First look: Logitech Craft keyboard with Creative Input dial for macOS

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After a week with Logitech's new Craft advanced keyboard, AppleInsider discusses first impressions of the company's new premium -- and most expensive -- keyboard.




At nearly $200, the Logitech Craft Advanced Keyboard with Creative Input Dial is twice the price of its next closest option. Along with a host of features common to most high-end keyboards, Craft boasts a standout "crown" located on the top-left corner of the device.

This "Creative Input dial" is designed to speed up professional imaging workflows, with initial support for many Adobe apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and InDesign for macOS and Windows. Microsoft's Office suite is supported in Windows -- but at present there is no support on the Mac.




Our initial impressions of the hardware itself are good. The keyboard feels solid, and the typing experience is excellent, reminiscent of Apple's Retina MacBook Pro.




The dial has sufficient heft and resistance, and automatically switches between clicking and smooth turning based on the application and setting. So far, we are surprised by how intuitive the dial is to use -- in the limited software suite that directly supports it, of course.

So far, the biggest drawback we've seen appears to be software. Beyond severely limited support, we also saw quite a few bugs in general use on macOS.

The Logitech Craft doesn't ship until October, so we're hoping that the core Logitech software will be smoothed out before launch, and we'll be looking for better third-party integrations going forward.

In the coming weeks we will be using the Craft advanced keyboard with multiple applications and will report back with our full review after its release.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,368member
    Thanks for the update. Those keys look seriously 'cupped'... did that feel odd at all?

    The software would concern me to, as that hasn't been their strong suit. However, the more recent Logitech Options for the MX Master (mouse) is pretty good compared to previous incarnations, so there is hope.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    I’ll reserve judgement until I can try one myself, but my right hand is my “mouse/trackpad” hand, so it looks to me like the knob is on the wrong end. We’ll see, I guess.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    What exactly does the dial do beyond looking like a volume knob? Personally I'm drawing a blank as to how I would really use it let alone need one. Most pro's who need better controls are going to buy dedicated controllers, not a schlock keyboard with a "multi-use" knob. Seems like an overpriced gimmick reminiscent of 90's garbage to me. 
  • Reply 4 of 10
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,368member
    chasm said:
    I’ll reserve judgement until I can try one myself, but my right hand is my “mouse/trackpad” hand, so it looks to me like the knob is on the wrong end. We’ll see, I guess.
    Yea, although I suppose it makes sense that you'd be more likely to be adjusting something while using the mouse than typing.

    What exactly does the dial do beyond looking like a volume knob? Personally I'm drawing a blank as to how I would really use it let alone need one. Most pro's who need better controls are going to buy dedicated controllers, not a schlock keyboard with a "multi-use" knob. Seems like an overpriced gimmick reminiscent of 90's garbage to me. 
    For any thing where you need some fine-adjustment quickly, especially while doing something else. For example, when editing audio or video, trying to grab some slider or 'virtual knob' with the mouse is pretty sloppy, and then you can't be adjusting something else that's more mouse-appropriate.

    That said, my primary interest is having a high-quality keyboard that pairs well with multiple devices. Then, the question becomes.... is that knob and the overall, possibly, higher quality of this make it worth spending another $50-80.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,051member
    My question would be - why a knob? What does an old-school Knob accomplish that a touch slider couldn't? Like take that fugly bar that the knob is attached to, turn it sideways & put it on the left side and make it a touch slider. Come to think of it, is there an app out there that essentially does this for Apple's touch pad or is this what it already does? Like magic prefs? If so I might get one. 
    edited September 2017 spliff monkey
  • Reply 6 of 10
    chasm said:
    I’ll reserve judgement until I can try one myself, but my right hand is my “mouse/trackpad” hand, so it looks to me like the knob is on the wrong end. We’ll see, I guess.
    That’s why it’s on the left side — your right hand is on your primary pointer and the left is using the adjustment knob. 
  • Reply 7 of 10

    cornchip said:
    My question would be - why a knob? What does an old-school Knob accomplish that a touch slider couldn't? Like take that fugly bar that the knob is attached to, turn it sideways & put it on the left side and make it a touch slider. Come to think of it, is there an app out there that essentially does this for Apple's touch pad or is this what it already does? Like magic prefs? If so I might get one. 
    For the same reason many feel a physical pointer device is better for precise pixel editing than a touch pad which relies on finger tracing alone — better fine adjustment and control. For a mouse it’s the whole hand, for a trackball or dial it’s multiple fingers, but in either case you have more finely turned motor control for very precise micro movements. 
    anomecgWerks
  • Reply 8 of 10
    anomeanome Posts: 956member

    cornchip said:
    My question would be - why a knob? What does an old-school Knob accomplish that a touch slider couldn't? Like take that fugly bar that the knob is attached to, turn it sideways & put it on the left side and make it a touch slider. Come to think of it, is there an app out there that essentially does this for Apple's touch pad or is this what it already does? Like magic prefs? If so I might get one. 
    For the same reason many feel a physical pointer device is better for precise pixel editing than a touch pad which relies on finger tracing alone — better fine adjustment and control. For a mouse it’s the whole hand, for a trackball or dial it’s multiple fingers, but in either case you have more finely turned motor control for very precise micro movements. 

    The key is haptic feedback. A touch control wouldn't offer any resistance to give you a sense of how far you've moved it. This is important for fine control. Especially if you have the fine motor control of a new born chimpanzee, like I do.


    Our initial impressions of the hardware itself are good. The keyboard feels solid, and the typing experience is excellent, reminiscent of Apple's Retina MacBook Pro.

    Is this the same Retina MacBook Pro that has numerous reviewers complaining about the "awful" keyboard? (Personally, I love it, but I keep hearing from people who don't.)

    cgWerks
  • Reply 9 of 10
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,368member
    cornchip said:
    My question would be - why a knob? What does an old-school Knob accomplish that a touch slider couldn't? Like take that fugly bar that the knob is attached to, turn it sideways & put it on the left side and make it a touch slider. Come to think of it, is there an app out there that essentially does this for Apple's touch pad or is this what it already does? Like magic prefs? If so I might get one. 
    I guess to each their own, but when it's possible/practical, I'll almost always take an analog control to some kind of touch-surface. When you go to a sound studio, do you see knobs and sliders, or touch surfaces?

    anome said:
    Is this the same Retina MacBook Pro that has numerous reviewers complaining about the "awful" keyboard? (Personally, I love it, but I keep hearing from people who don't.)
    Yea, the MBP went through so many odd keyboard transitions, that it would be better to have a comparison to some desktop keyboards (or the MBP keyboards before they started experimenting. I can't recall where the Retina MBP keyboard falls in.)
  • Reply 10 of 10
    I thought most creative's keyboards already had a knob attached  ;)
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