When you have a tablet as thin and light as the iPad, it seems a shame that most of the keyboard cases on the market are at least twice as thick and heavy. No more. The $99 Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is just as svelte as Apple's tablet. But how does it perform as a keyboard?
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Except for the logo, the aluminum back of the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover could be mistaken for the iPad itself. Flip it over, and you're presented with an attractive glossy black deck and matte black island-style keyboard. A band of white is there where the iPad sits, which has a magnet in the well to lock the iPad in place when docked.
At the top of the dock is a magnetic hinge that attaches to a second- or third-generation iPad. On the right side is a microUSB port used to charge the keyboard, a power switch and a Bluetooth pairing button.
At 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.35 inches, the Keyboard Case has nearly the same dimensions as the new iPad, but at 0.6 pounds, weighs less than half as much. It's also half as thick and heavy as other keyboard cases, such as the Kensington Keyfolio Pro or the Belkin Keyboard Folio (10.75 x 8 x 0.75 inches, 1.29 pounds), though it protects both sides of the iPad.
Pairing the keyboard with our iPad was as simple as turning on the former, and activating Bluetooth on the latter. Our iPad recognized the keyboard instantly, and in less than 30 seconds, we were typing away.
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When we first docked our iPad 2 in the Logitech case, we were worried that it would slip out if we tilted it back too far. Our concerns were allayed though, as the magnets in the slot held the iPad securely, even when we held the case vertically. While you can't change the angle of the iPad, we were able to see the screen comfortably even with the keyboard on our lap.
Logitech's island-style keyboard was one of the more comfortable we've typed on.
Using the TapTyping app test, we averaged 58 words per minute with a 98 percent accuracy rate. While that's not as high as the Belkin (62 wpm/99 percent), it's pretty close.
Unlike other keyboard cases, such as the Belkin Keyboard Folio, the row of iPad-specific functions (volume, cut, paste, etc.) is combined with the number row, so you must press the Fn key to access those commands. It also lacks dedicated .com and @ keys.
Logitech estimates that the keyboard will last up to six months on a charge, assuming you use it for two hours a day.
While it doesn't protect the back of your iPad, the $99 Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is the sleekest keyboard case on the market. Even better, it doesn't sacrifice usability for style. We wish there were a dedicated row of iPad keys, but it's something we're willing to overlook in the name of portability. Those who want a little more protection should check out the Belkin Keyboard Folio, but those looking to travel as light as possible will find the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ideal for their needs.