The Ergo K860 for business is one of the first Logitech models to introduce the Logi Bolt standard for wireless connections.
Logi Bolt was introduced to solve the great problem of wireless peripherals: there are more and more of these in offices and homes, and their connections can cause interference with each other. As a result, latency goes up, speed goes down, and they can even cause errors.
In a personal environment that may not be so serious, but in offices, where there may be dozens of devices connected at the same time, it is. The bad thing is that it is one of those things that are not ‘visible’, so you may be suffering from this problem right now and do not know it.
Logi Bolt, this is the new connection
Logitech’s solution is called Bolt, and it basically consists of using another adapter with a different connection. Bolt is based on Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) technology, but with enough differences to avoid most of its problems; This has made it possible to take advantage of its advantages, such as low energy consumption and gain compatibility with devices that already use Bluetooth.
Logi Bolt devices can be used in two ways: as a conventional Bluetooth accessory, or with the USB-A adapter. Only in the second case will we really take advantage of Bolt’s advantages, while in the first, they will behave like conventional Bluetooth devices.
The great advantage is that we can use a keyboard like this Ergo K860 on any tablet, mobile phone and computer with a Bluetooth connection . It appears like any other when we look for a new device and it works just as well as any other; or just as bad. In this Bluetooth mode, we really noticed the typical latency issues of this technology.
Bluetooth may have allowed us to connect all kinds of devices in a simple way, but it is also a somewhat old technology with many imperfections. In the Ergo K860, that is evident when we look at how long it takes for the letter to appear on the screen when we press the corresponding key. It’s neither better nor worse than other Bluetooth keyboards in that regard, and in fact, it may not even be that bad for many users.
The story changes when we use Logi Bolt, with the included USB-A receiver. If we connect it to a computer, we will immediately notice the difference, without having to do anything : the receiver is already synchronized with the factory keyboard.
My first impressions were good. I immediately noticed the difference from the Bluetooth mode, and it’s something you’ll appreciate if you type relatively fast. It is undeniable that the latency is lower, although it has not disappeared; Logi Bolt is still wireless and therefore will never be able to achieve the same speed and latency as a cable.
In latency testing, what surprised me the most about Logi Bolt is the stability and consistency of the logs. In wireless connections, it is normal that some keystrokes take less time than others, and this is something that I could verify with the Bluetooth connection, which as soon as it dropped to about 120 milliseconds as it shot to almost 400 ms. With Logi Bolt, the connection was much more stable, staying between 100 and 200 ms, with very few peaks at 300 ms. It was satisfying, if not revolutionary.
Where the Logi Bolt difference will really show up will be in multi-device environments, and sadly, I haven’t been able to test it like that. On paper, having Bolt use his own standard can help decongest an office with many connected devices.
The keyboard, as good as ever
Best of all, at first glance, Logitech products with the Logi Bolt connection look exactly the same as normal ; in fact, the Ergo K860 for business has only two differences from the regular Ergo K860: the name and the included adapter.
Therefore, we are facing a keyboard whose absolute priority is ergonomics, and that is evident at a glance. It is not a flat keyboard, but rather has a curvature designed to put your hands at a more right angle. Many people do not know it, but the horizontal position is not natural for our arms; if we put our hands vertically, we force our muscles less. This is why many people prefer upright mice, for example.
With the Ergo K860, the hands are not fully vertical, as it would be difficult to use the keyboard that way; but it is different enough to require adaptation time.
The first time you try to type with this keyboard, you won’t get a hit. That has been my case, the placement of the hands is completely different from what I am used to. It is important to take advantage of the gigantic wrist rest , supporting the end of the arm and allowing the hands to find their place without forcing them.
In my case, the adaptation process has helped me to realize how I type on the keyboard, something that I learned on my own and that I now discover was not the best. The problem is that sometimes I press the “B” with my right hand, and the “Y” with my left; but on this keyboard, they are each on the opposite side, and the curvature makes it difficult to press them with the usual hand. The learning period may not be short, but it will be worth it as soon as we notice less pain in the wrists and fingers.
Ergonomics have not prevented this keyboard from being very complete. We not only have a numeric keypad, but also a variety of keys with special functions. The keyboard is compatible with both Windows and Mac, and we can switch from one to the other with a combination of keys.
As for the feel, this is a membrane keyboard and therefore does not offer the same touch as a mechanical one; but it’s probably one of the best membrane keyboards on the market. The keys have a certain travel, although they cannot escape the “spongy” sensation of this technology; in addition, they are completely silent.
One objectionable aspect is that this keyboard can only be wireless ; We cannot connect a USB cable and disconnect it when we want to continue working elsewhere. It does not have internal batteries, but depends on two AAA batteries, although in its favor it must be said that Logitech promises a duration of two years; but in return, the keys are not backlit and that will affect us if we work at night in low light environments.
The Logitech Ergo K860 was already a great ergonomic keyboard in its consumer version, so it stands to reason that in its business version with Logi Bolt it is too. If you are looking for an ergonomic keyboard, that you can connect to up to 3 devices at the same time , and that is compatible with both your tablet and your computer, there is no better choice.
But that has made me wonder what Logi Bolt really brings. There are many things to improve, typical of the beginnings of any technology. I miss such simple details as a place on the keyboard to store the USB receiver and not get lost, something that other Logitech wireless keyboards do have.
I also wonder to what extent it was really necessary to create new technology to solve the problems that Logitech raises, considering that it already offers wireless keyboards with 2.4Ghz connections that work very well and also have low latency.
Logi Bolt is exclusive to Logitech , and we won’t see it on other companies’ products; It also means using another adapter, which is not compatible with any of the devices we already have. At least each of these receivers is capable of connecting to 6 Logi Bolt devices at the same time.
There is no doubt that Logi Bolt brings many advantages, but it gives me the feeling that we are only at the beginning. I predict that we will begin to see it in more products, although at the moment, those responsible for Logitech have not been able to answer me if that will be the case.
The Logitech Ergo K860 for business is only available through their sales department, but the consumer version (without Logi Bolt) is available for 125 euros.