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Testing Logickeyboard's Illuminated Final Cut Pro X Keyboard

We love to test hardware and software here at FCP.co. So when a new backlit Astra Final Cut Pro X keyboard from Logickeyboard arrived, it didn't stay in the box for long.

Are all keyboards the same? Does it really matter if you edit with an Apple low profile aluminium model or one of the new range of backlit keyboards that are now available.

I think it does. The new illuminated range of coloured keyboards help a lot.

The Logickeyboard Astra went straight into a bag and travelled to an FCPX job for a thorough test.

logic keyboard 3

Three things I immediately noticed about the 'Astra' backlit FCPX.

First of all is the box, it's a very beefy box and good protection from the dreaded 'key pop off' problem if you have to transport the unit from suite to suite. Having knocked an old keyboard accidentally on the boot of my car in a rainy car park, I can assure you that getting keys back on in the wet and in a hurry isn't fun. The internal packing is slightly flimsy and was already torn when opened.

logic keyboard 1

Second is the weight. I wouldn't describe it as heavy (over 2 lbs), but it has a very sturdy construction and is probably twice the weight of its direct competitor.

logic keyboard 2

Third are the dual USB plugs on the end of the cable. This is because unlike the Editors Keys illuminated keyboard, it has two USB sockets on the back of the keyboard. As the post production industry could not function without thumb USB drives, this makes life a lot easier and removes the need for having a separate USB extension cable and/or hub plugged in. The grey plug is for the keyboard and the black is for the sockets. The cable won't split open enough to plug both USBs in either side of an older model MacBook Pro.

logic keyboard 4

A USB stick is slightly awkward to get in, but you don't have to lift up the keyboard like previous Apple models. As it sticks out the back, you won't leave it there when you leave! 

The first time you plug the keyboard in, a panel pops up asking for you to identify the keyboard, a couple of clicks and it's ready to go.

On to the keyboard 'feel' I have to be honest and say I don't like spongy keyboards, I like the clicky variety. The Logickeyboard's actions were slightly soft but positive and after a day I got used to the feel. 

The keyboard has 5 brightness levels that you can rotate through by using the Function and the F5 for down and F6 for up key combinations. Turning the backlight off shows how much the illumination helps. I left it on its maximum setting.

logic keyboard 5

The function key caused me slight confusion as it is positioned on the bottom right of the QWERTY block. This means that the CMD key is the fourth key in from the right instead of the third. When I was trying to feel my way across the keyboard to the CMD key, had to factor the new position in.

So the big question, which is better, the LogicKeyboard or Editors Keys?  

The Logickeyboard is undoubtably of better construction. Both have good key illumination although I think the Logic has the edge as the key cap colours are not as dark. The Logic also has better key labeling, but there are some oddities like the V key showing +/- and not being labelled up 'Disable'.

The Editors Keys keyboard has a better key action for me, but I think the Logickeyboard will still going strong long after the other one has clicked once too often. However if weight is at a premium then maybe the much lighter Editors Keys version will work out better.

As for price, the Logic Keyboard's price is ex VAT and shipping on their website, so with that added it totals up to just under £112. The Editors Keys version is £100 plus shipping.

If I had to choose between the two? Logickeyboard wins.

  

peter wigginsPeter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X.

You can follow him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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