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Review: Logitech Ergo K860 Ergonomic Keyboard

As part of an ongoing effort to refine my work environment, several months ago I switched to a Logitech Ergo K860 ergonomic keyboard. While I’m not a “keyboard snob,” I am somewhat particular about the feel of my keyboard, so I wasn’t sure how I would like the K860. In this post, I’ll provide my feedback, and provide some information on how well the keyboard works with both Linux and macOS.

Setup

Setting up the K860 is remarkably easy. The first system I tried to pair it with was an older Mac Pro workstation, and apparently the Bluetooth hardware on that particular workstation wasn’t new enough to support the K860 (Logitech indicates that Bluetooth 5.0 is needed; more on that in a moment). Instead, I popped in the USB-A wireless receiver, and was up and running with the K860 less than a minute later. This was using macOS, but the Mac Pro also dual-booted Linux, so I rebooted into Linux and found that the K860 with the Logitech-supplied USB receiver continued to work without any issues.

Linux, macOS, and Dual Boot Support

The key takeaway regarding Linux is this: if you’re interested in getting the K860 for use with Linux, the included USB wireless receiver works great. I had zero issues with the keyboard, and I really liked that Logitech provided a way to switch the keyboard back and forth between PC and macOS keyboard layouts (press and hold Fn+P to switch to a PC layout—Cmd becomes Alt, Option becomes Start—or press and hold Fn+O to switch to a Mac layout).

Although the wireless receiver worked flawlessly with both Linux and macOS, including across reboots with a dual-boot system, Bluetooth did not fare so well. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to. At some point after getting the K860, I upgraded the Bluetooth hardware in the Mac Pro and switched the keyboard from the wireless receiver to Bluetooth. With that configuration, I needed to switch between two different “connections” (the K860 can be connected to up to 3 devices and you can switch between them using special keys on the keyboard) when rebooting between Linux and macOS. As I said, this was not entirely unexpected. For folks who are considering dual-boot configurations, the wireless receiver may be the best approach.

Bluetooth

I mentioned earlier that Logitech specifies Bluetooth 5.0 as a requirement. I found this not to be entirely true; the keyboard paired and worked fine with a 2017 MacBook Pro, which identified itself as Bluetooth 4.2. That being said, the older Mac Pro, which identified itself as Bluetooth 2.0 before the Bluetooth hardware upgrade, didn’t work at all with the keyboard via Bluetooth, so there is definitely some sort of minimum Bluetooth requirement in play here. After the hardware upgrade on the Mac Pro to bring it up to Bluetooth 5.0, the K860 worked fine with that system.

Quality and Feel

The keyboard feels great. I like the responsiveness of the keys; touch typing is a pleasure. The noise from typing isn’t that loud, so if you’re a fan of a loud keyboard you may not like the K860. If you’re a huge fan of mechanical keyboards, you may not like this keyboard, either. Although I find that the keyboard provides more than sufficient tactile and auditory feedback, others may prefer more. Build quality seems fine; I haven’t noticed any issues with the keyboard. It’s solid and sits firmly on my desk. The padded wrist rest is enough to provide some additional support, but isn’t obnoxious enough to get in the way.

Summary

In summary, I’m happy with the K860. It took a little while to acclimate to the split keyboard layout, but after getting accustomed to it it’s really quite comfortable. The keyboard looks great (it goes well with my Space Gray Magic Trackpad 2), feels great, and works great. I guess you can’t really ask for much more than that, can you?

Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions, comments, or feedback. I love to hear from readers!

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