Featuring a membrane-style keyboard, the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is not only water resistant, but also offers a thin and attractive design that's available in several fashionable colors. However, at $149, this case costs more than its competitors. Is it worth the premium?
The Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio is one of the best-looking keyboard covers around. It comes in three color-schemes: orange and white, black with white trim, and black with yellow trim. The entire design -- how the cover folds on the back, the eyehole opening for the iPad camera, the indent near the volume keys -- is smarter than other covers and has a more futuristic, trendy appeal.
Your iPad Air clips secure into two "feet" at the top that hold it in place. To use the keyboard, you slide the iPad Air forward and place its bottom edge on an invisible magnetic strip just above the number keys. Unlike the M-Edge Universal Stealth Pro and Belkin keyboard cases, you can only prop your iPad at one angle. However, of all the cases we tested, only Logitech's let us use our iPad comfortably in our lap without fear that it would fall over.
Click to EnlargeThe keyboard area is white like the rest of the cover and is not removable. Unlike other cases, which have discrete keys, the Logitech's keyboard is a solid membrane that is water-repellent . A loop on one edge near the spacebar holds a stylus.
The cover measures 10 x 7.3 inches and is 0.7 inches thick. At 14.4 ounces, it's about average when it comes to iPad keyboard cases. By comparison, the Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus with Backlit Keyboard weighs 21.6 ounces.
Click to EnlargeThe thin, recessed keys of the FabricSkin reminded us of the original Microsoft Surface RT cover keyboard, and not in a good way. The keys felt mushy and had poor feedback, which made it necessary to press harder than we would prefer. As a result of all this, we experienced a greater adjustment period than with other keyboard cases. Eventually, we typed at 63 words-per-minute on average with a 98-percent accuracy rate using the TapTyping app. This is just a hair less than what we scored with the M-Edge Universal Stealth Pro Keyboard Folio using the same app -- 64 words-per-minute .
Oddly, the Caps Lock key is combined with the A key, and the Tab is combined with the Q key. You get used to typing with the A key after a while, but initially it's disconcerting. Also, instead of a dedicated row for iPad-specific functions (such as Home, Browser and music controls), you must press the Function button plus a number key.
Logitech says that the FabricSkin's battery will last three months for two hours of daily use. As with other Bluetooth keyboards, you use a microUSB port to charge it.
Click to EnlargeWhile it has the trendiest look among keyboard cases, the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio's keys took longer to get used to. And it costs more than its competitors. At $149, it's $50 more than the M-Edge Stealth Pro, which may not be as stylish, but offers a better typing experience and works with a wider variety of tablets. If you're paranoid about spilling coffee on your keyboard, you may like the idea of the Logitech FabricSkin, but once you try its mushy keys, you'll wish you had bought something else.