Make no mistake about it: the iPad’s on-screen keyboard is actually very good. You can easily rattle off a quick email or tweet with it, and some more proficient users have been known to write several hundred words without their fingers falling off.
But not everyone gets on with it, and if you’re a professional write then you’ll probably hit its limitations. Compared to even a poor-quality physical keyboard, the iPad’s virtual one simply feels weird.
Apple’s preferred solution is for you to use the iPad with its own excellent Bluetooth keyboard. However, this means you also have to carry around something to prop the iPad up with, and although Apple’s keyboard is slim, it’s still bulky and likely to rattle around a bag. What’s more, using it on a lap (like, say, a laptop) is tricky.
There’s lots and lots of leather and plastic “keyboard folio” cases which purport to solve the problem. But most of the ones that I’ve seen feel cheap and flimsy. And that’s where the Logitech Keyboard Case comes in.
The Logitech is a licensed version of the ZaggMate, which was produced for the original iPad. Rather than being made from plastic, the Keyboard Case is created from a nice, solid piece of aluminium. The iPad fits into a groove, either in portrait or landscape mode, and connects to the keyboard via Bluetooth. The whole thing is well-balanced, and can easily be sat in your lap to type at a nice angle.
As someone who does a lot of writing, the quality of the keyboard is particularly important to me, and the Logitech doesn’t disappoint. While it’s not full size – the keyboard is about 90% of a full one – it’s got a nice feel to to, firm without being punishing on the fingers. Logitech has squeezed some extra room by shrinking a few of the less-used keys down to half size, such as the quote marks, backslash and tilde keys, but they haven’t compromised on the important ones like the enter key and space bar.
Along the top, there’s a row of small keys with iPad-specific functions including one to return you to the home screen, cut, copy and paste, and audio controls. There’s even a small set of arrow keys for the folks (like me) who love to move the cursor around the old-fashioned way.
If the Logitech were just a keyboard and a stand, it would be nice enough. But it’s also a case, or perhaps more accurately a half-case. Place your iPad face down on the Logitech and it fits snugly, protecting the glass in a way that’s simple and yet very effective. Because it’s made from aluminium, it’s also light and strong enough to take a few knocks. However, the back of your iPad is still exposed, so you won’t want to just throw the covered iPad into a normal bag – something padded, though, will be more than enough protection for most eventualities.
The Logitech Keyboard Case isn’t the cheapest around. You can find it on Amazon for around £85, but the quality of the construction and the innovativeness of the design makes it, I think, more than worth the money.