The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad is slick, sleek, eminently usable and incredibly portable
Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is a new implementation of the popular Bluetooth keyboard peripheral for iPad. When on the go, it can be stowed right on your new iPad or iPad 2, just like an Apple Smart Cover, and when in use it can provide a productivity boost for long form writing. But does ultra-portability put a dent in mobile productivity?
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad is the sleekest, most sophisticated Bluetooth keyboard we've tested to date. It does add some bulk and some weight -- it is a keyboard, after all -- but given the Apple-esque aluminum shell and high quality plastic iterior and keys, it's remarkably svelte.
Included in the box is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad itself, along with a pamphlet, and a micro USB cable so you can plug it into a Mac or Windows PC, or a power adapter, to charge.
Like a Smart Cover, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover attaches to your iPad 2 or New iPad magnetically and protects the screen (and keys) while closed. The aluminum matches nicely with a naked iPad casing, and wears well. The hinge is plastic instead of metal, but seems strong enough. (Metal would have been nicer.) Also like a Smart Cover, it will automatically sleep your iPad when closed. Carrying it around when closed, it looks and feels like two iPads secured face-to-face.
When you're ready to work, opening the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover turns on your iPad. Unlike a laptop, however, you have to remove your iPad from the magnetic hinge and reposition it in the magnetic slot. (There's also no trackpad.) While you could place your iPad in portrait orientation, and it will hold it, the Ultrathin is designed for landscape use.
Pairing is simple, with no pin required. After switching it on and tapping a few times in Settings, you're fit to type.
Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover doesn't make for a full sized keyboard like you'll find on a MacBook Air. It's closer to a small netbook keyboard. However, the keyboard is done in the current Apple chicklet style, so while the scale is smaller the feel is not dissimilar.
Unlike some other Bluetooth keyboard for iPad, the Logitech Ultrathin doesn't include a set of dedicated function keys. There is a dedicated Home key, but otherwise a Function key modifier lets you use the number keys to send commands like Spotlight Search, Switch language, show/hide the virtual Keyboard, increase Text Selection by one word to the left or right, Cut, Copy, or Paste, Play/Pause music, Mute volume, increase or decrease volume, or Lock or un-Lock your iPad.
There are also alt/option, ctrl, cmd, and arrow keys, and the iPad supports a lot of commond text editing commands and coventions, allowing you to type fairly closely to how you would on a traditional personal computer.
Logitech promises a battery life of 6 months, based on 2 hours of usage a day. That translates to 1.5 months at 8 hours a day. Since the Ultrathin Keyboard hasn't been on the market long enough to test those claims, we'll have to revisit that part of the review at a later date. Suffice it to say, it will last a good while under normal usage.
- Thin, light, and georgous looking
- Excellent typing experience
- Smart Cover-like design is both ultra-portable and protective
- No dedicated function key row
The bottom line
I've used the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for going on a week now, mostly for pounding out iMore articles using Elements. (And yes, I used it to write this very review.)
There are cases that let you use computer keyboard, like the Origami and Apple keyboard combo, and there are keyboards that are integrated into more traditional style cases, like the Adonit Writer Plus.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover isn't either of those things. If you're looking for a ultra portable, ultra stylish, ultra functional Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, one that's as well designed as it is built, then look no further -- the Logitech Ultrathin Keybord Cover is it.
$98.95 - Buy now
Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.