The Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover is the latest accessory for iPad I’ve been testing out. I’ve tried several different types of keyboards designed to work with iPads, but they always involved having to carry the keyboard separately.
This Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover solves that particular problemby clipping onto the iPad with a magnetic clip that has magnets aligned with the ones built into the iPad’s frame. When clipped in place and closed, the end result looks like two iPads laying face to face – it looks like the keyboard cover is part of the iPad – it’s actually hard to tell which side is up; iPad or cover. The only issue here is that, while the Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover handles protecting the screen very well, it doesn’t protect the sides of the iPad. I don’t think this is much of an issue, but if you decide it is, then you’ll need to find a cover that will cover up both the Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover and the iPad.
The cover is made from aluminum, which is designed to compliment the iPad’s aluminum frame, and it comes in white to match a white iPad, and even a special-ordered red. The fit and finish is obviously high quality and it looks like Apple could have made it because it so perfectly works with the new iPad.
The keyboard has a really nice touch and feel to it, so long sessions of typing are no problem at all. I’ve used it extensively for writing and have found the keyboard presents no problems at all for me.
To use the Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover as a stand, you simply disconnect it from the iPad, flip it keyboard up and set your iPad either vertically or horizontally in the groove on the top of the keyboard. In about three seconds you’ve essentially set up a notebook. Your iPad will be held in place by magnets in the groove as well as the lip of the groove itself, at a bout 60 degrees, so it’s pretty well an optimum viewing angle. The caveat here is that the device won’t work with the first generation iPads because their shape doesn’t fit the groove, so it’s only for use with the second generation and up.
It’s got a very nice keyboard to type on, with the rubber dome type switches providing a softer feel than crisp feel you get from keyboards using scissor switches. I like the softer feel personally, and the function buttons add such features as volume up and down, cut, copy, paste, play or pause and other functions for the user’s use with a few keystrokes. It takes some getting used to, but you’ll quickly become much more efficient in no time.
While you can use your iPad in either landscape or portrait mode, the magnets built into the Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover will only connect to the iPad’s magnets when in landscape mode, so it’s more solidly held in place. The user experience is so much like using a notebook that I found myself looking for my travel mouse that I take with my MacBook Air whenever I hit the road.
The Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover provides solid protection for your iPad screen and offers a first rate Bluetooth keyboard that makes typing a dream, and is definitely worth the $99.99 CAD price tag.
The Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover is about 190mm H x 241mm W x 10mm D and weighs in at 355 grams. The fully charged battery is supposed to last for up to six months with about two hours of use a day, so a full charge will certainly last a long time – I’ve yet to recharge my test unit and I’ve been using it regularly for well over a month.
PROS: It’s great for working on the iPad, providing good support for the iPad; Bluetooth keyboard has a nice feel when typing; easy to set up; good pricing; looks great, terrific battery life; function keys provide useful shortcuts.
CONS: Once connected, you have to use the keyboard for an typing you might want to do, such as in an iMessage; adds extra weight and size to the iPad
TO SUM IT UP: The great battery life, nice feel to the keyboard and ability to use shortcuts makes this one of the absolute best add-on keyboards for the iPad yet. For under $100 you get a protective cover for the screen that looks like Apple made it. It perfectly fits with the look and finish of the iPad and is a must-have for the road warrior who uses his or her iPad for business.
Murray Hill is lead tech writer at communicatto.com