Logitech K830 Living Room Keyboard Review

More and more of us are using Smart TV’s, but invariably we try and control this awesome power with a traditional magic wand. Plugging a media centre PC into the TV brings advantages – and challenges of its own. The problem of ‘remote control’ is central to this. Logitech has been spending money on research into this problem for many years and sent us its latest effort for judgement. Is it time to make space on the sofa for the K830?

The latest version of the Sky Remote is a wonder of modern design. Nothing else makes quite so much sense in your hand. Like the unchanging form of the shark beneath the ocean, this remote has been around forever and we love it. Unless you want to do something other than use a Sky box.

Controlling a smart TV etc using a remote – any remote – is a truly thankless task. Entering your broadband router’s 10-character password takes nerves of steel and the patience of a saint. Overall, you’re left with the feeling that tying shoelaces with chopsticks might be marginally easier.

So what if you decide to take control of your TV through something like a media centre PC?

In that case, you’d love a proper keyboard. But it would have to exhibit a very specific feature-set, including:-
You need to be able to find it/use it in the dark.
It would need to work smoothly at a distance of up to 10 metres (33 feet).
You won’t have a mouse mat, so that function needs to be built in.
Batteries are expensive and a pain, so rechargeable would be a bonus.
If a full charge lasted more than a week, that would be great.
Complex actions should be bunched together and/or allocated to a special key – so you get the advantage of a customisable layout.
Plenty of built in short-cuts for things that everyone will be doing on a regular basis.
It needs to look right next to your brand new Samsung 4K TV.

From what Logitech have told us, all of these feature points have been nailed by the K830.

Weighing in at 495 grams, the Logitech K830 is a substantial piece of kit. It has a robust feel, solid in the hand, but not so heavy as to be cumbersome. It’s just under 37cm long and just over 12cm high and 1.65cm deep. The touchpad on the right hand side measures 8cm x 5.2cm and is a good size for a control surface.

To use the Logitech K830, you will need a PC with Windows 7 or 8 installed. That PC will need an internet connection. So, basically, almost any modern PC will do.

The keyboard is guaranteed for 2 years, but that does not include your offspring pouring Coca-Cola into the mechanism (something which we have all experienced from time to time).

Logitech claims that a full charge is possible in 3 hours and that this will last 10 days. We tested it on and off for a few days, using a single 3 hour charge, and it ran perfectly smoothly.

The external packaging is suitably smart. Given that the keyboard is smaller than most gaming products, the box is also smaller. When you combine that smaller size with the increased weight from the added electronics etc, it adds up to a substantial feeling.

Inside the box, Logitech has gone to great lengths to make sure the K830 does not get scratched in transit.

You get a user guide, warranty card, USB cable and extender.

Most of the time, you’ll be plugging the USB receiver into your media centre PC and use the product remotely.

The keyboard looks perfect for the living room, front and back.

Getting in close to the design, you can see just how smooth everything is. It’s all functional as well. Check out the rear.

The left shot is a zoom into the ‘left mouse’ button – which stands alone on the back of the keyboard – in what would be the ‘top left corner’. Which will be easy to find in the dark.

The second shot is a close up on the mouse pad, complete with a set of 5 buttons. The small silver one on the back is the power button.

Finally, here’s an illuminated shot. To be honest, it doesn’t glow as strong as a gaming keyboard – but it’s not about branding. It’s about you being able to find the keys in a darkened room. In that sense, it provides ample illumination and the separation between keys is enough for you to be able to find your way around.

Although it is larger and chunkier than an iMac keyboard, that is the closest experience you’re going to find on a desktop. Not only is the key layout and spacing very similar to that of an iMac keyboard, the actual feel of the keys is similar in terms of responsiveness and activation pressure.

If you do plan to use this as a primary keyboard for a PC – and you like to elevate the rear when you’re typing fast – then that will be a minor disappointment as it stays flat. There are no feet.

If you are laying flat when using the keyboard, then prepare for a mini-revolution in fingering. We found ourselves doing it two handed, using our right thumb on the pad and our left index finger on the rear-facing left-mouse button. One obvious downside for this method of control would be that it does not suit left handed people at all. Given that less than 15% of the UK population is left handed, Logitech is still aiming for a large chunk of the available market.

So that brings us to our testing and conclusion on the Logitech K830. Can it deliver on its promises, does it fill a gap in the market and does it represent good value?

The primary test for us in this situation was the ‘remote control’ aspect of the keyboard’s functionality. With so many backlit keyboards around for the gaming community, it was the 10 metre interface claim that needed checking first and foremost.

It works. It did what it said it would do. With a full charge, we managed to control a system from 10 metres away without any difficulty. Given that most TV’s will be High Definition right now and most sofas are probably only 3-5m away from the screen/media centre PC, we reckon the distance claimed is ample for Western Europe.

From a practical day-to-day point of view, the K830 is easy to get used to and comfortable to use. Programming additional functionality is easy enough and the presets cover most of what you’re likely to be using regularly.

The trackpad does a good job of moving the mouse pointer where you want it and clicking away is straightforward, even in a pitch black room.

Needless to say, the K830 would be equally at home in the boardroom – to control presentations etc. It ‘looks’ professional and the long charge time is likely to be a bonus.

The recommended retail price of this keyboard is £89.99 inc vat, but there is a £10 off deal right now on Amazon UK (11% discount), for£79.99 inc vat.

Discuss on our Facebook page, over HERE.

Universal styling suits most living rooms.
Lighting is intelligent, not overpowering.
10m range is accurate, will work in most living rooms.


Could cost less.
Would be nice to have a choice of colour for the keys.
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