A keyboard case for the iPad mini should be much like Apple's tablet: thin, light, stylish and functional. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini ($79) is all of the above. Using its Smart Cover-like magnetic spine, this accessory protects the iPad mini during downtime and, when there's work to be done, it pairs the slate with a spry Bluetooth keyboard. Find out why this is the iPad mini keyboard to get.
Click to EnlargeThe Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini is an impressive, modish accessory. Like Apple's Smart Cover, the Keyboard mini attaches magnetically to the iPad mini, and wakes the tablet when opened. In work mode, the tablet can rest in both portrait or landscape orientation by sitting in a thin slot just above the keyboard. The back of the Logitech keyboard is a dark polished aluminum, giving it the same elegant and sturdy aesthetic as the mini.
The only drawback to this type of keyboard cover is that it leaves the iPad mini's back exposed, whereas a case such as the ZaggMini 7 protects both the front and back of the tablet.
Unlike the Luvvitt keyboard cover, which places several lights and buttons on the keyboard deck, the Keyboard mini's deck only has lights for power and Bluetooth. The small on/off switch and a pairing button are located on the right slide, along with a microUSB port for charging.
Click to EnlargeThe Keyboard mini's 0.3-inch profile is just as thin as the iPad mini and feels sturdier and better balanced than the Luvvitt Backlit Keyboard Cover, which has a similar design.
Combined, the iPad mini and Logitech keyboard weigh 1.1 pounds. That's slightly less than the Luvvitt, which weighs 1.2 pounds when added to the iPad mini, and much lighter than the ZaggMini 7, which weighs 1.5 pounds together.
Features and layout
The Logitech Keyboard Mini has a dedicated Home button that replaces traditional keyboards' Esc key, but it buries media and other iPad controls as secondary commands of the number keys. There's also no indicator for Caps Lock mode, which proved problematic while entering passwords. Secondary key options include lock, Siri, Search, Photo Gallery, and media and volume controls. The Cut, Copy and Paste keys are also secondary buttons, intelligently placed over the X, C and V keys, respectively.
Click to EnlargeWe averaged 61 words per minute with a 98 percent accuracy rating on the Keyboard mini's island-style keyboard, much better than the 53 wpm/97 percent accuracy we typed on the Luvvitt Backlit keyboard cover. Credit that performance to the Keyboard mini's responsive typing experience, which helped us overcome challenges in the button layout such as small Shift buttons. Logitech does make a couple of trade-offs to maximize the key size, including making the Caps Lock and left Tab commands secondary functions of the A and Q keys.
Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard mini delivers a quality typing experience in an attractive design. While we wish it had a keyboard backlight like the Luvvitt keyboard cover, the Logitech's comfort wins out. Those looking for more protection might prefer the ZaggMini 7, which also covers the rear of the iPad. But if you're looking for the thinnest and lightest iPad mini keyboard, the Logitech Ultrathin mini is the best choice overall.