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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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
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