No matter how much we love the touchscreens, virtual keyboard is still considered to be a compromise. With full touchscreen devices like iPad 2, navigating through the device is a breeze. But when it comes to typing long emails or posts, it is still a pain to use the virtual keyboards. Keeping this in mind, Apple has ensured that their Wireless Bluetooth keyboard works fine with iPad (and iPad 2). Thankfully, we now have a huge collection of Bluetooth keyboard cases which we will be reviewing one-by-one over the coming days. We start off the campaign with Logitech Keyboard case by Zagg.
Keyboard cases like this one from Logitech have couple of advantages over Apple’s wireless keyboard-
- They have some iOS specific keys like search which are missing from the Apple wireless keyboard
- They also act like cases for the iPad, ensuring better portability
Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2 by Zagg
This keyboard case from Logitech is one of the most popular ones available in the market right now. Logitech has always been known for their keyboards and mice, but not much for their cases. This is why they have teamed up with mobile accessory specialists – Zagg to come up with the keyboard case for iPad 2.
When the iPad is placed on the keyboard case, it looks and feels just like a netbook. The keyboard connects wirelessly to the iPad 2 via Bluetooth. The initial pairing is pretty simple and straight-forward. Once paired, the keyboard connects to the iPad 2 automatically on subsequent usages.
Unlike many other keyboard cases, Logitech provides a real keyboard where the keys fully depress while typing and feels just like the normal keyboard. The size of this keyboard is around 90% of a full sized traditional keyboard and for someone with quite big fingers, it wasn’t too tough to type with both hands under normal speed.
The best part of using the Logitech Keyboard is the presence of special keys for controlling the iPad 2. They include –
- Home key: Replaces the physical home button on the iPad 2.
- Search key: Brings up the iPad 2 search screen
- Photo slideshow key: Plays the slideshow of the photos in your iPad 2 albums.
- Virtual keyboard key: Toggles the virtual keyboard on the iPad 2
- Cut, Copy, Paste keys
- Media Player keys: Play/Pause, Previous/Next track, Volume up/down, Volume mute
- Screen Lock/Unlock key
The presence of these special keys help you avoid touching the iPad 2 screen to a large extent. But I still loathe the absence of some keys like a key to open the web browser or a key to jump through opened apps.
The keyboard has a narrow slot to place the iPad 2 and serves as a stand as well. The iPad 2 can be placed in both landscape and portrait modes. The entire assembly is quite sturdy when used on a flat surface, but not as much when you want to use it on your lap while laying on the couch.
Unfortunately, Logitech keyboard case for iPad 2 is more of a keyboard than a case. It’s true that the case is made of Aircraft-grade aluminum with Military grade high-density padding but it fails to provide any protection for the iPad’s back.
While using it as a case, the iPad 2 has to be placed face-down on top of the keyboard and it easily pops in the tray securely. But it isn’t as easy when you try to take off the iPad from the tray. The fact that the case is so light (weighs just 12.2 ounces/0.345 kg) should negate the minor issues like the ones above. If you use a cloth/leather pouch case for your iPad 2, you should have no issues to carry it along with the Logitech keyboard case.
Logitech keyboard case for iPad 2 uses a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which, according to ZAGG, will last several weeks of normal use without charging. I’m not able to verify this claim, but I’ve been using the case for over a week without having to charge the batteries even once.
Truth to be told, not everyone would need a keyboard case for their iPad 2. If you are someone who uses iPad 2 more like a tablet and less like a notebook, keyboard case isn’t for you. But if you fall in that other category, where you are required to type long emails/notes/blog posts on the move, Logitech keyboard case is a great choice. It is light, it is thin, it has amazing build quality and it works as advertised (except for the lack of back protection).
At $99.99, it isn’t cheap, but worth the price if you use it regularly. It is available on dozens of retailers including Amazon at a much lower price.
Disclosure: The sample unit was provided by ZAGG for review.