When I first laid eyes on the Logitech Craft wireless keyboard ($299.95) I thought, "What a funny little round boy. Whoever designed this really likes circles." Circled edges, circular dents to cup your fingertips. But the most important circle of all is the creative dial input - a touch-sensitive dial that adapts to whatever app you're using to give control and improve your workflow. Or, as I like to call it, The Knob.
I'm a big believer in splashing out for nice peripherals. They're the part of your PC that you see and feel, and therefore have a big impact on your experience and enjoyment of your computer.
Of all the peripherals, getting a mechanical keyboard can make the biggest difference. The first time your fingers feel the assured, precise keystrokes you realise that PCB boards are a cruel prison that you never knew you could leave.
I'll admit, I initially found The Knob unsightly. It stands tall above the otherwise extremely slimline board, and makes the whole thing look and feel unbalanced.
In reality, the lack of balance is mostly due to a thick bar at the top which houses most of the electronics. While traditionally a keyboard sits on a desk and never moves, being wireless I'm much more inclined to tote this around. Maybe even do some sneaky typing on the couch. In portable situations, balance starts to matter.
It forced me to be stuck to a desk. A wild animal is not meant to be caged. However... it was worth it for The Knob.
That knob, baby. Oh that knob.
Its purpose is for creatives, particularly those who use Adobe and Microsoft Office software regularly. Control is at your fingertips without having to click a single menu.
When I first booted up Lightroom and gave it a whirl it was immediately clear that I was actually going to need to learn how to use it properly. This is entirely understandable, but my impatient soul wanted to jump right in.
Thankfully, the accompanying software has some simple tutorials to get you into the swing of things. And once you get the hang of it, it's really quite simple.
I ended up finding the process rather convenient - swiping and spinning to change various values. But my workflow wasn't revolutionised and I didn't grow to prefer using The Knob over a traditional keyboard and mouse.
Most of my photo editing is done on the fly - a quick sit on a couch between doing other jobs. The Knob did not entice me enough to permanently set up at my desk.
Occasionally I found it took too much thinking to use, but I'm positive that's due to the newness of it. You can also change what the crown does in various apps, so it's tailored to your workflow and needs.
But where The Knob really captured my heart was its ability to let me fly through the 40+ Chrome apps I have open at any one time.
I'm pretty savvy with my shortcuts, and can quickly tab my way through - Windows or OSX - but here I truly felt what it means to have control at my fingertips.
The satisfying bumps with each turn, and the way you can glide or stroll through - is bliss. It's the most, "I didn't know I wanted this til I had it" tech experience I've had in a long time.
It was in this moment that I realised - I need a knob on everything.
You get a little taste of knob magic on the Apple Watch. The crown is a satisfying and sensible way to navigate the small screen. It makes sense. Apple knows.
I don't want to press a button again. Not for volume, not for fast forwarding. I'm even considering the virtues of a knob on my phone. I am a knob convert.
Despite my clear and justified love of The Knob, one must ask - is it worth paying $300 for a knob? Well, Rome wasn't built on knobs alone. This is a keyboard, so it primarily needs to type well.
I would class the typing experience as fine. It's nowhere near what you get from a mechanical keyboard, despite costing twice as much, but then that also isn't the market its aiming at.
It's your classic PCB board, with little rubber nipples beneath the keys. This gives a very quiet, somewhat mushy keystroke. A softness that goes with the soft-touch plastic of the keycaps.
It's a well-built board, with quality components. You get rock solid Bluetooth, USB-C charging, and quick switching between different paired devices... but I find it hard to recommend anyone drop this much money for the luxury of The Knob.
It may not bother career creatives who would be more concerned about workflow improvement than the typing experience, but for that price I'd really like to have it all.
- Quality Bluetooth keyboard with a premium feel.
- Extremely enjoyable touch-sensitive knob that allows you to adjust a range of settings.
- Customisable settings across numerous apps, including the Adobe suite.
- Basic, mushy, PCB keyboard typing experience.
- I love the knob.
If you're not on a laptop or a phone look down at your keyboard. It's probably the one that came with your PC. Maybe IT handed it over as they explained the no porn policy at the big company you work for. However you acquired it (and you almost certainly didn't pay for it), there's a very good chance it's a hot piece of garbage. That isn't your fault! The keyboards that ship with most towers and all-in-ones these days are not great. The same goes for the cheap $20 specials you pick up on Amazon. You need something better. You need a good keyboard.