The Surface Dial, a hockey-puck-sized controller designed for use with Microsoft’s Surface Studio desktop computer, is the palette to the Surface’s pen. It clicks, double clicks and rotates, adding contextual menus and well-spoken navigation to apps such as Maps and Adobe Photoshop but the need to strech for a mouse. Unfortunately—despite some third-party alternatives—there’s zero as sharp as a Surface Dial accessible to artistic forms at home on a Mac.
That’s where the Logitech Craft comes in. Priced at a estimable £179, the Logitech Craft is a reward keyboard armed with a “crown,” that allows for the same clicks, double clicks, and twists that make the Surface Dial so compelling, but the need to dash out on a Surface Desktop to go with it. While there are some peculiar stipulations to the crown’s functionality, at slightest at launch, it’s a constrained messenger to the keyboard and mouse.
It helps that the Craft is beautifully made. The categorical physique is assembled from a stout matte grey plastic, while a complicated aluminium bar at the top adds weight, a gentle lean (although it’s sadly not adjustable), and the climax itself, which sits just above the shun pivotal to the left of the keyboard. The Craft is a complicated thing with plain rubber feet that, once placed down on a desk, reassuringly stays put.
The chiclet keys, while not charity the same spin of pleasing feedback as entirely automatic keys, are a fun to form on. They have a firmer movement than, say, Apple’s customary desktop keyboard (similar in feel to a Lenovo Thinkpad), while the concave indents in any pivotal give your fingers a healthy resting place while typing. The blueprint is matched to both Mac and Windows, with the common array of liughtness and volume controls that Mac users expect.
The keys are backlit, too, and are activated by a vicinity sensor, which is a good touch. Like other Logitech keyboards, the Craft facilities easy switch functionality, permitting you to span it with up to 3 inclination at once and switch between them using a dedicated set of keys positioned next to the series pad. Both Bluetooth and a bundled USB wireless receiver are supported, with the Craft operative just as good with an iPad as it does with an iMac. It’s charged around USB Type-C, with the battery durability a week or so under complicated use.
That Logitech nailed the basis is critical given the £179 cost tag, but the climax turns out to be generally useful. Using the concomitant Logitech Options program opens up a resources of functions. Inside general apps like Text Edit or Finder windows, rambling the climax functions as a volume control by default, but this can be customised to all demeanour of functions like switching between desktops or determining screen brightness.
You can also press the crown, which works good as a way to open up Mission Control, while a press and spin can be set to functions like app switching. If you’re uncertain of what sold duty is active, touching the top of the climax brings up a reminder. The climax really comes into its own in specific applications, where Logitech has combined a operation of profiles. On a Mac, that includes the Adobe Creative Cloud apartment and Chrome and Firefox, while in Windows there’s also support for Microsoft Office (Mac support for Office is promised).
The crown’s functionality changes formed on the focus and the sold apparatus being used. For example, in PowerPoint, you can turn by 4 opposite functions that flip by themes, colours, fonts, and layouts. In Photoshop, you can fast adjust the brightness, contrast, and superfluity when the name apparatus is in use, or size, hardness, opacity and upsurge when the paintbrush apparatus is in use. In Chrome you can fast cycle by tabs with clicking a rodent or using control and tab.
It’s startling how fast the climax becomes second inlet and how frustrating it is when you switch to the keyboard but it. There are, however, some weird limitations. While the big Adobe apps are supported, Lightroom isn’t, while there’s just a token curtsy to Premiere with timeline scrubbing. Crown functions within particular apps can’t be customised either, nor can you supplement new ones. A elementary training underline where you can allot a singular duty to the climax would be preferable over no customisation at all. Check, you can’t even allot tradition macros: only the 17 duty keys can be customised.
Such functionality may or may not seem in future program updates (when pressed, Logitech betrothed long-term support for the Craft, but no specifics), but even in its stream form the Craft is a constrained purchase, so prolonged as you’re the artistic type.
It’s a pleasure to form on—certainly the best chiclet-style keyboard I’ve ever used—and in apps that support it, the climax works wonderfully. In the burgeoning marketplace of reward peripherals, the Craft is up there with the best of them.
- Excellent build quality
- Great typing knowledge for a chiclet keyboard
- Crown creates navigating calm origination apps a breeze
- Easily switches between 3 inclination at once
- Steep price
- No Microsoft Office support in MacOS
- Crown commands can’t be customised
- Trying to use Photoshop again but it
This post originated on Ars Technica UK