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Touch Type In Style With Logitech’s New Keyboard Folio for iPad: A Hands-On Review

When it comes to typing on the iPad, everyone knows it can be quite difficult. That’s why so many companies have come out with keyboards that are specifically designed for the iPad. Over the past three years, many accessory-makers have focused on creating a full typing experience with a case that turns Apple’s tablet into a mini laptop. Logitech is one of those companies to have perfected the compact, but full-use keyboard. They have also released a fantastic line of iPad covers, cases, and folios. Today, we are reviewing the newest in their folio line of products; the Logitech Keyboard Folio

The Facts

Company Name: Logitech Product Name: Keyboard Folio for iPad Price: $99.99 Compatibility: iPad 2, 3rd-generation iPad, 4th-generation iPad Website: www.logitech.com Date Reviewed: May 2, 2013

 

The Basics

The Keyboard Folio for iPad is a case that is specially designed to offer the best typing experience on Apple’s tablet. Using the company’s “Easy Type” design, the case offers the feel of a traditional keyboard while still fitting into the smaller parameters of the iPad. The cover is made from textured fabric and comes in Carbon Black, Fantasy Pink, Electric Blue, and Acid Yellow. The iPad frame is made from a sturdy rubberized material that is stiff, yet malleable. The keypad is made from hard plastic and features matte keys with the iconic Logitech rounded “Chiclet” design. The keyboard features Bluetooth technology with a rechargeable battery that lasts approximately three months with average use of two hours per day.

What’s in the Box

I’ve always felt that Logitech’s boxes are almost as cool as what is inside them. This case comes in a folio-style box with a magnetic side flap. When you open it, the keyboard is presented to you inside a sturdy cardboard frame. In addition to the Keyboard Folio, the package includes a USB charger with a mini USB port that plugs into the keyboard. I tested my camera’s USB-to-mini USB charging cable with the keyboard and it did not fit. However, I tested my Logitech UE 9000 headphone charger with it and it fit perfectly. The port may not be universal, but if you have other Logitech chargers, you may have multiple options for emergency charging.

Setup

To get the Keyboard Folio ready for use, snap the iPad into the rubberized frame. Because it is pliable, you can bend the frame in order to get the tablet into place. It is a pretty tight fit, but don’t be afraid to manhandle it. Neither the iPad nor the case will be affected. The frame is very sturdy. Once the iPad is snug in the folio, flip the switch on the side of the device to the On position. If this is the first time you’ve used the keyboard, it will automatically be set to pare with your tablet. If you need to reset your Bluetooth to discovery mode, touch the Bluetooth button on the side of the keyboard until the blue light begins to blink. Once your iPad is pared with the keyboard, you are ready to go.

The Folio

My first impression when I pulled the Keyboard Folio out was that I absolutely loved the way it looked. I received the Fantasy Pink model and, even though pink is not my favorite color, I thought it looked stunning. It is sleek and classic looking with tight, clean edges. This folio was designed well. Just on appearance alone, it makes other folios I’ve reviewed look weak in comparison. My second impression when I pulled the folio out of the box was that it is too heavy. Currently, my go-to keyboard case is Logitech’s Solar Keyboard Folio, which is almost a half-a-pound lighter than this folio. It is also almost twice as thick as my regular case, so it immediately felt bigger than I wanted it to be. Once I snapped the iPad in place and started using the keyboard, I was immediately charmed by its design. The iPad stands upright in front of the keyboard using magnets. When you flip the frame upright, it clicks into place. These magnets are extremely sturdy. I picked my iPad up holding just the tablet and the frame and the magnets did not release from the keyboard. I also sat my iPad on my knees and typed, causing much movement, and the keyboard stayed connected to the frame without sliding at all. I prefer this type of stand to the Solar Keyboard Folio because it snaps into place so perfectly. You don’t need to make sure it is in the right spot. It can also be held in any position and the frame will not come lose from the keyboard thanks to the magnetic connectors. When you are not using the keyboard, you can lay your iPad flat across the keys so that you don’t accidentally mash your hands onto them. I prefer this design to the Solar Keyboard Folio because it covers the keys instead of just turning off Bluetooth. With the Solar Folio, my fingers press against the keys when I have the cover flipped over for flat viewing. When you close the Keyboard Folio, it automatically puts your iPad into sleep mode. There is never an issue with the tablet not lining up properly. Every time I opened or shut the folio, the iPad woke up, or went to sleep.

The Keyboard

The keys of the Keyboard Folio are full sized. They measure approximately one-half inch squared  (except the rectangular shaped keys, of course). If you touch type, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily you sink into the comfort zone with this keyboard. All of the letters are in the exact same placement as a full desktop keyboard. The function keys, number keys, control keys, and special iPad commands are slightly different. However, basic, everyday typing feels very natural using this keyboard. I’m afraid I have a small bias toward the Solar Folio’s keyboard when it comes to touch-typing. Most of my issues are based in becoming too familiar with the shortcut layout of the Solar Folio, which just means that the keys in this model needed a little getting used to. If I had my choice, I would go with the smaller keys and more expanded keyboard layout over this Keyboard Folio’s design of larger keys with shortcuts for commonly used keys. For example, the “Caps Lock” and “Tab” keys can only be accessed by selecting the function key first. In order to give these controls their own key, the design would require smaller sized keys.

What’s Hot

The design is stunning and eye catching. Some times, there is something so good looking that you want it based on appearance alone. The Keyboard Folio has it in spades. It has a sleek, classic design with fun colors that keep it from being too stuffy. The edges are clean and crisp and the overall look is a real eye-catcher. The full-sized keys make touch-typing a breeze for everyday use. The rounded Chiclets keyboard design is ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing.

What’s Not Hot

This folio adds a significant amount of weight and size to your iPad. While it looks amazing, the user suffers for their fashion. By adding nearly one-and-a-half pounds to the tablet and an additional inch to the depth, it makes a noticeable difference in the comfort and convenience of the iPad.

Our Advice

I can’t express enough how much I loved the way the Keyboard Folio looks. It was designed extremely well and the entire product was made solidly. It is a fine and top-quality accessory that will turn heads as you walk down the street. But, like a pair of three-inch heels, you pay the price for you looks because of its added weight and size. If you don’t think the added weight or depth of your iPad will be an issue, it is an absolutely fantastic folio with a stellar keyboard. If you tend to leave your iPad at home more than you take it with you, this is definitely one for the wish list. Buy now: Get it directly from Logitech’s website for $99.99.
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