That headline up there is not hyperbole. I’m not having to stretch even a bit to crown this new duo from Logitech as the best set of wireless, Bluetooth accessories I’ve ever used with a Chromebook. We’ll get to why I think that after we go over what is on offer from the simplistic, functional duo. Don’t hear me saying this is the best keyboard or mouse you will ever use. They are good, not great, but it is in their connectivity that I find such relief. Let’s talk first about the outside bits, though.
For the mouse (M355), you get a small, thin, unassuming mouse with little in the way of innovation. Instead, Logitech has built a mouse that is comfortable to use, small enough to slip in a bag, and quiet enough to really surprise you. The buttons click and you clearly feel it, but you can barely hear it. The scroll wheel feels great and it’s click is one of the best on a scroll wheel I’ve felt – odd superlatives aside. The entire top portion lifts off and is magnetically held in place, so changing the battery or storing away the unifying dongle is simple and hassle-free. Finally, there’s a button on the bottom that allows you to switch between connections – unifying receiver or Bluetooth – that is a simple, effective way to allow dual modes without getting in the way.
The keyboard (K580) is equally Spartan, giving users a solid key travel, good click, and relatively quite operation. The numberpad is nice to have as always and the slight lift on the back of the keyboard helps with ergonomics. The majority of the keyboard is insanely thin, so this thing can travel well. The tray up top can hold your phone or smaller tablet if that’s your thing, but I didn’t find a real use for it on a daily basis.
The keyboard isn’t as binary as the mouse in its connections, though, and there are two buttons on the top row that allow users to pair whatever they’d like to either preset. You could pair the keyboard to your Chromebook for #1 and to your phone for #2 and quickly switch between if you like. You can also pair one preset to the unifying receiver and simply let the two settings move you back and forth between Bluetooth and dongle connectivity as well. That’s been my go-to setup.
As both of these devices are branded with the ‘Made for Google’ logo, it is no surprise that the keyboard layout is fully made for Chrome OS. As a guy who has used countless keyboards built with Windows or MacOS in mind, it is refreshing to use a wireless keyboard made specifically for my device. I don’t have to hunt for function keys, I have a Google Assistant key, and all the regular ways I use a Chromebook keyboard simply work. I’ve really enjoyed that.
Bluetooth is the real story
All those things are great, and from a hardware perspective, this mouse/keyboard duo are good at being input workhorses. I’ve used them exclusively for well over a week now, and I love them both. Are they the best keyboard and mouse I’ve ever used? Not by a long shot. Are they the best wireless accessories I’ve ever used on my Chromebook? Yes. By a long shot.
It’s no secret that Chrome OS has been sketchy when it comes to Bluetooth. Things are wonky and it seems that until devices with Bluetooth 5.0 start arriving this year, there’s no clear fix-all in sight. Even so, Logitech has done something with the K580 and M355 that I’ve never experienced on a Chrome OS device: they fixed Bluetooth. I don’t know how they’ve accomplished this and I frankly don’t care. I just know that I’ve paired these up with a few different Chromebooks and worked all day with them and they never, ever drop connection.
There has yet to be a single case where I go to wake my Chromebook and have to re-pair or reconnect these accessories. Their pairing is so solid it is actually shocking to me. I do wish Chrome OS would allow Bluetooth devices to wake up Chromebooks from sleep and I think that is being worked on, but for now it isn’t a thing. The connection with this mouse and keyboard is so solid that I think this would be a pair of accessories I would fully expect to stay connected routinely enough to act as my wake up action when my device falls into sleep mode. For now, I just touch the space bar on the Chromebook and by the time my hands get back to the keyboard, things are already connected and ready to go. Every. Single. Time.
Sure, you can use the unifying receiver to get this same solid connection, but who want to mess with that? I’ve defaulted to the unifying dongle for years because of Chrome OS’ deficiencies, but with this new mouse and keyboard, I’ve left dongle life behind. If you, like me, favor a solid connection and Chrome-specific keys over the most premium build quality, then this keyboard and mouse are likely for you. At $49 for the keyboard and $29 for the mouse, the value is quite clear. If for no other reason, it is simply wonderful to experience wireless accessories with Chromebooks that work this well. You know, like they were made for one another.