The K860 and the MX Vertical are two new products in Logitech's Ergo line.
37.5 million Germans are expected to have a typical office job – at a desk in front of a computer – this year, according to Statista. A figure that has risen sharply in recent years, which unfortunately also means that related conditions such as mouse arm, carpal tunnel syndrome and tension headaches will become more common. Ergonomic mice and keyboards can counteract this – Logitech has now launched a new line of ergonomic products for this purpose: the K860Ergo keyboard and the MX Vertical and MX Ergo mice. We took a look at the parts on site at Logitech.
Sitting incorrectly, the wrong distance and viewing angle to the screen, as well as the incorrect position of the mouse and keyboard can cause health problems if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. Tension headaches are one of them, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome or mouse arm, both also known as "RSI syndrome (Repetitive Strain Injury)" are called. This refers to recurring strains on the hand or arm that result in minimal injury to the hand or forearm.
Sufferers often report a tingling sensation in their fingers or hand, even numbness. To prevent it from happening in the first place, take regular breaks to stretch and exercise. Optimal prevention also includes maintaining the ideal monitor distance and using a good office chair. Peripheral devices such as mouse and keyboard can also help to prevent such complaints. We have tried the new models shown by hardware specialist Logitech – the keyboard K860 Ergo , the trackball variant MX Ergo.
Logitech K860 Ergo – a keyboard for frequent typists
With this keyboard, Logitech addresses all those who safely use the 10-finger system and have to do a lot of typing every day. Visually, the K860 Ergo is reminiscent of a wave in two respects – both from above and in frontal view, this basic shape is easily recognizable. Thanks to this design, your hands and wrists rest in a natural position on the keyboard, which keeps your shoulder and neck muscles more relaxed than with conventional keyboards.
The palm rest, which is permanently attached to the keyboard, consists of three materials: two layers of so-called "memory foam" and an easy-to-clean antibacterial coating. In addition, you can change the support angle, depending on your workstation you can choose between 0, -4 and -7 degrees. That is, the support rests at 0 degrees and is always raised a bit at the other two values, while the keyboard remains in its original position.
The minimal curvature of the keys increases the comfort when typing and gives a good grip when writing – ideal for those who master the 10-finger system. According to the manufacturer, the microswitches used should last for around 10 million strokes.
You can connect the keyboard to a Mac or Windows PC either via the included 2.4 GHz transmitter or via Bluetooth. Two AAA rechargeable batteries are sufficient as power source. And thanks to the Easy Switch technology, the keyboard can be used on up to three devices simultaneously. In addition, it is compatible with all mice that support Flow. However, you need the Logitech Options software to do this. The price of the keyboard is around 120 Euros.
By the way, you can teach yourself how to type with the 10-finger system using the freeware Tipp10. Ergonomic keyboard with palm rest. Slightly curved buttons for better grip when typing.
The waveform of the K860 Ergo can be seen very well in the picture. Among other things, this should improve the posture of the hands. Optimize forearms while typing.
MX Vertical – working at a 57 degree angle
Another new feature in the Logitech Ergo line is the lightweight 135-gram mouse that moves quickly and precisely across the mouse pad. The built-in sensor supports DPI resolutions from 400 to 4.000 DPI. This setting can be changed at the touch of a button. In addition, you can use the software Logitech Options four mouse buttons individually programmed.
Despite the low weight, the mouse is also suitable for people with large hands thanks to the dimensions of 7.85 cm in height, a width of 7.9 cm as well as a length of 12 cm, however, due to its shape, it is also only suitable for right-handers.
The MX Vertical is connected either via Bluetooth, the included Unifying adapter, which transmits at 2.4 GHz, or via cable to a USB port. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that the manufacturer claims will last several months on a single charge. You have to spend around 72 euros for the mouse.
Logitech MX Vertical
Logitech MX Vertical
Vertical mouse that supports the optimal arm angle – suitable for right-handed users only.
The upright orientation of the MX Vertical is supposed to make working more comfortable.
MX Ergo – control only via trackball
According to Logitech, the MX Ergo is even more comfortable – but again, only for right-handers: The muscular strain while working is supposed to be about 20 percent lower compared to a standard mouse. This is partly due to the trackball, which you can use to control the mouse pointer, and partly due to the base plate, which allows you to tilt the mouse by 20 degrees via a hinge on the left side. Thus, it visually approaches the MX Vertical.
However, the sensor built into the MX Ergo works with a lower resolution of 512 to 2.048 DPI. Despite the trackball, it only weighs 164 grams, and around 100 grams more with the metal base plate. The size of 13.3 cm in length, 5.1 cm in height and a width of 9.9 cm make the MX Ergo also interesting for users who have large hands. The width is so large because the trackball is integrated on the left side and a generously sized thumb rest is attached to it, which enables comfortable working.
To swap the mouse buttons or change the pointer speed, you also have to use Logitech Options. Just like the other two devices presented, the MX Ergo also supports the Flow feature. However, you can only switch between two devices with this mouse.
The MX Ergo does not differ from the vertical version in terms of connectivity either: Bluetooth, Unifying adapter or a USB cable are available. Logitech has also equipped its mouse with a built-in battery, which, according to the manufacturer, should last around four months once fully charged. You can already get the mouse for around 69 euro at various online retailers.
Logitech MX Ergo
Logitech MX Ergo
mouse with integrated trackball, which is supposed to reduce muscle strain by 20 percent.
The MX Ergo is based on the MX Master series. Thanks to the trackball, you can move the mouse pointer with your thumb.
In the Logitech design lab
Logitech develops new products in several "Design Labs", which are distributed around the world to the various company locations. We had the chance to take a look at the lab in Lausanne and learn a bit more about the individual production steps.
Each device begins its existence virtually, as a rough draft on the computer, before the engineers in the design lab build the first models based on it. Depending on the product, different materials are used for this purpose. For example, styrofoam is often used for keyboards for the first physical models, onto which the keyboard layout is glued from paper.
Variants that prove usable in the initial hands-on tests are then produced as a model using the 3D printer and given a keyboard that is not yet functional but is sufficient for further tests. This is supposed to simulate testers writing a text in order to check whether the design also proves itself in practice. It's not uncommon for a hundred or more models to be created from a wide variety of ideas. Logitech also tests various materials on the way to the final product. Lets the results from the "Ergo-Lab (see below) are incorporated into the development process. Meanwhile, engineers use computers to test the behavior of the selected materials in virtual drop tests, among other things, and thus further optimize the quality of the final product.
A look inside the Logitech design lab. In the foreground you can see the different models of the K860, in the background various drafts of the MX Vertical.
The Ergo Lab: measurements for better work
At the company's Lausanne site, however, there is more than just a "design lab", but also a small ergonomics lab, or "Ergo-Lab" for short. Here, test subjects are wired up with sensors and motors on their hands and forearms in order to take various measurements. Logitech's specialists record, for example, how much stress is placed on the wrists and how much strain is placed on the forearms.
The test persons, who represent different user types, have to solve different tasks depending on the device. The results recorded in this way are then in turn incorporated into the further development of the product.
At the same time, Logitech cooperates with several ergonomics experts, so that their research results are also integrated into the daily work of the "Ergo Lab" flow into. The aim is to minimize the stress on joints, muscles and muscles.
In the Ergo Lab, Logitech measures which and how much strain is placed on muscles and tendons when working at a computer screen.
Conclusion: Our impression of the Ergo product line
After a short training period, all devices could be used well – with the restriction that you have to be right-handed with both mice. So if you suffer from physical complaints such as mouse arm or tension headaches, or would like to prevent them, you should take a look at these three new devices – especially as the quality is right.
The K860 Ergo keyboard is comfortable to type on if you know the 10-finger system, otherwise it's rather complicated to use. I found it particularly annoying that the keyboard and palm rest are firmly connected to each other.
The two mice MX Vertical and MX Ergo are only suitable for right-handers, and the MX Vertical especially for those with large hands, for whom it offers a comfortable thumb rest. The maximum 4.000 DPI minimize the individual movements when working with the mouse. Unfortunately, Logitech relies on a proprietary battery for the model, which you can't replace yourself.