‘Why have a normal iPad case when you can have a case that doubles as a keyboard?’ is the thought that ran through a Logitech designer’s head when they designed their range of cases.
Now they have scaled it down for the iPad’s smaller sibling.
What really shines for the keyboard, which is designed for the iPad mini and the iPad mini with Retina display, is its ability to double up as a cover and its command functions.
As someone who carries my iPad mini around in the bottom of my bag,without a case, a cover that offers a second practical use makes perfect sense.
It clips to the iPad by a magnetic clip and holds the tablet securely (even when tipped upside down), and when being held the keyboard feels sturdy as well as being capable of protecting the iPad.
The keyboard-cover, which is just 6.4mm in depth, retails at £49.99, allows the iPad to be protected when not in use and also doubles as a stand.
The keyboard, which connects to the iPad via Bluetooth, is comfortable to type on with the pressure needed to execute each stroke not being either excessive or too light.
Based on two hours use a day the keyboard will retain its battery for three months, which is perfect for anyone wanting to use it on a train commute to work.
The biggest issue I had when using the keyboard was adapting to the size and spacing of the keys.
While the amount of space between the keys is generous there are naturally limitations to the overall shape and length of the keyboard.
As with almost all cases designed for iPad, the Logitech creation doubles as a stand and is also hinged to change to a more comfortable viewing angle.
The most irking design element, which may come down to a unfamiliarity compared with my current set up, was the positioning of the shift key.
I often while typing found my hand resting on the outer keys of ‘q’, ‘a’ and ‘z’ whereas when typing on a desktop computer my hands tend to hover over ‘Shift’, ‘Caps Lock’ and co.
This led to a lot of red squiggly lines underneath the incomprehensible sentences.
However, there were times while using the keyboard where typing felt natural and could easily flow without no more mistakes than I usually would make.
With a prolonged use I can see that it is very possible to adapt to using the keyboard and type in a way that is comfortable and accurate.
The biggest question that has to be answered when using a keyboard designed for iPad is how does it compare to the onscreen keyboard?
The native keyboard on the iPad feels less cluttered due to the one less row of keys but it does have the flexibility of being able to change the character set with the press of a button.
If you are typing a large amount on the iPad then having a pressure sensitive keyboard will be better for the fingers.
One huge advantage over the iPad’s inbuilt keyboard is the softness which is felt when typing, rather than the solid glass screen of the tablet.
The keyboard also has a range of function keys (operated in the same way as an Apple-made keyboard) which allows you to change music, lock the iPad, easily take a screenshot and do anything it is possible to do with a traditional keyboard.
Overall the Logitech devices makes having a case for you iPad mini more practical while also offering protection that you can trust.
3/5: USEFUL BUT NOT ESSENTIAL