Microsoft Launch All In One Multi-Platform Keyboard To Rival Logitech's K480

Just two weeks ago it was reported Logitech launched a very cool all-in-one keyboard, the K480. As a quick reminder the K480 was quite simply a real innovation which allows users to simultaneously connect to a laptop, tablet and smartphone screen. With a flick of a switch the user could alternate between each connected screen and start typing. Well, it now appears Logitech was not the only company creating such a nifty product. Microsoft it seems was hot on the heels of Logitech with their new Universal Mobile Keyboard (let's call it UMK for short). Identical to the K480 the UMK allows users to connect to a laptop, tablet and mobile screen at the same time. Again, using a switch the user can alternate between the screens without issue.

With so many similarities between the two devices what is different? Well, in short, not much. Both devices operate in an almost identical manner. However from a personal perspective the UMK does not look as attractive as the K480 which had a nice yellow/green outline to the keyboards dock. In contrast the UMK is rather more plain looking but is available in two colours, a plain black for most users and a white/grey (presumably for the Apple lovers). As you would expect the keyboard is Bluetooth and boasts some rather impressive charging options with Microsoft claiming the battery provides 6 months of usage on a single overnight charge. More impressively a 10 minute charge provides 8 hours of usage, apparently.

One interesting feature is the keyboard does not contain the typical Windows key one would expect from a Microsoft product which clearly suggests Microsoft are aiming this as a universal and not Microsoft-based product. Instead, the typical Windows key is now replaced by a more universally-friendly 'Home' key. Is this the start of Microsoft realising there are other platforms out there? Well, yes, it would seem that way. This is further likely when you consider the keyboard can be used on Windows, Android and iOS. One interesting difference between the UMK and K480 is UMK's attachment stand which also doubles as a keyboard cover, which simply folds over enclosing the keyboard for easy and safe transportation. There is one last difference between the two devices which is the price. Microsoft's version is coming in with a $30 premium compared to the K480 and as such will set you back $79.95. According to the Microsoft blog the device will be available sometime in October so stay tuned for further updates as we get them. So what do you think? Microsoft or Logitech? Which will you go for?

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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