Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air review
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is an excellent iPad case. As well as offering protection, it features a full-sized keyboard inside of the screen flap. Our Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio review looks at whether this is the best keyboard dock for the iPad Air.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air acts as an impressive iPad keyboard dock and a sturdy iPad case. It snaps around to hold the iPad Air upright, while providing a full-sized keyboard lying flat on a surface.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio acts as both a case and Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad Air. There are other keyboards available, and other cases that also work as keyboard for the iPad Air.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio is not the first impressive keyboard that Logitech has made for the iPad. Logitech has a good history of making high-quality keyboards and cases for Apple's iPad. We were particularly impressed by Logitech's FabricSkin case. We held that in high regard when we tested it alongside the iPad fourth generation. So this keyboard has our attention.
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How does the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio work?
You connect the iPad to one side of the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio, which protects the rear and a flap covers the screen. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio cover connects magnetically to the iPad, snapping together neatly. One slight downfall is that it doesn’t have the Smart Wake/Sleep feature from Apple's Smart Cover. So you have to remember to turn your iPad on and off. The iPad Air itself attaches to the case via two curved plastic holders near the top, which hold it in place. You slide the iPad Air in and out of the holder, which makes it a better option than some cases. In several cases you have to insert the iPad inside a sleeve and secure it in place. The outer flap contains the keyboard; this sits against the screen. Two rubber stubs prevent the keys from touching the display.
When you unfold the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio the rear of the case (behind the iPad) folds in half. This enables you to slide the front, keyboard, part behind the screen. You can also set the keyboard flat on a surface, and the fold acts as a stand to keep the screen in a diagonal position above the keys. A second magnet just above the keys holds the iPad in place while you type. On the whole, we find it a good solution. It's nice to see that the position of the iPad during use is more angled than the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio.
Is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio comfortable to type on?
The keyboard itself is comfortable to type on and good for writing long-form articles like this. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio is not as wide as a full keyboard. There is no separate Tab key, for instance (it is integrated to the Q button). But it does have Arrow keys as well as Alt, Option and two shift keys. It also has the usual comma, full stop, semicolon and brackets keys plus numbers above the letters. An Function (fn) key enables you to access special characters (such as Tab and Caps Lock), and access controls such as volume and brightness. On the whole, it makes typing on an iPad Air much easier. One small niggle is that plastic of the keyboard is thin, and ours didn’t sit completely flat on the surface. It had the smallest indent on the bottom right. It wasn't enough to annoy, and is a result of Logitech trying to keep the weight to an absolute minimum. At this price it still felt a little cheaper than we’d like.
Weighing in at 425g, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio does weigh almost as much as the iPad Air itself (478g). So the combo doubles the weight of the device. Having said that, the iPad Air lives up to its moniker in the first place. Both devices clipped together still weigh under 1-kilo, and it still weighs in less than an 11-inch MacBook Air (1.08kg).
You connect the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio to the iPad Air via Bluetooth. Because the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio is wireless you need to charge the keyboard using a Micro-USB charger (included). Logitech reports that a charge lasts three weeks, which sounds reasonable to us (we'll let you know if we spot otherwise). Because the keyboard uses Bluetooth 4.0, it should not drain the battery when it is not in use. Using the iPad Air with a Bluetooth keyboard like this does drain the battery faster than using the on-screen keyboard. But we did not notice an overt drain. We find the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio to be a light, unobtrusive and effective keyboard packed in a small case.
On the whole, we liked the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air. We appreciate the combination of ultra lightweight and full-sized clickable keyboard. We imagine this to be pretty much ideal for anybody who travels a lot but has to write on an iPad. We’re not completely sold on the flex in the cover. We would rather the keyboard was a little more inflexible, but it didn’t prevent us from typing in comfort. It would also be great if it incorporated Apple's Smart Cover Sleep / Wake functionality. Apart from those two small niggles we have no hesitation in recommending the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air.