We're on a quest to find the most popular ergonomic keyboard in the world.
Today, we will give a full review of the Logitech K860, the best-selling ergonomic keyboard on Amazon. It has more than 6,653 reviews with a 4.6 rating! But is it that good? And most importantly, could we improve it?
Why is it The Logitech K860 so popular?
The Logitech K860 was introduced in 2019. Drawing inspiration from acclaimed keyboards like the Microsoft Sculpt and the Kinesis Advantage 2, it inherited the split layout feature and integrated wrist rests for added comfort.
It's a keyboard from a renowned peripheral brand that has recently been upping its game in ergonomic peripherals. If you already use a Logitech ergonomic mouse like the popular MX Vertical, you might trust them when getting an ergonomic keyboard.
Another factor is familiarity. Besides the split layout and the wrist rests, the K860 looks similar to a traditional keyboard. For new users who've just started their Ergonomic Journey, it's easier to adapt to.
Logitech K860 Unboxing
Unboxing the Logitech K860 is not the most exciting experience, but it's cool that all the containers are made of recycled materials.
This keyboard is designed to provide ergonomics on a budget, so it makes sense that the money is not spent on fancy packaging.
The weight is a bit heavy for a non-mechanical keyboard. It's 1093 grams. For reference, a full-size mechanical keyboard is 1217 grams. The Raise is 836 grams, palm pads included. But it's a 60% keyboard.
The keycaps are made of ABS recycled plastic. The legends are silk-screen printed, the same process used on most laptops' keycaps. Unfortunately, with time, these legends will fade.
The keyboard has chiclet switches, an evolution of old membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards have no tactile feedback. Chiclet keyboards add a rubber dome on the top, giving a bump on each key press.
It is intuitive, user-friendly, easy to set up, and connects instantly to the computer. It works with RF and Bluetooth up to 3 devices.
For power, it uses two AAA batteries. Logitech claims it can work for two years, after which you can simply replace them. It should be feasible since the keyboard has no LEDs other than the caps lock and BT indicator.
Now, let's talk ergonomics.
Ergonomic features of the Logitech K860
The Logitech K860 has a fixed split layout with 8º of tenting. This helps with two things: ulnar deviation and hand pronation.
Ulnar deviation is when you bend your wrists outwards. Keeping your hands aligned with your forearms is easier with a split layout.
Hand pronation is when your palms are facing down, making the bones on your arms cross, pinching the muscles around your wrist. Tenting alleviates that.
However, it's essential to understand that you need to consider the three axes: X, Y, and Z to find your perfect typing position.
Ideally, the higher the angle, the closer the halves must be along the X-axis. On the contrary, if the tenting angle is not that high up on the Y-axis –like in this case– it would be more comfortable if the halves were farther apart on the X-axis.
The Logitech has a very small split, forcing you to be in this position where your arms are closer together than you'd want them to be. We made a video dedicated to this if you want to learn more about the ergonomics behind tenting.
Nevertheless, this is much better than a conventional keyboard. Just take a look at the angle of the wrists while typing.
Another critical thing to consider is that this is a tall keyboard. The low-profile switches and keycaps help, but still, it’s 4cm tall.
To account for this, you can push the keyboard farther up the Z axis and rest your elbows on the table or sit higher.
With your chair a bit higher, you can now try one of the best features of this keyboard: reverse tilting. There are two different angles, 4 and 7º.
However, reverse tilting works better if you have a standing desk. The palm pads help you place your hands comfortably on the keyboard, keeping your wrists at a neutral angle. They are soft enough, and the surface is relatively smooth.
Ergonomic Typing Experience
The keys are light, and the bump is not too hard. The travel distance is similar to laptops, but not as lovely as the tactility of the Apple Magic Keyboard.
However, I noticed one problem: whenever I need to use the mouse, it feels so.. far away.
This is partly because I'm used to a 60% keyboard, but it's also because the Logitech is wider than a full-size keyboard.
Logitech Configuration software
Let's move to another cool feature of this keyboard: it comes with a configuration software, Logitech Options, that lets you customize the keys' function. You can only modify the 16 keys in the upper row, the function keys, which, might I add, have extra options.
You can opt to use their default functions or customize them. Add your shortcuts, reorganize the media keys, open files or apps, you name it. If you could do this for the entire keyboard, that would be awesome.
Our thoughts on the best-selling ergonomic keyboard on Amazon
Considering that, at around $100, this is a relatively cheap ergonomic keyboard, we can understand why it's the most popular ergonomic keyboard on Amazon.
The fixed split and the tenting can be improved. The keycaps are underwhelming, and the typing experience of the chicklet switches is not the best. Still, you're getting many ergonomic features for that amount of money.
The keyboard has a split layout, tenting, and reverse tilting, which is not that common even in the most premium ergonomic keyboards.
Plus, the wireless connectivity is reliable. The layout is familiar, so it's easy to get used to for new ergo enthusiasts. Also, Logitech is a recognizable brand. So we can see why a lot of people like it.
How would we improve this ergonomic keyboard?
The only question that remains is, could we make it better while keeping it an entry-level ergonomic keyboard?
We would change the switches from chiclet to low-profile, hot-swappable mechanical switches. It's a small detail, but if ergonomics is all about efficiency and comfort, having switches that suit you best and that you find the most comfortable is always a win.
With hot-swappable switches, you can try out different types of switches with various operating forces, actuation distances. This would make it slightly more expensive, but we think it's worth it.
Second, we'd change the spacebars and turn them into multiple thumbkeys. If you place your hands on the home row, you'll see that your thumbs are right in the middle of these keys.
Thirdly, we'll also need to make all the keys fully programmable to make the most out of them.
Fourth, we would narrow the keyboard by removing the whole number pad section. Making it easier to reach for the mouse. Relocating the arrow keys, some people would miss the number pad but now that it's fully programmable, you can just put those in another layer.
Fifth, making the split 5 inches wider would be better. The fixed split now gives a 3.9-inch distance from F to J. So; we want the split to be at least 8 inches apart.
With the split a bit wider, we'd go to our sixth recommendation: put a trackpad in the middle. This will save you time moving from your home row to your mouse. But to keep the keyboard affordable, we could make this an option.
Another thing we'd love to add if we didn't have budget constraints would be per-key RGB. That helps you remember where your new custom keys are, but we can offer it as another extra.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Dygma Joint 2.0.