About a year ago I decided that I wanted to try using an iPad for some of my daily tasks, so I went out and got myself an iPad Air 2019. Since then, I've been looking for the perfect keyboard to go with it. I've gone through about 10 of them so far, and always seem to settle back in on Apple's Smart Keyboard, until I got my hands on Logitech's new Combo Touch.
There is just so much to like about this keyboard case, and it's crazy how much an accessory like this can really improve your whole experience and interaction with something like your iPad.
Improving on an already-great experience.
- Backlit keys
- Responsive trackpad
- Uses Smart Connector
- Case keeps iPad protected as well
- Has holder for Apple Pencil
- Backlight is not adjustable on keyboard
- Kickstand isn't great for lap usage
With this keyboard you can become even more productive on your iPad from any and everywhere.
What I like about the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Air
When it comes to things that I like about the Combo Touch, there are actually a whole lot of them, from the design to the functionality. Starting with the overall look and feel, the one thing that I like the most is that it comes with a case to protect the iPad itself, and has a built-in Apple Pencil holder. I definitely am a fan of the patterned gray look of the keyboard, and it feels like something that will hold up over time to lots of usage.
The keyboard connects to the iPad using Apple's Smart Connector, which means it has a more reliable connection, doesn't need Bluetooth, and you don't need to worry about charging the case. I've used many keyboards in the past, and always preferred Apple's option because you don't need to turn it on or off or remember to charge it, it just works when you go to use it.
On the keyboard itself, the keys are all backlit and well spaced out. The iPad Air has a full-sized keyboard, so things aren't cramped and the key travel feels pretty nice. I recently switched from a Logitech K750 to Apple's Magic Keyboard on my desktop set up and the Logitech Combo Touch keys feel very similar to Apple's. There is a full row of function keys, which makes things like adjusting brightness, getting to the home screen, and more, an easier task.
The trackpad is the big new addition here, and I have to say that I find myself enjoying it a whole lot. I never thought I needed a trackpad to use with the iPad because it has a touch screen and I already have an Apple Pencil, but oh was I wrong. The trackpad itself isn't overly large, but it doesn't need to be any bigger than it is.
There's a nice click feel from it, and you can use all the gestures that you're likely used to from using a Mac. You can swipe between apps, swipe up to get back to the home screen, and more.
Protecting the actual iPad is a pretty nice case that ads a bit of bulk. The integrated Apple Pencil holder makes it convenient for storing the Pencil when not in use, and the ability to easily remove the keyboard and take the iPad somewhere with you is definitely a great feature to have. It's nothing crazy, but it looks and feels nice, so I don't mind keeping the back case on all the time.
What I don't like about the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Air
In using the Combo Touch there have been a few things that popped up where I was a bit frustrated, some of which I am not sure whether they are quirks with the keyboard or iPadOS, and some that are just personal preference.
On a few occasions I unlocked the iPad Air only to notice that the keyboard was fully unresponsive. Nothing would register on the device, and it was like it just wasn't connected. I made sure the pins had not moved, and everything looked fine which made it more confusing. The fix was simple: all I had to do was remove the keyboard and attach it again. Not a huge deal, but for something that should just work it was a bit confusing and could ruin the experience for someone who isn't tech savvy.
I did notice that the trackpad scrolling took some getting used to. I am not a fan of natural scrolling, so I did turn that off, and customize some of the settings for speed and such. I wish these were a bit easier to find and understand, which isn't exactly a fault of this keyboard, but maybe there could be something that explains this to users a bit easier.
As for the backlit keyboard, I do appreciate that it has lights but wish they were customizable. It would be great to have colored lights, because who doesn't like pretty colors, but more importantly I wish you could set the brightness or just turn off the lights. I know Apple did this with the new Magic Keyboard, so maybe more keyboards in the future will offer the same. Some Bluetooth options do this well already.
The kickstand is useful since you can set the iPad to an angle that you like, but I wish this was easier to use in a lap-style situation. I find it hard to use when typing on the couch or while using the iPad in bed.
Should you buy the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Air?
If I had to recommend a keyboard to every iPad Air user, this would absolutely be the one that I would suggest. The keys have a great feel to them, the backlight makes it easier to use it regardless of the time of day, and the trackpad actually adds a whole lot of value to my iPad.
Since it uses the Smart Connector I never have to worry about whether it was charged up or the battery is running low. With some of the previous keyboards I've gone to type something up only to realize that the keyboard was dead because I forgot to turn it off, and then I had to wait to charge it. This little extra versatility makes it invaluable to me.
There are very few things that I don't like about the case, and some of them are more-so annoyances with iPadOS than the keyboard and trackpad itself. I would definitely recommend anyone who was looking to buy a keyboard for their iPad Air look closely at the Combo Touch. The price isn't far off from Apple's Smart Keyboard which doesn't have a trackpad, and this one includes it with a case to protect the iPad itself as well.
If you want an iPad keyboard with integrated trackpad for your iPad Air, this is absolutely the only accessory you should be considering right now.
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