I was in Washington DC for the first of four quick trips I’ll be taking in the coming weeks. The overnight was punctuated by a series of back to back meetings at which I took copious notes. Having the right tools was key. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air let me keep up with the information flow.
The case is just under $100 but ([Affiliate Link] it is under $70 here on Amazon.)
Our unique layout is based on decades of expertise and research. Despite its smaller size, the key size has been maximized. Ultrathin Keyboard Folio keeps the same keys as on standard keyboards, so little learning curve is needed.
Thus far I have found a case from Belkin to be my favorite when used with the iPad Air. I was, however, excited to try this case. I’m always impressed with Logitech products and their mobile keyboards are always among my favorites. In fact, right now I am typing this review on a Logitech keyboard that works with three different devices at once. I’ve used the keyboard extensively and it has continued to serve me incredibly well.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is a folio-style case. That means that, when closed, the case keeps the iPad protected from bumps and bruises. The case covers both the front and back of iPad with what Logitech refers to as “state-of-the-art, water-repellant materials.”
My initial impressions of the case weren’t actually all that positive. The material used looks and feels like a hard rubber with matte finish. It does the job but doesn’t feel “high-end” the way the iPad does.
The case extends past the edges of the iPad. This is great when one considers the way in which it helps protect the iPad inside but it makes for a case that is a bit larger than it otherwise needs to be.
It also means that case looks and feels a tiny bit less refined than it might otherwise look. The good news is that, as I have used the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air, it has grown on me.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air Features:
- Thin, light design with integrated Bluetooth keyboard
- Incredibly fast, fluid and comfortable typing experience.
- Weighs only 0.9lbs
- Measures just 0.79in thick
- Includes time-saving iOS shortcut keys for copy, paste, undo
- Frees up screen space on iPad
Logitech describes the case as offering a “dual-view stand” design. That means the Ultrathin Keyboard Folio can hold the iPad in an upright with the keyboard exposed for typing.
It also means you can lay the iPad flat against the case while hiding the keyboard.
In this position you have complete access to the screen for browsing the web, listening to music or, when propped on something, watching videos. (Of course in keyboard mode you can also watch movies handsfree.)
Along one side you will find the power button, pairing button and the micro USB port for use when charging the keyboard with the included USB cable. The battery inside the keyboard will give you up to three months of use assuming you use the keyboard for two hours a day.
The case has what Logitech refers to as the SecureLock system. This mechanism allows the iPad to be held securely using lightweight low-profile clips that are unassuming, don’t add additional weight or bulk but do a good job of gripping the tablet quite tightly and locking it in place.
One of the great aspects of the system is the fact that removing the iPad is as simple as grabbing it and pulling it down out of the clips.
The case has magnets that keep the keyboard folio closed when not in use. They get a surprisingly tight grip on the tablet and help ensure that there is minimal slipping and sliding when the folio is placed into a bag. There is some movement of the iPad against the case when closed but I haven’t found it opening accidentally. Rubber bumpers on the corner prevent the keys of the keyboard from coming into direct contact with the screen of the tablet.
The actual typing experience on the keyboard is quite good. The keys are nicely spaced and offer a good amount of throw. There’s nothing cheap feeling about them and hitting them quite hard doesn’t seem to faze the typing process nor does it result in any flex of the keyboard itself.
This is a smaller than normal keyboard but the keys themselves are not impacted. To get this size savings some of the functionality is doubled up but not to the degree we’ve seen with other iPad keyboards. The cut copy and paste buttons are included with the letters X, C and V and are activated using the function button as is familiar to many of us using Apple products. The specialty functionalities such as the microphone, audio controls and volume controls are found along the top line of keys mixed in with the numbers. Here to pressing the function and the key will activate those specialty buttons. A special home button sits in the upper left-hand corner of the keyboard.
The experience of typing on the keyboard work is phenomenal. I used this in all of my sessions this past Wednesday and was able to keep up with the various speakers while taking notes along the way. The battery life is stellar as well and when you combine the keyboard battery life with the longevity of the iPad itself you have a far better combination than many other mobile note taking possibilities currently available.
My biggest issue with the keyboard is that when the tablet is angled for use in typing mode it isn’t held quite as securely in place as I would like. There are magnets that hold the tablet but I would have preferred them being a little bit stronger than they are. This is a small gripe and not one that gets in the way all too frequently but I did find it to be a challenge at times when the tablet slipped out of position when moving around. It does mean this won’t be the right keyboard if you’re planning to type while balancing everything on your knee.
Finally it’s worth noting that the cutout for the camera is perfect and allows you to use your tablet for photos and video if that is something you enjoy doing. (Please don’t.)
In all this is a keyboard portfolio that has grown on me the more I’ve used it and is the keyboard case that I will likely be bringing with me when I returned to Washington in a week and a half. There, too, I will be going from session to session and will need to take notes. This keyboard case will allow me to have everything I need in a small, light package that will also keep going despite the fact that I will be going from sun up until late in the evening. At an MSRP of just under $100 this is a reasonable value and when you consider the fact that it can be purchased through Amazon at a nice discount it’s an even better deal. If your iPad Air functions as your portable office this should definitely be one of the keyboard cases you consider. It’s relatively lightweight, offers excellent protection and provides a good typing experience. It comes highly recommended and that’s after serious real-world use. You can learn more here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air
What I Like: Great typing experience; Holds iPad securely; Good protection when iPad not in use; Good battery life; Easy to setup and use; Camera cutout lets you still use the photo and video functions; Easy to insert and remove the tablet
What Needs Improvement: Case extends past the tablet making it a bit bigger than it needs to be; iPad not locked into typing mode as securely as I would like