Review – Logitech K400r Keyboard

Why I bought the K400r

The front side of the K400r.
The front side of the K400r.

My laptop keyboard is acting up so I decided to take it out and clean and look to see if I can find any problems (unfortunately, I could not, so I will have to order a new replacement for that one). I wanted to make sure I had a backup keyboard if that one completely fried after my tinkering. I checked around and finally decided to try the Logitech K400r . The selling points for me:

  • Cheap
  • Has a built in touch pad (incase I ever wanted to hook it up to remotely control my projector from the couch).
  • The batteries are supposed to last a long time.
The Battery Case for the K400r
The Battery Case for the K400r on the left you can see the storage slot for the USB dongle.

What I Like About this Keyboard

Let me start by saying I may be a little biased against this keyboard because I use exclusively full-sized keyboards. My laptops are all 17″ with full-sized keyboards, my work computers all have ergonomic or other wired full-size keyboards. The result is that it is a little bit of an adjustment to switch to this smaller more compact keyboard. I think it is similar to what you might find on a 13-15″ laptop. If you already use a laptop in this size then this should be an easy adjustment.

  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Good Range (it works flawlessly much further than my Logitech M510 wireless mouse, why? I have no idea, it just does)
  • The touch pad mouse is actually neat and convenient, I wasn’t sure if this would be good or bad when I bought the keyboard
  • The rubber feet on the bottom grip a variety of surfaces well
Backside of the K400r showing the rubber grip feet.
Backside of the K400r showing the rubber grip feet.
  • The convenience buttons are useful, I mostly use the volume up/down/mute, play/pause/rewind and power/sleep buttons. These all worked out of the box simple plug and play with no setup required.
  • A convenient slot to store the USB dongle
  • The keys feel nice and they reflex (raise back up after being pushed) well.

The Bad

Most of the complaints I have are fairly minor and I think with continued use would become a non-issue.

  • First the Shift key on the right hand side of the keyboard just underneath the enter key is tiny. I am used to a full sized shift key and this often results in me changing lines while typing when I attempt to capitalize letters. After a week of use this has become less problematic but it was really frustrating at first.
The on/off switch on the top side of the keyboard.
The on/off switch on the top side of the keyboard.
  • Second, many of the convience buttons (which I really like) are built into the F1, F2, F3 … F12, Scr Lk, Print Scr buttons, this in and of itself is not bad. My gripe is that all of these standard keyboard keys (F1, F2, F3 …) all require your press the FN button on this keyboard. My preference would be to follow convention and make the convience buttons require the FN key. I think perhaps Logitech envisioned people using this more for media than on a laptop and that is perhaps why they put the priority on the convience buttons.
  • The keys are not backlit, you may or may not care about this but from someone who is used to playing in the dark and used to backlit keys this was annoying.

That’s it! Only three complaints. Additionally, Logitech released an upgraded version the K400 Plus which increases the size of the shift key. They squashed the up and down arrow keys in the new design so I am not sure it is perfect but I would certainly like that a little better and probably splurge the difference in price for the newer one if I were to buy this keyboard again.

Final Verdict

This keyboard does what it advertises and it does it cheaply. There are a couple flaws that I observed but if cheap and adequate is your objective then this will get the job done. Finally, if your primary usage is media (audio/video) then all of my gripes may be less meaningful and this keyboard would do an excellent job at a very affordable price.  I say buy if you are getting it for high portability, media usage, or cheap temporary usage while getting your normal rig fixed. If you are looking for a more everyday use keyboard for more traditional computer tasks or for gaming then this is not a keyboard that I would recommend for those purposes.