Logitech Slim Folio Review: Keyboard Case for iPad

by Reads (369)
  • Pros

    • Unusually protective for a keyboard case
    • Offers high-quality keyboard
    • Competitive price
  • Cons

    • Allows only one typing angle
    • Keyboard can’t be separated
    • No keyboard backlights
    • Not for those with large hands

Quick Take

The Logitech Slim Folio is well suited to turning the 9.7-inch iPad (2017) into a laptop with a quality keyboard, and it offers more protection than many of its rivals. The design isn't very adjustable, though.

The 9.7-inch iPad (2017) isn’t as powerful as Apple’s Pro series, but it can nevertheless be turned into a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop with the right accessories, such as the Logitech Slim Folio.

This combination keyboard/case is available now for $99.99. Is this iPad add-on worth the extra cash? Read on to find out.

Logitech Slim Folio Build & Design

Logitech’s accessory wraps completely around the iPad, protecting its front, back, and corners. Naturally, there are cutouts for the speakers, buttons, and ports. Its keyboard covers the tablet’s display.

This isn’t a rugged case, and it offers little protection against water, but the Slim Folio nevertheless offers more peace of mind than many other keyboard cases that aren’t quite as thick and robust. It’s quite capable of saving the computer from scratches, bumps, and blows.

Logitech Slim Folio

Slim Folio in Laptop Mode

When closed, this product is 9.8 by 7.2 by 0.80 inches. That makes it a bit wider and taller than the iPad alone, but considerably thicker. There’s also more weight: 0.98 pounds. Still, the end result is a device that’s far better protected and much easier to type on.

The Slim Folio doesn’t use the traditional clamshell design, but it’s close. This accessory opens like a clamshell, but then the bottom of the iPad is brought forward to magnetically attach to a strip right above the keyboard. This creates a kickstand to support the computer. The tablet is held in firmly in place, and doesn’t move when the display is tapped on.

A disadvantage of this design is that it can hold the tablet at only one angle: 120º. That’s a functional angle, but some rival cases offer more flexibility.

In a clever embellishment, there’s no need for an on/off button. Clicking the iPad onto the magnetic strip activates the keyboard, and removing it turns it off. Similarly, closing the Slim Folio will shut down the screen, while opening it reactivates the device.

Another downside of this design is that the keyboard can’t be separated from the rest of the case. It can be easily folded behind the iPad, allowing this device to still be used as a tablet, but the only way to leave the keyboard behind is to remove the entire folio case. Fortunately, this can be done in just a few seconds.

Logitech Slim Folio

Logitech Slim Folio in Blue Casing

The Slim Folio is available in in black or blue casings. And unlike some of Logitech’s keyboard/cases, the color change is reflected throughout the product, e.g. the keys on the blue version are also blue.

Some of the exterior is hard plastic, but most is a canvas-like material (Logitech calls it a technical fabric) that’s comfortable to hold, not slick, and looks great.

This accessory was designed specifically for the Apple iPad released in the spring of 2017. However, we tested it with a first-generation iPad Air and found that the two fit together nicely. This is because the exterior of the latest iPad is almost identical with Apple’s tablet from 2013. The iPad Air 2 is thinner, and therefore isn’t compatible.

Logitech Slim Folio Keyboard

The 9.7-inch screen on the iPad gives Logitech room for a hardware keyboard that’s a bit smaller than a desktop one, with a key area that is 9.2 by 3.8 inches.

Logitech Slim Folio

Logitech Slim Folio Keyboard

Its 78 keys are arranged in standard QWERTY layout. Each is 0.6 by 0.6 inches, with 0.05 in. key separation. That’s better than having no separation, but is little enough that those with large hands are likely to find this keyboard cramped. Other people we asked to try the Slim Folio had no problems touchtyping.

Keys use a scissor mechanism, and are relatively quiet. The keyboard deck is firm, and there’s 1.5 mm of key travel.

Above the standard keyboard is a row of iOS function keys. One of these is an alternate Home keys, and another locks the iPad. Also included is controls for multimedia playback and volume, handy for those who like to listen to music while they type.

There are no backlights, which is unfortunate but is probably a cost-saving decision.

Logitech Slim Folio Performance

The Logitech Slim Folio connects to the iPad over Bluetooth. Apple built support for Bluetooth keyboards into iOS, so all that’s necessary is to pair this accessory with the tablet to begin typing.

In our time testing this product, we experienced no problems with key presses not being recognized, or inadvertently being repeated. The connection between keyboard and tablet never accidentally dropped.

Logitech Slim Folio

Slim Folio in Tablet Mode

Of course, the Slim Folio has the same minor irritation that all Bluetooth keyboards suffer from: they shut themselves off after a period of inactivity in order to save battery power. This means that the user will occasionally need to wait a few seconds while the keyboard reconnects to the iPad. That said, there are no options besides Bluetooth to add a hardware keyboard to this tablet, so it’s the only game in town.

Logitech Slim Folio Battery

This accessory is powered by two replaceable “coin” batteries, rather than a rechargeable one. The manufacturer promises that these will last for up to 4 years if the Slim Folio is used for 2 hours a day. Obviously, we can’t test this claim, but we can say that Bluetooth keyboards typically require little power, so this one is likely to last for a considerable time.

Also, replacement batteries are cheap: a pair is about $3, and a 4-pack is under $5. Heavy users might be wise to go ahead and buy a set of replacements in case the originals wear out at an inopportune time. The press of button indicates remaining battery level, but this isn’t precise.

Logitech Slim Folio Final Thoughts

The 9.7-inch iPad (2017) is a consumer tablet intended by Apple for casual use, but even non-professionals sometimes need to enter lots of text. The Logitech Slim Folio is well suited to turning this computer into a laptop with a quality keyboard. And it offers more protection than many of its rivals.

Logitech Slim Folio

Logitech Slim Folio in Black

That said, it doesn’t have the most adjustable design. And some non-critical features have been left out to keep the price below $100.

Apple’s mid-range tablet is so new there are few direct competitors, but the similar ZAGG rugged messenger is also $99.99. This indicates that Logitech’s product is priced where it should be.

Pros:

  • Unusually protective for a keyboard case
  • Offers high-quality keyboard
  • Competitive price

Cons:

  • Allows only one typing angle
  • Keyboard can’t be separated
  • No keyboard backlights
  • Not for those with large hands



LEAVE A COMMENT

0 Comments

|
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.