Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano Review

When it comes to finding an 88-key digital piano on the lower end of the price spectrum – this Legato model from Williams often comes to mind. There are lots of reviews and info about it on the market, but here’s what you really need to know.

Don’t be deceived by other reviews telling you this is the end all to be all when looking at cheaper digital keyboards.

The truth is… this model works for those just starting out and even some mid skill level players – but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

There are some harsh truths about this keyboard you should know about. Like every keyboard, it has its pros and cons so we’re going to reveal where it stands in light of both of these.

Now, this isn’t a bad place to start for a $200 keyboard – but there are surely some better options in the same price range. Options that often come at a similar or better price to value ratio.

Either way, here’s our take on the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano review. At the end, you’ll find the best keyboard option in the same price and value range.

Let’s dive into what you need to know to make a well-informed choice.

Size of the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano

This keyboard model is the same as a full-size piano in the sense that it has 88 keys.

You should also know that the keys are full sized. It’s not very often you find this when it comes to entry-level keyboards. The bottom line is that it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

And if you’re concerned about space, you’ll be happy to know this keyboard has a slim body. It’s not very deep but still has full sized keys.

Feel of the Keys

One of the biggest factors to note when picking out a keyboard is the feel of the keys. This helps to figure out whether it feels more like a piano or is clearly a keyboard.

It matters most because if you practice on a keyboard with very light keys it can make it difficult when you switch over to a real piano. Of course, it depends on what you prefer but it’s useful to keep this in mind.

In terms of the response of the keys, this model has a heavy touch for semi-weighted keys.

This gives it good action. Whether you are playing hard during fast songs or soft during slow songs – the keys will respond to your fingers.

Since its keys are semi-weighted, it makes it feel closer to a real piano. Although there are mixed reviews from users when comparing this to the feel of a piano.

Some people suggest it works when they don’t have access to a piano. While others say that it doesn’t really cut it.

It’s likely the case that this is a good way to move up from a keyboard to a piano. But if you’re used to playing piano then you may not be happy with this as a practice piece.

Either way, if you’re looking for something more compact than a full-sized piano this isn’t a bad choice.

One more thing to note is the quiet action of the keys. You really notice this when the volume is off or low. And even though it doesn’t have a felt pad at the top of the keys, the sound of the bounce back is very light.

Sound Quality

Given that this is on the lower end of the price spectrum, the sound quality may surprise you.

Often cheap keyboards tend to sound tinny. With this one, the sound is decent but surely doesn’t sound like a grand piano. It’s thought that this keyboard tends to have a warmer tone compared to a classic piano.

To get a better sound from this keyboard you can try this:

You’ll want to attach an amp that will do two things for you. First, it will give you an extra boost of volume. Second, it will give you a much richer and better sound. Of course, each of these depends on the quality of the amp you choose.

Either way, you’ll likely find it has a much richer and deeper piano like sound (or whichever preset you choose).

This is always a good sign since it means the keyboard is able to produce the rich sounds of a piano (given that you’re using a good speaker).

It’s been known that some of the older Legato models from Williams aren’t able to achieve this rich sound. Even with an extra speaker attached, older models just couldn’t do it.

The brand likely changed something within the keyboard itself to achieve a more real sounding tone. This is a bonus for users of newer models.

Extra Features of the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano

Let’s take a look at some of the extra built-in features of the Williams Legato 88-key digital piano. There’s a whole suite of options to improve your playing experience. Here they are:

Built-in Speakers

This keyboard comes with a set of built-in speakers. There’s one in each of the upper corners of the keyboard. This gives you the option to choose between playing aloud or plugging in a pair of headphones.

Some keyboards require that you purchase an extra speaker in order to play out loud – but not this one. You can thank Williams for that one.

The only thing is some people say the speakers don’t do this keyboard justice. This isn’t always bad though since you can get a better sound by using headphones or outside speakers. The keyboard allows for both of these options.

In terms of volume, if you choose to use the keyboard’s speakers you will be able to manage when playing on your own. Although if you decide to play with others or a band it likely won’t be loud enough.

Headphone Jack

Sometimes you need to practice by yourself. There’s no better way to do this than by plugging in a set of headphones.

This way, only you can hear yourself practice. This is great for playing late at night. Or if you just prefer to practice on your own without anyone hearing.

Sustain Pedal

The Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano comes with a sustain pedal. This makes it closer to playing a real piano.

It also helps you hold notes without having to hold a key down for an extra amount of time. Of course, this is crucial as you get into more advanced songs.

One thing to note: when you order this item make sure to check to see if it comes with the sustain pedal. Some people have mentioned that it does not come with the keyboard depending on where you order from.

Built-in Sound Effects

There are five built-in preset sounds you can choose from if you’d like to expand beyond the basic keyboard. Choose from a piano, electric piano, organ, bass or synth.

Piano: This preset has better sound quality compared to older Legato models from Williams

Electric piano: This preset sounds great – especially with an extra speaker attached instead of the built-in ones

Organ: This is only a percussive organ sound (not a pipe organ)

Synth: This has a solid fat synth sound making it great for live shows

Bass: This is an acoustic bass preset (not an electric bass)

Extra Lessons

This keyboard comes with extra software to help you learn how to play the keyboard. It comes with five free songs for you to practice and play along to.

Built-in Metronome

It never hurts to have a built-in metronome. In fact, it’s quite useful to practice your timing. This is the best way to make sure you’re hitting the right notes at the right time.

Portable Aspect

Want to bring your keyboard with you? This 88-key digital piano runs on your choice of battery power or a standard outlet.

Feel free to bring it with you on camping trips or anywhere else you travel. Or you can choose to set up shop and use a power cord.

Be careful though. Depending on where you purchase this keyboard it may or may not come with a power supply. Make sure you read the fine print before ordering it.

USB Interface

While the keyboard does not have a MIDI In/Out line, it does have a USB interface. This lets you connect the keyboard to your laptop for extra features.

Split and Layer Functions

With the split and layer functions, you can combine sounds on this keyboard. Here’s what each one does:

The split function means you can use one preset at one end and another on the other end of the keyboard.

For instance, you can make the left half of the keyboard have bass sounds while the right side has piano sounds.

As for the layer function, it layers two sounds of your choice on top of each other. This means every note you hit will have two sounds to it at the same time.

Feel free to get funky and mix the different sounds that you can choose from. It almost sounds like two people are playing at once!

Tune Shift

You can match the pitch of other instruments you want to play with. For instance, if one instrument is tuned lower than your keyboard, you can shift down to match it. And vice versa.

Reverb

You can set the level of reverb you’d like. Just press the reverb button and then hit a high note for lots of reverb. Or you can press a low note which gives you less reverb on your notes.

Music Stand

You can clip a music stand onto the top of the keyboard to hold your sheet music. The best part is that you can attach or detach the stand.

This option makes it easier to carry around with you since it won’t be sticking out on your travels.

User Guide

The user guide is very simple and easy to read. It’s only 16 pages in length so you’ll know the ins and outs of this keyboard in no time.

The Essential Pack

For sites or stores that don’t offer the power supply with the keyboard, we suggest you look for The Essentials Pack. This comes with the power supply, power adapter, headphones, and a sustain pedal.

Please make sure you use the correct power source and sustain pedal as it is designed for the keyboard.

If not, you may run the risk of the keyboard not functioning right. While it will still play it may not sound quite right as if you were to use the correct ones.

Who is the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano meant for?

With a lower price point, this keyboard is better suited for those who are still starting out. Although it’s often used by people in the middle of the pack as a practice keyboard in between lessons.

Beginner

For someone who is new to playing piano or the keyboard, this is a good place to start. Keep in mind that it’s just one option. There are many more that are suitable to newbies.

Intermediate

If you’re somewhere between a newbie and advanced keyboard player, this model just barely makes the cut.

There’s lots of debate between players who say that this model works until they can make room for a full piano. Others say they would rather spend a little more and find a keyboard that’s better suited to their skill level.

It’s good if you’re on a budget looking for a new keyboard. But if you are looking to step your game up, it’s better that you look at other options on the market. Don’t worry – we’ve got some ready for you after this review.

Advanced

If you’re advanced when it comes to piano playing skills, you likely want to look beyond this option.

If you’re playing songs that are more complex, the response of these keys may not cut it. You’re better off looking for a more advanced option.

Mainly because you’ll want to find a keyboard that has fully weighted keys just like a piano. Also, you’ll likely be searching for a higher sound quality.

Of course, both of these things are up to you and what you like. But in our experience – this is what we’ve heard from advanced players.

Price Point

As we’ve mentioned, this keyboard is surely at the lower end of the price spectrum for keyboards. It’s great for those who are new to keyboard and are just starting out with lessons or on a budget.

As we’ve mentioned before, keep in mind that it doesn’t always come with the power supply or sustain pedal.

These are extra costs that you may need to factor in. Especially when you compare this to the price of other keyboards on the market.

Even so, this keyboard can be tempting for even players in the mid-range of skill levels – when looking at the price compared to what you get.

In Summary

Before we tell you about another option that’s comparable to the Williams Legato 88-Key Digital Piano, here’s a quick recap of its pros and cons.

Pros

Here are the things users like most about this keyboard:

Good action – As noted the semi-weighted keys are often a delight to new and mid-skill level players.

Full sized keys – Often with starter level keyboards, you won’t find full-sized keys. This is one thing Williams did not skip out on with this Legato model.

Good sound when you attach an amp – It’s important to note the “when you attach an amp” part. You can achieve a very rich and deep piano sound with the right amp. If not, you’ll have to settle for the headphone or built-in speaker quality of the keyboard.

Portable – Everything about this keyboard is made for travel. While it’s still a keyboard, it does have a slimmer body and a music stand that you can detach. Once you get a case, just slide it in and you’re good to go.

Cons

Here are the major drawbacks of this keyboard. Some are minor, while others are more notable:

No transpose button – In case you need to play in a higher or lower key without relearning a piece, you may have some trouble with this. This is going to put your skills to the test since there’s no easy way to transpose a piece without learning how to play it in a new key.

No line in for an iPad – While there are ways around this, for people who enjoy playing along to an iPad you’ll have to find other ways to play your track out loud.

The battery pack is sometimes loose – The backing of the battery pack has no soft cushion on it to hold the batteries in place, so it may seem loose at times. Although this is a minor thing that may not bother some people if you’re not moving around with it often.

Power supply not included – Often people are caught off guard when they purchase this keyboard and it comes with no power supply. Keep this in mind so there are no surprises if you decide to buy one.

A Better Keyboard Choice For You

As we promised at the start of this Williams Legato 88-key digital piano review, here’s another option for you.

In our opinion – it’s a better option too. Certainly for a digital keyboard that falls in the same price range as the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano.

Whether you’re looking for a new keyboard or a starter one – the Alesis Recital is a great model to go with.

Just like the Williams Legato model, the Alesis Recital is also a full-length keyboard with 88 keys across its span. The keys are all semi-weighted too.

Though it has a step up since this one has a 128 max polyphony (not just 32 like the Williams Legato model in our review)

The Alesis Recital pretty much picks up in all the areas where the Williams Legato model doesn’t.

There are a few more reasons you should know without going too deep into it. Here they are:

More advanced sound effects and options

Felt underpad to cushion the bounce back of the keys

Includes a power supply

Has a MIDI connection

Extra free lessons to improve your playing skill (with Skoove)

Lesson mode for teaching which splits the keyboard in half (so the student can play beside the teacher)

This is just a quick recap of why we believe the Alesis Recital is better than the Williams Legato keyboard.

Conclusion

There you have it. That’s our take on the Williams Legato 88-key Digital Piano review. As we said at the start – this is just one of many options on the market for a starter keyboard.

If you’re open to other options in the same price range, we’ve got lots for you to choose from. And just like this one, we’ll break each model down completely so you know what you can expect from it.

Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of the hottest and latest products here at Instrument Pro!