- Simple setup
- Excellent battery life
- Great special function keys
- Keyboard a bit cramped
- When folded, case leaves back of iPad 2 exposed
Quick TakeAll in all, Logitech Keyboard Case is an excellent product that isn’t without its limitations, but its pros far outweigh its cons.
The Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG, designed specifically for the iPad 2, looks to fulfill its predecessor’s (ZAGGmate) mold by not only functioning as a wireless keyboard, but also by acting as a protective casing against any bruises, bumps or falls that may wreak havoc upon the assailable screen and sides.
For those familiar with the ZAGGmate, the Logitech Keyboard Case doesn’t stray too far, or reach much higher, than its technological predecessor, but it does a fine job of capturing what made the original model work tailoring it to the outer dimensions of the iPad 2. The Logitech Keyboard Case, currently listed at $99.99, is sturdy and sleek, and should prove to be a successful companion piece for a tablet user looking for an easier way to type with the added benefit of some front-side security.
One of the nicer things about the Logitech Keyboard Case, even for a first-time tablet keyboard user, is that its setup and features are in many ways intuitive by design. While the instruction booklet is helpful when pairing the Keyboard Case with the Apple iPad 2 via Bluetooth capabilities (something that only has to do be done once, unless the user strays to another tablet), ZAGG seems to follow Apple’s mantra towards simplicity, and one needn’t be bogged down with heavy text before navigating their new product.
There is a diagram included in the booklet that lays out the special function keys, but a quick typing test will reveal the same details albeit in a slightly more fun fashion. At the end of the day, the instructions should provide a good reference for when lights blink (signaling low battery) and as a confirmation for storing the iPad 2 for travel in the most safe and secure way possible (the separation between tablet and casing gets a little tricky). No user will feel the booklet is a time-consuming hindrance, or even a real necessity, to seeing what the Keyboard Case is, at the very least, capable of.
BUILD & DESIGN
Aircraft-grade aluminum does little for flashiness, but goes nicely with the nondescript look the iPad is known for. As both a keyboard and a case, the visual aesthetic of the compact companion is a big part of what’s working here, and its light and thin feel – only adding about 1/8-inch to the tablet – make it far from being cumbersome. It also uses a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery that will last several weeks of normal use without charging, and will thankfully go into sleep mode if it’s neglected for any significant period of time.
As a case, things folds up easily and should move nicely, but the backside of the tablet remains naked in travel mode, leaving that half of the iPad vulnerable to dings and dents. It’s a bit discouraging, as it in truth this feels like only half a case this way, but there is enough protection and padding that the front side and screen never feels like it is in jeopardy.
While the Logitech Keyboard Case services a double function, its identity as a keyboard is the far more significant of the two. You can rest the tablet in the Keyboard Case’s central groove, which allows for either a portrait or landscape orientation. In either mode, expect the tablet to tilt in a fixed position. If you’re real picky at how you look at a screen, it might be a problem for those looking for some control over their viewpoint, but ZAGG’s thinking seems targeted for the masses, and I found the screen to be at a pretty perfect angle no matter if I was typing, reading or even watching videos. While the keyboard is best viewed on a tabletop or smooth surface, it should still remain in place on the couch, bed, or pillow of your choice.
The keys are a bit cramped, and the typing space a bit tighter than a full-size keypad, but with some level of adjustment, it felt less restrictive the longer I was able to play with it. Carpal Tunnel sufferers (or worriers) will be glad to know the design essentially demands raised wrists. Those with larger digits and heftier hands might have some trouble moving around the space and keeping their heels off the edges, but it’s a clear advantage over the far more cluttered on-screen keyboard. I don’t think one would necessarily want to write a novel on such an accessory, but for notes and emails, it should do the trick nicely for most.
The aforementioned special function keys are definitely a highlight here. Not only do they give you more control of the iPad 2, they certainly complement the entire tablet experience as a whole by cutting corners and saving time. There is a home button, a search button, a slide-show button that plays saved pictures, an on-screen Keyboard hide/show button, a black screen button that makes the iPad go dark, and buttons that help control music, volume, as well as cut, copy and paste.
The Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG isn’t a true evolution from the original model, but in truth didn’t need to be when it’s precursor was already doing so many things right. The keyboard may cramp the style of fingers in need of a full-sized keyboard, but for most, the compact feel will work fine after a short period of adjustment. As a case, it protects the more important part of the tablet, but those looking for full coverage may need to seek elsewhere. All in all, an excellent product that isn’t without its limitations, but its pros far outweigh its cons.