary knob is used in other programs, the function that has been defined in the "Logitech Options" software is carried out. By default, turning is set up, for example, to change the volume. I changed this assignment and selected switching between apps as a function.

This means that the rotary knob is not useless even in programs that do not support an individual function with the Crown.

In the Logi Options software, actions can be assigned to all the brightly marked buttons in the upper area and the rotary knob.

In the Logi Options software, actions can be assigned to all the brightly marked buttons in the upper area and the rotary knob.

Wide range of definable options

If you want to assign a new assignment to the wheel or the function keys, the options software from Logitech offers a wide range of options. I would like to show a list here so that you can get an impression of what is possible:

  • Key press assignment (you then choose a key combination)
  • Open application
  • App Exposé
  • notifications
  • User interface (left / right) - does anyone know what that means?
  • Trigger a screenshot
  • open file
  • Extended click
  • Minimize window
  • Brightness +/-
  • Backlight +/-
  • Smart zoom
  • Launchpad
  • Louder / quieter
  • Mission Control
  • Middle button
  • Modifiers (Shift. Option, CTRL, ALT)
  • Scroll left / right
  • Look up
  • Next / previous
  • Open folder (which folder is specified)
  • Calculator (only for Germany)
  • View desk
  • Search in the Finder
  • Search
  • sound off
  • full screen
  • Open website (you can specify the URL)
  • Play / pause
  • Forward / Back
Logitech's software offers numerous options for assignment for each button and rotary knob.

Logitech's software offers numerous options for assignment for each button and rotary knob.

And if I understand the matter correctly, you can even make these definitions different for each program. That means, when I'm in the Finder, pressing the wheel can open my "Documents" folder and when I'm in Photoshop, a folder opens when I print in which I keep all of my Photoshop projects. So you are pretty flexible about the definition of the actions.

By default, Logitech's options software only lists those programs that offer individual, context-sensitive functions, but you can also add any other program to the configuration and assign your own commands to the function keys and the rotary knob. For example, in Luminar I can zoom in with the slider and a click on the wheel brings me to a 100% view.

If you use the rotary knob in programs that cannot react to the device in a context-sensitive manner (due to a lack of software support), you can still define actions that are to be carried out. For example, I have linked the volume by default so that it can be regulated under Luminar, for example.

If you use the rotary knob in programs that cannot react to the device in a context-sensitive manner (due to a lack of software support), you can still define actions that are to be carried out. For example, I have linked the volume by default so that it can be regulated under Luminar, for example.

Processing and optics of the Logitech Craft

The look of the Logitech Craft is very appealing. The color of the keyboard goes perfectly with Apple devices in the typical "space gray", which is certainly no coincidence. The upper part of the keyboard and the crown are made of anodized aluminum, while the keys and the lower case are made of high quality plastic. The keys feel very handy and pleasant, and when you try them out for the first time, you can feel that quality has been emphasized here. The Logitech Craft cannot deny the term “premium keyboard”. Ultimately, the weight of almost one kilogram also ensures that the Logitech Craft is stable and you can work with it properly - probably even if you are a stonemason.

The keystroke is exceptionally quiet, by the way, so that you disturb other people in the room significantly less than is the case with the built-in keyboard in the MacBook Pro. This rattles quite a lot.

The high-quality workmanship of the keyboard can not only be felt visually, but also when typing.

Fuchsig: the technical implementation of the Crown

The Crown, as Logitech calls the rotary wheel on the Logitech Craft, is implemented quite cleverly, because it is touch-sensitive and differentiates between tapping, pressing and turning. For this purpose, the software can switch the rotation function between grid and free rotation. This is probably solved with magnets so that the Logitech driver can actively change the mode here.

For example, if you have activated the brightness setting in Photoshop, which you change using the rotary knob, this is offered without a grid, as you have a lot of "values" that you can set. If, on the other hand, you are in the browser and cycle through the open tabs, the grid switches on so that you can switch between them more precisely.

This is very helpful for operation in practice and allows convenient use of the Crown, which you can quickly integrate into your everyday work.

The crown is without a doubt the most distinctive feature of the Logitech Craft keyboard. And I'm sure that a lot of brainwash went into the development of this component (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

The crown is without a doubt the most distinctive feature of the Logitech Craft keyboard. And I'm sure that a lot of brainwash went into the development of this component (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

Use in Adobe Photoshop

The rotary wheel is context-sensitive in compatible programs such as Adobe Photoshop. This means that if you are in the paintbrush tool, for example, you can adjust the size of the brush with the rotary wheel. A short tap (don't press, but rather briefly touch) means that you can switch between the options size, hardness, opacity and flow in order to change them quickly with the crown.

If, on the other hand, you are in the touch-up brush, you only get the options size and hardness, because there are no more options with this tool. If you have just selected the pipette or if you are in the cropping tool, the rotary control, on the other hand, effects a zoom in or zoom out. So it depends on the selected tool what you can change with the Crown.

My main area of ​​application is Photoshop. There you can change various brush options using the Craft's wheel.

My main area of ​​application is Photoshop. There you can change various brush options using the Craft's wheel.

Font size in Photoshop cannot be changed

In my tests, the reactions of the rotary control were in most cases predictable and planned. Only in Photoshop, when you have marked a text layer, does the software show that you are changing the font size, but actually nothing changes on the text layer.

Since changing the font size in Adobe Illustrator works just fine with the Crown, I assume the driver for Photoshop is a bit buggy. It may also be due to the last Photoshop update that broke here a bit.

In Illustrator you can change the line width, scaling, opacity, fill color and outline color of a selected object.

In Illustrator you can change the line width, scaling, opacity, fill color and outline color of a selected object.

The zoom setting does not work in the preview app, although the function is displayed. So there seem to be stuck here and there.

These are minor problems that are not essential for me, because I mainly use the Logitech Craft in Photoshop to change the size of the tools. This works flawlessly and really helps me minimize the image editing time.

Logitech Craft or Loupedeck Plus

I have also tested the external special keyboard Loupedeck Plus. This device has many switches and controls and thus offers access to most of the setting options in Photoshop and Lightroom. In principle, Loupedeck is also very good, but I don't use it long-term because it's just an extra keyboard that takes up extra space on the desk.

For me, the combination of the Logitech keyboard with the rotary control and the function keys is the better choice, as I can blindly find the control and it is almost always at hand, while I would always have to fish the Loupedeck keyboard out of the corner to use it.

The Loupedeck has many more knobs and switches to operate Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere, but it takes up more space and is less configurable in relation to other software.

The Loupedeck has many more knobs and switches to operate Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere, but it takes up more space and is less configurable in relation to other software.

How good is the keyboard itself?

A very important point about the multi-function keyboard from Logitech is of course how well the device can be typed. Here I can only give the Logitech Craft an A with an asterisk. I haven't found a keyboard that I immediately felt as comfortable with as this one.

The mechanism is based on a scissor mechanism and it has a key travel of only two to three millimeters. So if you are used to the touch of a purely mechanical keyboard, you may not be happy with the Logitech Craft. But if you are used to the Apple Magic Keyboard or a similar keyboard, you will certainly have no problems switching over.

The keys themselves have a small, round indentation in the middle, which helps to place the fingers neatly. The special keys are also easy to find and I have to say that I find the cursor pad more pleasant than on the Apple keyboard.

The cursor block is pleasantly large and the indentations in the keys are also quite pleasant when typing.

The cursor block is pleasantly large and the indentations in the keys are also quite pleasant when typing.

Squeaky space bar? Not at my place…

In some reviews and YouTube reviews, the language is of a squeaky space bar. I couldn't understand this with myself. I assume this problem was present in the first models and then was touched up by Logitech. On my model, typing the space bar doesn't feel spongy, nor does it make strange noises.

Keyboard lighting with sensors

Another nice feature is the keyboard lighting, which on the one hand can be regulated, but on the other hand is also switched on and off by proximity sensors. If you move your hands away from the keyboard, the lighting is dimmed. If you come closer with your hands, the keyboard light switches on again.

However, the keyboard backlight is a feature that severely limits the Logitech Craft's battery life. While you can work with the Craft for several weeks without using the lighting, if you use it daily with the keyboard lighting switched on, a red battery LED informs you to charge the keyboard after about seven days.

However, the charging process is not a problem, as you can continue typing them while charging without restrictions and you can use any USB-C cable to charge them.

The keyboard lighting of the Logitech Craft reacts to the approach of the hands and switches on and off again when you move your hands away.

The keyboard lighting of the Logitech Craft reacts to the approach of the hands and switches on and off again when you move your hands away.

Switching between different devices

The pairing of the devices works by holding down the device buttons 1, 2 or 3 for a few seconds. Then an LED in the key signals that the keyboard is in pairing mode. Now look for the Logitech Craft in the corresponding counter device in the Bluetooth menu and connect it. The connection must be confirmed by entering a numerical code, which the other device specifies.

As already mentioned, I run the Logitech Craft on my MacBook Pro and on an iPad Pro. Since I like to watch a film on the iPad while working, switching here and there is helpful to pause the film, change the volume or answer a short night on the iPad.

Switching between the devices takes about two seconds, which should be faster, but is still acceptable.

You can switch back and forth between the paired devices using three buttons.

You can switch back and forth between the paired devices using three buttons.

My conclusion on the Logitech Craft keyboard

I am completely satisfied with the device. So far, I have returned to the Apple Magic Keyboard after all my keyboard excursions, as I always had problems with everyday work, because I often made a mistake or special keys were assigned differently. Muscle memory often throws a spanner in the works when you work a lot with keyboard shortcuts.

With the Logitech Craft, the typing experience is so pleasant and the layout of the keyboard so close to the Apple keyboard that I will probably use the Craft as a permanent replacement.

Even the keyboard is inclined at a very comfortable angle. With some other keyboards, I often had pain in my hands after a short time due to the different inclination. That didn't happen at Logitech Craft.

The slope of the Logitech Craft is roughly the same as that of the old Magic Keyboard from Apple. Apple's newer model is a bit flatter if I remember correctly.

The slope of the Logitech Craft is roughly the same as that of the old Magic Keyboard from Apple. Apple's newer model is a bit flatter if I remember correctly.

From my point of view, you can definitely recommend the keyboard if you find the use of the rotary wheel to be an exciting feature.

You can buy them at, for example Amazon or Grave accent.

52,99 EUR
Logitech MX Keys Wireless Keyboard, Bluetooth & USB Receiver, USB-C Port, 5 Months ...
  • Keys with a good stroke: The circular concave keys are tailored to your fingertips for a ...
  • Comfort and stability: easily tap the comfort, stability, precision and durability ...
  • Smart lighting: the backlight turns on as soon as your hands touch the keyboard and ...
The MX Keys is, so to speak, the little brother of the Craft and comes without the Crown, but otherwise in a similarly good quality and with the same keyboard layout (Photo: Logitech).

The MX Keys is, so to speak, the little brother of the Craft and comes without the Crown, but otherwise in a similarly good quality and with the same keyboard layout (Photo: Logitech).

MX Keys: Good Logitech keyboard without a rotary wheel for the Ma

If you don't need the rotary wheel, but are still looking for a good keyboard for your Apple computer at home, you can take the Logitech MX Keys look at. This is basically the cheaper variant of the Craft, whereby the crown has been left out. But with the MX Keys you also have the definable multifunctional keys and also the pleasant typing experience, as well as the same keyboard layout.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

2 comments

  1. Simon says:

    Hello, thank you for the report. I've been using the keyboard for a while and I'm almost satisfied. The zoom in the preview app (unfortunately not in quickview via space bar) works for me.
    What bothers me a bit about the keyboard is that it is very soft and cushy in the lower area, and that the response to a rotary knob operation is sometimes slow. And what bothers me most is the misprint on the "3" of the 10-block. Here the arrow should go down instead of up. It's only cosmetics, but it annoys me a lot.

    As far as I know, the API is supposed to be public. Is there a good collection of extensions to make other programs fit for the spinner?

    Greetings Simon

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Simon! For me, the arrow on 3 on the numeric keypad is down. Apparently you have a "limited edition". ;-) If you have an early copy, the softness could be related to it. In the first reports from testers there were often reports that the space bar was "spongy". That is no longer the case with me.
      Regarding the extensions: A quick search I could only find one extension for Visual Studio ... but not a collection of several. Unfortunately…

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