The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini
is one among many accessories that Logitech has developed for Apple's product lines in recent times. In particular, the Swiss-based peripheral maker has had considerable success accessorizing Apple's iPad product line. We quite liked its FabricSkin Keyboard Folio
for the larger iPad, but were interested to find out if a much smaller keyboard accessory for an iPad mini
was worth parting with $80.
Even though the iPad mini does not yet sport a Retina display, it is thought to comprise up to 60 percent of Apple's total iPad shipments. There are likely two key reasons for this: firstly, the iPad mini offers a cheaper entry point to an iPad for many users, while secondly, the smaller form factor is more attractive to some for its reduced footprint and overall weight. It is interesting then to note that the iPad mini (308 grams) coupled with a Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (208 grams) weighs a combined 516 grams - some 136 grams lighter than the larger 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display on its own.
The software keyboard on the 9.7-inch iPad in landscape view is much easier to use than it is on the iPad mini. The larger display makes the scaled-up software keys easier to tap, while also making for a more comfortable and less cramped typing experience - with a SmartCover, touch-typing on the larger iPad display is an acceptable proposition. A small physical keyboard, however, does not seem at first blush to be the answer the iPad mini's smaller software keyboard. Its physical keys are going to be smaller the equivalent accessory for a larger iPad; but is it going to be a better proposition than using the software keyboard on the iPad mini?
Logitech has used the space available to it on the its Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad mini very well. To help keep the keys an acceptable size for easier typing, the company has merged functional keys on either side of the keyboard. The 'caps lock' key, for example, has been merged with the 'A' key. Where controls like the 'backspace' key can be replaced with a simple touch of the iPad mini display, they have been eliminated altogether. This has proved a masterstroke in making the Logitech's keyboard cover a very useable device.
We have found that when using the iPad mini for activities including typing emails, taking notes, or editing documents, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is a significant improvement over the standard iPad mini software keyboard experience. It also liberates the iPad mini display of the software keyboard, freeing up the display for getting what you need to get done with a full screen view. The Logitech keyboard over also acts as a useful stand when watching movies, while it also covers the display of the iPad when joined using its magnetic latch. It has four rubber nubs that help to keep the keyboard from scratching the display in this mode.
If the form factor of the iPad mini appeals to you, you will find that the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover makes for a very useful peripheral. The two devices together remain very compact and portable, while the keyboard cover also has a very handy rechargeable in-built battery that is good for up to three months per charge. It's not likely that iPad mini users have opted for the iPad mini because they are looking for the ultimate productivity tool on the go, but in tandem with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, it certainly make the iPad mini more versatile.
By Sanjiv Sathiah