At the beginning of the year, I reviewed the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard that allowed users to connect this single keyboard to three different devices. It was a great keyboard that had one issue that kept many people from trying it. The price for that keyboard was typically around $90-$100. Last week at the IFA, Logitech introduced a new and much more affordable Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 that ships later this month with a price tag of just $50. Let’s see exactly how the two differ and why this more affordable version just might be the right one to try if you have a phone, tablet and PC you want to use a Bluetooth keyboard with.
Another difference is the K480 keyboard is available in either black or white colors. The previous K811 keyboard was only available in a single mixed color of silver and black. While the color scheme of the K811 worked well with more devices, the two color options let users color match to their devices a bit more.
The addition of the slot to the top of the keyboard means that the K480 is larger than the K811. In fact, the K480 is over an inch and a half deeper than the K811. This puts the size of the K480 keyboard a bit larger than a 10-inch tablet for those looking at carrying it around.
The keyboard layout has also changed slightly. The most notable is that switching between devices has been moved from a function key combination to a rotary dial that resides on the upper left portion of the keyboard. This change means they need to have less status lights as the dial can indicate which device it is connected to. The biggest change though is the position of the ctrl and fn keys. On the K811 the function was in the lower left and the ctrl just to the right of it. In the K480, those positions have change which is a welcome change as it is similar to more laptop layouts.
The most significant reduction in the cost of the K480 is the removable of the internal rechargeable battery for a pair of AAA batteries. For many people this probably is not a significant feature. Logitech estimates that the two AAA batteries can last up to two years meaning that you won’t have to change them frequently. Even with the K811, I have not had to recharge it even once in a years worth of use. Of course, the K811 does feature a keyboard backlight that means it can use more power and the rechargeable batteries are beneficial for the added power draw of the lights. Of course you could always get a pair of AAA rechargeable batteries for under $10 if you want to use them instead of standard alkali batteries.