The Logitech k400 first grabbed my attention when I was playing around with the idea of eliminating the need for a mouse.
I find the back and forth of clicking with a mouse and going back to the keyboard inefficient when doing daily work tasks (yes, one could use keyboard shortcuts), so I thought an all in one option could be better, much like what you see on a laptop.
Because of my obsession with efficiency, I decided to purchase the Logitech k400 Wireless Keyboard. It shall be reviewed…
Build Quality/Initial Impressions
The first thing you will notice with the Logitech k400 is how incredibly light and thin it is. Clocking in just at 14.5 ounces, you will find yourself handling it with one hand. It certainly has a plastic-like feel, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing in this case due to how satisfying it is to mandhandle/womanhandle it.
The keys are more compact than what I am used to, so that may be a problem down the line. The F keys, scroll lock, print screen, page up/down, context menu, home, and end buttons are all activated by holding the FN key, which is only located on the left.
The backspace key is easy to miss because of it’s small size and location. Right shift key is also small. Compact keyboard makes fingers feel a bit cramped.
Big props to Logitech for adding a storage spot for the USB dongle. It’s safely located inside the battery compartment, which takes two AA batteries.
Here are some of the key features that Logitech promotes in the k400. The following is a list and quick synopsis of each one:
- 10 m (33 ft) reliable, wireless range
The k400 utilizes a 2.4 GHz wireless connection and it has remained consistently stable the entire time I have used it. I even went so far as to take it into another room and it still worked flawlessly. Wouldn’t mind seeing a Bluetooth version in the future, though.
- 3.5 inch, built-in multi-touch touchpad
The touchpad itself feels very much like what you’re used to on an average laptop. Multi-touch does in fact work and it’s responsive when testing the zoom ability and scrolling down in the internet browser. I thought this feature would be lackluster because of the low cost of the keyboard, but I was pleasantly surprised.
- Minimalist Design with low-profile keys
As mentioned in initial impressions, the keyboard is very light and compact. It may prove to be too small for some people, but it’s truly just a matter of preference and getting used to it. The keys themselves feel responsive and actually seem to have a bit less actuating force than a standard keyboard.
- 1 year battery life
Battery life throughout the time I have the k400 has seemed to be great. It’s very much the equivalent to using a wireless mouse, where you only have to change the batteries once every baktun (Mayan calendar references anybody?!? Huh?!? Is this thing on…).
- 3-year limited hardware warranty
I’m rather impressed that a cheaper keyboard like this would have a 3-year warranty.
Installation was painless. All I had to do was insert the USB dongle and wait for the drivers to install. After that, all you have to do is click the on switch at the top of the keyboard and you’re ready to go.
As to using the k400 as my daily driver, I found it to be cumbersome at first, particularly when trying to hit the right shift, delete, or backspace buttons. The small size of them makes me more prone to mistakes and it would be nice to have a backlit keyboard to remind myself of the slightly different layout. Admittedly, however, any time you switch to a new keyboard, I can guarantee that it will feel a bit awkward at first, especially if the layout/size is different. For example, I am more used to larger ergonomic keyboards that sit on my lap, so having something so compact was very difficult to get used to.
After a few days with it, I definitely make less errors and feel much more consistent all around. There is still a bit of discomfort, but being able to quickly move my hand to the right and use it as a mousepad is particularly useful and it makes me honestly wish that even full size keyboards had that option. Nonetheless, your love for a mousepad/keyboard combo over a traditional mouse is entirely dependent on what kind of programs you are using on a daily basis. If you need more detailed clicks, a gaming mouse will serve you much better. However, if you’re only using something akin to a word processor that doesn’t require ultra-precise clicking, the k400 could be your answer.
It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: I’m not saying this keyboard mousepad should be used for gaming or anything like that. It closely mirrors the performance you would get from a traditional laptop pad, so bear that in mind if you are thinking of going wireless keyboard alone.
The k400 keyboard is incredibly useful for people who do basic computing tasks like browsing the internet, watching video, spreadsheets, et cetera. Speaking of video, this keyboard is probably most useful for those who just need to perform a couple inputs and want to set the keyboard down. A home theater PC (HTPC) enthusiast should look no further than this keyboard because it would totally compliment that usage scenario. It would fit perfectly in a living room setting and wouldn’t be a tremendous eyesore.
As for me, I’m sitting here wondering if I will continue to use the k400 as a daily driver. The answer is not likely. It really depends on what program I’m using, though. For right now, I’ll probably go back to my ergonomic keyboard that I’ve used for years, because the finger positioning is much more comfortable for me. There might be a few instances where I will bust out the k400 again, particularly if I put a HTPC in the living room.
I’ll still be on the lookout for a Bluetooth enabled, backlit, slightly larger touchpad keyboard in the future, though.
Logitech k400 Wireless Keyboard
|Multi-touch Touchpad.||Tight spacing between keys.|
|Lightweight.||Shift and Delete Keys are Smaller.|
|Easy to Setup.||No Backlight.|
|Great Wireless Range.||No Bluetooth.|
|Long Battery Life.|
|3 Year Warranty.|
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