logitech k480We did ourselves a favor last week and bought an external keyboard for our smartphone. Wow, what a pleasure to type on an actual keyboard instead of thumbing our way through the tiny keys on a phone screen answering email or anything.

We bought a Logitech K380 on sale for $40 at our local Office Depot. This is a standard brand, been around since the last ice age, and it was wireless; we did not have to connect it to our phone with a cable. Typing on a screen was for the birds. Just because they hunt and peck, why should we?  Typing on a roomy keyboard is fun.

So what else does it work with? Besides a phone, we mean. It works with iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, Windows PCs and Macs. Three buttons on the front let you switch between the Bluetooth wireless frequencies required to connect each of them.  The keyboard is heavier than we expected, seems to have a steel case. Still it’s less than a pound and feels nice and solid.

If you want to go upscale, for $150 you can get Logitech’s “Create Keyboard Case,” which holds both the keyboard and an iPad in a  closed case. When opened, it acts as a stand. Each key is backlit. Apple has a similar  “Smart Keyboard” for the new iPad Pro but its keys are not backlit. There’s also the $40 Logitech K480 with a slot for phone or tablet. (We saw it online after we bought our K380.)

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