Logitech TK820 review: Touch pad and keyboard in one nifty package

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The Good The ergonomic keys on the Logitech TK820 are a pleasure to touch, the integrated touch pad is fully compatible with 13 Windows 8 gestures, four AA batteries last for an impressive six months of use, and the convenient Unifying Receiver plays nicely with other Logitech peripherals.

The Bad Nighttime users will lament the lack of backlit keys, and there's no indication of remaining battery life.

The Bottom Line With a spacious touch pad, a satisfying typing experience, and impressive battery life, the Logitech TK820 is well recommended if you're looking to add an external input device to a Windows 8 desktop without a touch screen.

7.3 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 7
  • Support 8

By now we can all hear the steady ringing of a death knell for the traditional computer mouse. Apple has been quietly nudging us down the path for more than a decade, with multitouch touch pads, phones, and tablets, and Microsoft has gone all-in with its touch-based Windows 8 -- and, soon, 8.1 -- PC operating systems.

Of course, those with older, pre-touch-screen Windows hardware may still wish to ditch the mouse and upgrade to one of the newer Microsoft operating systems. And for those folks, Logitech offers the TK820: a keyboard and touch pad merged into a sleek package that gives you the speed of typing with the convenience of using all 13 Windows 8 touch-based gestures.

The shape of the unit is a single piece that effectively merges two previous Logitech peripherals: the Tablet Keyboard and the Touchpad T650.

If you glued the Logitech Touchpad T650 (right) to a keyboard, you'd get the TK820. Sarah Tew/CNET

The base board is only 0.8 inch thick but the plastic has a healthy heft to it thanks to the rounded battery compartment on top that gives it a little extra weight and keeps the device from moving around. The bottom of the keyboard also has four rubber feet on each corner for this purpose as well.

In terms of design, I was disappointed to see that Logitech omits the retractable "feet" that allow you to control the amount of tilt on the keyboard. It's not a big deal, but it might be an issue if you're shopping for an ergonomic input device to address repetitive stress.

The surface of the base board as well as the keys themselves are a matte black shade that complements the subtle blue accents on the secondary F1-F12 keys, giving off an executive look without the uptight attitude.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you tilt the keyboard onto its side, you'll notice the same royal-blue hue lining the perimeter, and Logitech seems to be extending this color scheme to other devices under the brand, including the Logitech UE Boombox and the UE9000 Bluetooth headphones.

This is a wireless keyboard and mouse set that shakes hands with your computer through the accompanying USB dongle. The TK820 is also a member of the Unifying family of peripherals made by Logitech that allows you to control several Logitech-branded devices using a single bite-size USB receiver -- its size also makes it convenient for sticking into tight spaces, like the back of an already crowded television set.

The keyboard is more or less the standard QWERTY layout, though the tenkeyless design means you'll have to use the number row to input digits. Additionally, you'll notice that you also don't get any of the keys that normally appear just to the left of the number pad, including Delete, Home/End, and Page Up/Page Down.

Instead, the Insert and Delete buttons are rerouted to the end of the function row and you have to hit the Fn shortcut button next to the Windows key if you want to quickly jump down the page.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The keys themselves are part of Logitech's PerfectStroke system that gives your fingers uniform tactile feedback across the entire surface of the key, instead of one "sweet spot" in the center.