Gear aimed at content creators or those helping to create content often falls into two categories namely, overpriced but good and overpriced rubbish.
Overpriced gear is generally useful, but because of its niche appeal, it calls for a higher asking price. Depending on the piece of kit, that higher asking price can be fair, for example, capture cards for streaming. High price, but very useful for somebody looking to stream.
While there is an argument to be made for gear that helps the production process, that argument also needs to take into account that one can’t just strap features to a piece of kit in hopes of eliciting sales to creative types.
Gear that actually helps those editing video or tweaking photos all day is very rare and often so hard to find locally that any hint of this functionality feels like cold water hitting your throat on a hot day.
Take today’s review device, the Logitech Craft.
Billed as a keyboard that features “a premium typing experience and a versatile input dial” we were interested to find out if this was overpriced and good or overpriced rubbish.
Grab the Crown
The big feature of the Craft is the rotund Crown that occupies the top left of the keyboard.
The Crown can be pressed, rotated freely or both at the same time. Through the Logitech Options software you can customise what each of those actions does. We stuck with rotating the Crown for volume (left to lower, right to increase), pressing to pause media and pressing and rotating to switch the active window on the desktop. The only other option available is to switch desktops.
That’s about as much as you can do with the Crown, on the Desktop.
The Logitech software scans your PC for installed applications and based on those applications, additional functionality is added to the wheel.
Our main issue here is that despite using a Logitech G502 mouse with the Logitech G Hub, the Craft requires a different piece of software altogether. It’s annoying to say the least.
Back to the Crown. We used this in Adobe Premiere Pro to horizontally scrub through the timeline and it was a joy to use but you can assign myriad applications and functions within applications to make use of the Crown.
Logitech should really just sell these dials individually for anybody spending any amount of time in front of an editing screen. No, we’re not joking.
The customisation doesn’t end there. The top row of keys (except ESC and three other keys used to switch which device you’re connected to) can be customised per application which is simply fantastic for anybody who uses shortcuts and macros to optimise their workflow.
Sure, this can be done with something like AutoHotKey and a string of other applications but if you need a quick, easy solution, the Craft is a great option.
Typing and connection
As you can see from our photos the Craft sports an ISO layout rather than an ANSI layout which we generally prefer.
Despite our preferences it took an hour or two to get accustomed to the Craft’s layout.
Despite our dislike of scissor switch keyboard, the Craft is better than most keyboards of this kind that we’ve encountered. That is thanks to the tactile response you get when typing while giving each key a degree of rigidity.
For eight hours a day, the Craft is a decent daily driver though it’s not luring us away from our Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard anytime soon.
The biggest problem we have with the Craft is its lack of kick stands. This means the keyboard lays almost entirely flat on your desk and at times I felt of my repetitive strain injury being aggravated.
The Craft also uses a rechargeable battery that is juiced up with a USB Type C cable. The battery itself lasted two full work days before requiring a charge.
As for connecting to your PC the Craft ships with a 2.4GHz wireless dongle that is great but we’d really like to slot that dongle into the keyboard for easy transportation.
Should you get one?
So far the Logitech Craft looks to be in-line for a recommendation, we just need to address a major problem with the board – its price.
Local retailer PC Link is currently advertising the Craft for R3 908 and that’s with a 17 percent cut off of the usual R4 689. Takealot has the keyboard listed for R4 265.
Now, Logitech’s local representation tells us that the keyboard should retail for around R3 200, but we have been unable to find the Craft for that price. Why retailers are charging nearly R1 000 more is quite frankly beyond us, but perhaps Logitech needs to have a chat.
On the basis of the pricing we can see for this keyboard today, we cannot recommend it. If you can pick it up for cheaper (we’d settle for R1 500 or in that region) then it might be worth your while.
The Crown is great but it alone is not worth the price of admission and as we mentioned, free applications such as AutoHotkey and Lua Macros will let you customise any key to do whatever you want in any application you want.
If you really need dials then you’re likely better off ordering dials from Palette Gear or a similar manufacturer and customising them. At least that way you can use any keyboard you want.
Unfortunately then the Logitech Craft is overpriced, get yourself something cheaper, at least your wallet won’t hate you.