The Logitech Craft keyboard is what happens when a keyboard engineer glimpses Microsoft’s Surface Dial hockey-puck peripheral and decides: We can do that, too. Pairing a small, Dial-like keyboard knob with software templates pre-configured for popular apps makes the Craft a useful tool for almost any application. When it ships in October, however, it’ll come with a hefty $200 price tag attached.

Nevertheless, as a productivity tool, the Craft (for both Macs and Windows PCs) is worth serious consideration. Logitech dubs its version of the Dial the Crown, and you can tap it, spin it, or push-and-turn it to perform various functions on an app-by-app basis. Logitech’s approach feels much more like something everyone could use, while the Surface Dial still feels like a specialized instrument for digital illustrators and artists.

Aesthetically, though, there’s room for improvement. The Craft weighs a ponderous 2.08 pounds, anchored by a broad metal bar that runs across the top of the keyboard and houses the 1,500mAh battery, plus the electronics driving the crown. You can’t adjust the Craft’s slope. And personally, I found the Craft’s scalloped keys to have a shallower travel than I’d like. 

Unfortunately, the beta software that controls the Craft sometimes became confused about what application I was working within. Even a few updates hadn’t solved all of its problems by the end of my time with it.  Partly for that reason, we’re holding back from presenting a formal review. But for now, I’d characterize the Logitech Craft as a decent keyboard, with an intriguing, powerful, but still slightly problematic ability to take productivity into a new dimension.

Logitech Craft overall Mark Hachman / IDG

The Logitech Craft advanced keyboard includes the “crown,” to the upper left.

Basic specs: Solid, but clunky

The Craft measures just short of 17 inches across, 5.88 inches from front to back, and about 1.13 inches thick. According to Logitech, the pitch—the distance from the center of one key to the next—is 19 millimeters.

At just over two pounds, the keyboard lands on your desk with a thunk. Unfortunately, it lacks the traditional hinge or legs to adjust the slope, set at 4.7 degrees. It’s absolutely sturdy, however, without any discernible flex.

Logitech Craft crown Mark Hachman / IDG

A closeup of the Logitech Craft crown, slightly larger than the size of a quarter.

With the Craft’s added functionality, though, comes the need to set it up. Connecting the Craft to your PC means either pairing it via Bluetooth or with the associated Logitech unifying receiver, a USB dongle that’s included in the box. You’ll also need to download the associated Logitech Options software, the secret sauce that connects the Craft’s crown to the applications on your PC. Because it’s an executable file, that means that the Craft won’t work with Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 S operating system. Windows also doesn’t recognize the Craft’s crown as a Surface Dial, meaning it can’t take on any of that device’s functions. 

The first cause for concern is the battery life. According to Logitech, the Craft will last just a week with the backlight powered on. (By contrast, Logitech’s popular K360 wireless keyboard lasts three years on a AA battery.)

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