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The Logitech Ergo K860 is an ergonomic keyboard that is comfortable to use with a standing desk or when you're seated

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Logitech Ergo K860
Simon Hill/Business Insider

When you spend hours every day in front of a computer anything that can ease discomfort and potential muscle strain is worth considering. The Logitech Ergo K860 is an ergonomic keyboard with a split key design, large wrist rest, and an unusual negative tilt which encourages good posture and makes for an impressively comfortable typing experience.

This keyboard is pleasant to type on, reduces stress on your muscles, and adjusts to accommodate sitting or standing positions. It also packs some truly handy special features, including support for multiple devices with dedicated keys to jump between them. I found the switch from a regular keyboard a little bumpy at first, but after using the Ergo K860 for a couple of weeks the benefits have become clear.

Design

Logitech Ergo K860
Simon Hill/Business Insider

Crafted from curved, matte, black plastic with a large dark-gray wrist rest and a pronounced peak where the keys split, the Logitech Ergo K860 features an eye-catching design. This is a large one-piece keyboard, so it won't suit anyone with a cramped desktop. It's a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad on the far right and several shortcut keys.

The idea behind the triangular peak that splits the keys is to discourage you from pushing your wrists too close together, which can cause strain in your back muscles. If you're not used to a split keyboard, the Logitech Ergo K860 might be a good place to start as it's still a one-piece keyboard and there isn't too much of a gap, as opposed to split keyboards with literally two parts. Logitech has also cleverly fine-tuned the height of the keys nearest the gap to reduce the learning curve and make it easier to feel your way by touch.

An angled position is also better for your wrists, but, because the aim is to minimize the movements and twists required to type, the feet on the bottom of this keyboard are at the front and they angle it the opposite way to traditional keyboards. You have the option of leaving it flat or adjusting to a -4 or -7-degree angle. This is particularly useful if you have a standing desk, as it allows you to maintain the right wrist position at different heights.

The wrist rest is permanently attached to the bottom of the keyboard. It looks like gray fabric, but it's comprised of memory foam, with a denser layer of foam on top, finished with a smooth, wipe-clean surface layer. It's very comfortable to use, with a firm feel, and it doesn't get too hot as some wrist rests can.

Specifications

Dimensions: 17.95 x 1.89 x 9.17 inches

Weight: 40.92 ounces

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 via USB-A receiver

Wireless range: 33 feet

Power: 2x AAA batteries

Compatibility: For Bluetooth LE (Windows 8, Windows 10 or later, macOS 10.13 or later) and for

USB Receiver (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows10 or later, macOS 10.13 or later)

Setup

In the box alongside the Logitech Ergo K860 keyboard, you'll find a pair of AAA batteries and a USB receiver. Plug the receiver into a USB-A port on your computer, flick the switch on the bottom of the keyboard, and you should be good to go. If you already have a wireless Logitech mouse, then you can use the same receiver to pair the keyboard. If your computer is Bluetooth-enabled, you can forego the receiver.

You'll be prompted to install the Logitech Options software, which enables you to configure the keyboard. You can customize the function keys and there's a function lock button to switch between the function keys and media controls. You can also skip the software if you plan to use the keyboard at its most basic.

There are three easy-switch keys, which enable you to pair the keyboard with three different devices simultaneously and tap a key to switch between them. For example, you can connect the keyboard to a computer, smartphone, and tablet.

Performance and features

Logitech Keyboard
Amazon

I used a Logitech K350 keyboard for years, and more recently I've been testing some mechanical keyboards. I've never used a split key design like this for any length of time before, so switching to the Ergo K860 felt strange at first. There was a definite adjustment period and it took me a few days to break the urge to cross that divide. Mistypes began to evaporate after a couple of days and my typing speed recovered after around a week.

This is a chiclet keyboard, but there is a decent amount of travel in the keys, more than with my MacBook, for example. If you're a mechanical keyboard fan, then this obviously won't suit you. The big advantages are comfort and quiet. I find the Logitech Ergo K860 extremely comfortable to type on, with slightly concave keys that feel satisfyingly springy, and it's the quietest keyboard I've ever used.

As a wireless keyboard, you may worry about how responsive it is or have concerns about lag, but I haven't had any issues. I've mainly used it with a Windows 10 PC and the USB receiver. I was also able to pair it with my MacBook via Bluetooth. Being able to switch between the two with a press of a key is very convenient.

For the first couple of days, I was uncertain about the angle of the Logitech Ergo K860, but the reason for the downward dip became apparent as my wrists adjusted to it. I feel that's there's less strain on my wrists as I type, and the benefits extend all the way up my arms into my shoulders. I have also gotten into the habit of changing the angle of the keyboard when I stand and lowering it when I sit to maintain the right feel. I'm pleased to report that it works very well with a standing desk.

As great as the Logitech Ergo K860 is for long days writing, it's not well suited to long nights gaming. I may simply be too set in my ways, but it feels strange to me to play games on, especially first-person shooters and other fast-paced action games. There's also no backlighting here. This is understandable, as it's designed for office use first and foremost.

The lack of backlit keys is no doubt one of the reasons that Logitech suggests you can squeeze two years of use out of the two AAA batteries. I would have preferred a rechargeable battery, but at least they won't require changing too often.

Insider Reviews Senior Editor Les Shu has also been using the Ergo K860 for the past nine months and he agrees with my assessment. In terms of battery life, it has not been an issue, as is still using the AAA batteries that came with his unit; the keyboard has a battery-saving feature, so you don't have to physically turn it on and off to conserve battery. He also found that his wrists haven't suffered from pain due to prolonged typing. If there is one annoyance, it's that he oftentimes would accidentally hit the print screen key instead of backspace, which takes an unwanted screenshot. 

The bottom line

Logitech Ergo K860
Simon Hill/Business Insider

Ultimately, the biggest compliment I can give the Logitech Ergo K860 is that I want to keep using it, but I am considering a dual keyboard setup, so I can switch to a more gaming-centric option at the end of each workday.

If you're experiencing wrist or shoulder strain with a regular keyboard, then the Logitech Ergo K860 can help you. If you're already used to split keyboards, then it's going to be a great choice. For office environments where you're typing a lot, the Logitech Ergo K860 ticks all the boxes and it's especially handy if you frequently switch between a desktop and laptop but want to stick with one keyboard.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Logitech Ergo K860 may be the best ergonomic keyboard around, though the $129.99 price is quite steep.

What are your alternatives?

There are several cheaper ergonomic keyboards on the market that will also help reduce strain and boost comfort.

The Microsoft Sculpt ($69.99) offers a split key design and separate number keypad and comes in significantly cheaper.

If you're a gamer, then the backlit, and highly customizable, Razer Ornata V2 ($99.99) offers an interesting hybrid switch design and boasts a supremely comfortable wrist rest.

Pros: Ergonomic shape, comfortable wrist support, adjustable angle for sitting and standing, supports multiple devices 

Cons: No backlighting, requires batteries, large

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