Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Review ~ Hackinthus

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Review

By Harsh Vardhan (Facebook) (Twitter)

Logitech announced their new ’ultrathin’ keyboard case for the iPad back in April, an updated, sexier version of their previously-clunky keyboard case.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover just went on sale last week here in India, so we finally got to check it out. And right on schedule, here’s what we thought of it.

First up, in the retail package, you get the keyboard cover, a microUSB-to-USB charging cable and a microfiber cleaning cloth which is helpful.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover admittedly looks pretty slick. And dare i say, kinda gives the iPad a very Microsoft Surface -ish look when you’ve got it all setup.
It clips onto your iPad in the same way as Apple’s own Smart Cover does, using magnets and keeps the front of your iPad and the glass display, all safe.

The cover is about the same thickness as the iPad 3 (aka the new iPad), so when it’s closed you don’t get too large a package to carry around. It’s still pretty slim-ish.

Won’t protect the back of your iPad though. Then again very few cases do (And that’s why I’d suggest just getting a SkinIt for the back like the one I’ve used on my iPad).

The cover is mostly made of a metal finish, matching the design and style of the iPad 2 and new iPad. When closed, it sorta looks like a Macboor Pro, and at first glance some might not even be able to tell them apart. So it has that fact working in its favour.

The only minor issue I’ve had with the cover, is the same issue I’ve had with Apple’s own Smart Cover. The magnets holding it on to the iPad arnt as super strong as you’d imagine, so there is always the chance that it might get dislodged in your bag once in a while. So far it hasnt happened to me, but the possibility is present.

And as you can see, the cover doubles up as a stand, allowing you to work and type as if you were using a laptop.

All you have to do is detach the cover, which is easy thanks to the aforementioned magnets, and then place your iPad in the grove on the keyboard dock.

You connect over Bluetooth instead of a traditional hardware dock connector, so there’s no worry about having to buy a lightning adapter yada, yada.

Just place it horizontally or vertically and you’re good to go.

The grove is deep enough that you don’t need to worry about your iPad tipping over or being unstable, though its clearly not meant for a shaky environment like in a car or bus dodging through traffic.

You can use it perched on your lap but I’m too paranoid to comfortably do that.

The keyboard is made out of a black, glossy hard plastic, and the keys are well spaced out, and have great tactile feedback to them.

One of my complaints with last year’s keyboard case, was that it felt too cramped because of the raised edges around the case. Since the ultrathin case uses the magnetic hinge to stay on, it doesnt have any ridge as such, and as a result typing doesn't feel cramped at all.

It still requires some taking used to from a normal sized keyboard, but it’s not too bad at all. It’s a wonder how Logitech managed to cram that all into a package this thin, to be honest.

One mild annoyance though, was that the letters on the keyboard are not printed on the keys, but are stuck instead, so you can kinda feel them while you press down on a key. I’m not confident on how long those letters will stay on either. Don't get me wrong, it’s high quality enough, but it’s a slight worry.

There are also the usual iOS shortcut keys at the top of the keyboard, such as a home button, and various office or multimedia shortcuts, volume controls and even a screen lock button.

Plus all the usual keyboard shortcuts that you're used to on a regular desktop work as well, and the iPad gets a lot more productive once you can CMD+C or CMD+V to cut or paste text, etc.

As a result, the keyboard is really, very easy to use and you can type just as quick as on a regular sized keyboard.

Apart from all that, it’s worth mentioning that build quality is pretty solid. Battery life is rated at about six months if you use it for about two hours a day. I've charged it fully once two weeks ago, used it for about an hour or two every day since, and haven't had any issues at all so far. There’s even a tiny little LED light towards the right side that will let you know if you're running low on battery. So far I haven't seen it. And since it’s just Bluetooth, the battery drain on your iPad is pretty minimal as well.

The Conclusion:-

Rating: ★★★★½
The Logitech UltraThin Keyboard Cover retails at about Rs 6599 here in India, and approximately £90 online. While it’s a pretty fine product, I have to admit it’s a little bit pricey. You’d expect more for that price.

But apart from the somewhat weak magnets and the letters on the keys, the keyboard works pretty hard well, and it’s really slim which makes it comfortable to hold and/or carry around as well.

Logitech’s clearly listened to feedback about their earlier, now-insanely-bulky case. You have a deeper groove now, which means your iPad is very stable while typing, and the angle it prompts up your iPad at is comfortable to view. Plus it uses Bluetooth instead of a dock, which means it’s more future proof, unless the next iPad moves away from magnets and has a completely different form-factor.

If it was a bit cheaper I’d highly recommend it, because I really think it’s the best iPad/tablet accessory they’ve made so far. At the current price, I still think it’s great and all but maybe you’ll want to try it out in a store before committing to it?


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