I ought to be typing this on a physical keyboard right now, but I’m not. I’m using my iPad’s software keyboard as usual.
It should have been a real keyboard because thanks to a generous Amazon credit from my parents for my recent birthday, I got me a Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the iPad Air, and I was psyched about it. (See my iPad Air review here.) I had owned a Logitech keyboard cover for my previous iPad, and liked it quite a bit, and this time the folio version, a full case instead of just a cover, looked like a neat step up.
When it arrived today, I did an unboxing on Twitter because I’m weird, and I really like to admire good packaging in my electronics and doodads. And I have to say, Logitech did a nice job with this packaging. Pull a little red ribbon on the side of the box, and it lifts up the flap which is held closed magnetically. It’s a nice touch. And inside, the folio itself looked great.
The material of the case is really sleek and svelte without feeling slippery. The iPad clicked into the corners of the case very easily. And overall it looked really slick.
And then it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to work out.
While like the previous keyboard cover, the iPad is held up in portrait orientation by a magnet along the back of the keyboard, it isn’t grooved like the cover. It’s merely a strip of magnet that keeps the iPad in the right place, but not supported by anything physical. With the device held up only by the folio’s back, the iPad is wobbly in typing mode.
Well okay that’s not so bad, right? But then there’s the keyboard itself. The keys feel smaller even than the somewhat reduced size of the previous generation cover’s, and weirdest of all, keys that are normally entirely disparate are now consolidated. So you have the Q and “tab” as one key, and A and “caps lock” as another. The result is that everything feels wrong, as though the keyboard were entirely off center. I tried to compensate by nudging my typing to the left somewhat, but it was incredibly frustrating. I hit the S key almost every time I meant to hit A.
Finally, I realized upon closing and opening the case a few times that the sleep-wake feature is totally inconsistent. Roughly half the time the case would wake or sleep the iPad, and the other half not do anything. I’ve been a little frustrated that, for example, my STM Cape case has no magnets for this feature, but at least I know it’s not going to put the iPad to sleep when I close it. With the Logitech Keyboard Folio, it’d be a guess every time.
So, too many little things are not quite right with this otherwise slick looking keyboard case. Off it goes back to Amazon from whence it came. I may try the Air version of the Logitech Keyboard Cover next time, but now I’m even reconsidering whether it’s worth getting a separate keyboard at all.
After all, I just wrote this without one.