Top positive review
11 of 11 people found this helpful
Quality item, but you'll need to learn to type again
on 13 August 2013
I have to assume that, if you're interested by this case, you're someone who uses their iPad professionally and is on the move quite a lot. By that I mean that you probably do a lot of typing and have an iPad mini to avoid carrying around anything bulkier or heavier.
So, would you, as that person, benefit from this case from Logitech?
Firstly, the immediate advantage in a folio cover is the recovery of the half of your screen that would be used by the touch keyboard.
The first disadvantage is that the folio is surprisingly heavy. A lot of the weight appears to be in the outer material of the cover, which is of very good quality and probably highly durable. If you own a mini rather than a full size iPad with the specific goal of not carrying anything heavier, then this isn't great. The folio is also very chunky; the hefty covers and the fairly thick keyboard combine to more than double the thickness of your iPad.
Look more closely at the cover and you'll find a beautifully soft interior lining and a padded backing where your iPad sits. The caddy itself has a plastic that is a mix of flexibility and rigidity; strong enough to firmly grasp the iPad, soft enough as not to scratch or mark. There are also little magnets on the edge that match up to more magnets in the keyboard to hold everything in place when using the folio as a stand.
The keyboard is set into a shiny plastic slab that also contains the rechargeable battery. This is the only part of the folio that looks a bit tacky, even though the plastics feel good to the touch. It is about 5-6mm thick (measured by eye), which is disappointingly thick. The keys themselves are a bit too button-like for my taste too, with a soft action that is lacking in positivity. On the upside there is a power light and a Bluetooth link light (though no CAPS indicator), to let you know where you stand in terms of connection and battery charge.
Connecting to the iPad via Bluetooth is incredibly simple, at which time you discover that this is a very weird keyboard indeed.
I had expected the keyboard to be compact given the dimensions, but I hadn't noticed from the photos how far the guys at Logitech have innovated in the way they've economised space. The Tab and Caps Lock keys are shared with Q and A respectively and need a simultaneous push of the Fn button to operate. I found this very off-putting, hitting the S key in place of A very often at first (it just felt wrong looking for A at the edge of the keyboard) and feeling like all the keys were offset to one side. With use you get the hang of it and all is well until you go back to your laptop or desktop and find you can't type on them anymore. The right hand-side of the keyboard, if a little unorthodox, poses no major problems. The cursor key layout is especially nice for a keyboard with such a small footprint.
One question you'll also need to ask yourself is what to do if the battery dies. Being built-in you don't have the option to change it out, so you'll need to find a charging point for the (very short) USB charging cable. This might mean carrying a USB charger socket with you on top of the folio, but if you don't already carry a charger for your iPad then the question is moot.
So in all I've slightly mixed feelings about this folio. It is a quality item, despite the plasticy keyboard, but it defeats the iPad Mini's strong points, which are lightness and small size. Typing on it is not quite as good as I'd expected for a Logitech product, but is still pretty good given the limited dimensions and that it wins back half of your iPad's screen when typing.
If having a quality case is more important than keeping the bulk and weight out of your bag then this would probably be a good buy. But you might need to adapt your typing style and get used to a short transition time when coming and going from a normal keyboard.