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Logitech’s Craft keyboard offers premium typing with big bonuses

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Logitech’s keyboards have long been my keyboards of choice, thanks to their versatility and focus on good design. But the new Craft keyboard may be my favorite Logitech keyboard of all time – and possibly my favorite keyboard, period. The Craft is being billed as creative tool thanks to the integration of a control dial with custom functions depending on which application you’re using, but it’s also just a top-notch typist tool for anyone who values good craftsmanship in one of the devices they probably use more than almost any other in their daily computing work.

The Craft is a premium-priced keyboard, at least for most people, at $200. It’s true that real keyboard aficionados, especially those who place a high value on mechanical switches and customizability, will likely spend more, but for Logitech’s primary demographic, $200 is a lot so spend even on this essential accessory. But the Craft is a good way to spend that money if you’re at all interested in typing comfortably, and having a range of convenient features that really can improve your overall computing experience in subtle but significant ways.

Craft’s signature feature is the ‘Creative Input Dial,’ which as mentioned can customize its function based on what application you’re using. When you have the Logitech Options software installed, it’ll detect which application is active by default and switch its function automatically. Plus, there’s even a transition between a clicky, graduated turning action for things like volume control, and an analog, smooth turn for adjusting things like exposure in photos, and it makes a big, positive difference in terms of user experience.

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But the dial is not likely to be a major driver in terms of convincing most people the Craft is worth the price to upgrade from their current keyboard. Luckily, the gadget offers a lot more besides that does warrant a look in terms of upgrade consideration. For instance, it’s got a great, heavy weight that helps it sit firmly on your desk no matter how furiously you type. Plus, there’s Logitech easy switch functionality built in, so you can connect it to up to three devices at once (using either Logitech’s Unifying Receiver or Bluetooth) and switch between them with the press of a single button.

The keyboard also features a dedicated number pad, full-size arrow keys, and ambient backlighting. It charges its internal battery via USB C, which is great if you’re already using a MacBook or other modern computer that charges the same way, and it feature dual-purpose keys for Command and Start to switch seamlessly between PC and Mac use.

Craft’s typing experience might be the best reason to upgrade, however – its keys are slightly concave, giving you great resting and key stroke experiences, and the travel depth feels just right, with more give than the standard Apple wireless keyboard. The finish on the key surfaces is also very pleasing in a way that’s hard to describe: They’re matte and feel like they’re slightly grippy, and while it may seem like a small thing, if you’re typing for many hours per day (like, say, if you’re a blogger) it definitely adds up.

Logitech has done a terrific job with the Craft in terms of look, feel and add-on features, in short, and it’s easily my favorite keyboard at the moment. At $200, it’s probably not for everyone, but it’s also well-positioned to be a premium keyboard option for the average consumer looking to treat themselves without going totally overboard into the world of hardcore keyboard fanaticism.

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Apple is looking into reports of iPhone 8 batteries swelling

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Reports from a few iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus buyers have suggested there could be an issue with the battery inside some of the devices swelling, causing the case of Apple’s new iPhone to split open and expose the smartphone’s internals.

Apple has now confirmed it is looking into it, although a spokeswoman declined to comment further when asked how many devices are affected.

From what we’ve heard the number of reports so far is very few.

Yesterday CNET rounded up the handful of reports that have emerged — saying there are at least six different reports in at least five countries of the iPhone 8 splitting along its seams.

Today Reuters also noted a report in Chinese state media of an iPhone buyer claiming a newly purchased iPhone 8 Plus arrived cracked open on October 5, though apparently without any signs of scorching or an explosion.

Apple rival Samsung had big problems with smartphone batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. In that instance some Note 7 batteries caught fire, and the problem was extensive enough that it led Samsung to recall all Note 7 handsets — at great expense.

In the case of the iPhone 8 the issue appears to be limited to batteries bloating/swelling, rather than catching fire — at least as reported so far.

Although the phone only went on sale on September 22 so it’s still early days for the device.

Apple did not release figures for the first weekend sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as it has in the past with new iPhones, so it’s also not yet clear how many of these handsets are in the hands of buyers at this point.

Some analysts have suggested consumers may be holding off on upgrading their iPhone to buy the top-of-the-range iPhone X, which Apple also announced at the same time, but with a later release date.

Pre-sales for the iPhone X are due to begin on October 27, with the handset slated to ship on November 3.

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Nintendo bumps Switch production to meet holiday demand

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If you were worried you might not be able to pick up a Switch for your loved one (i.e. yourself) in the forthcoming holiday festival of consumerism, worry not. Or a little less, anyway. Nintendo is looking to up its production to 2 million units per month, reports Digitimes.

Up from what, you ask? Nintendo hasn’t given exact figures on that count, but the company’s original plan was to ship 10 million consoles in FY 2017, which is to say by March of next year — that averages out to somewhere between 800,000 per month and a million per month.

But official goals are often under what a company really wants to achieve, and reports have Nintendo unofficially aiming at shipping 18 million in that same period. Accounting for lower production numbers in the first half the year, it would have to overshoot in the coming months to make that happen, which is apparently exactly what it is doing.

Whether the company’s suppliers can achieve those numbers is another question, and, of course, Digitimes’ industry scuttlebutt isn’t always on the mark. But Nintendo has previously stated it expects serious demand well through the holidays, and with a hit parade of first-party and indie games flooding the system, I don’t doubt that’s the case.

Furthermore, in many markets around the world, the Switch has yet to launch, or units have been so scarce as to make it effectively impossible to get.

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