Ever since I got my 1st gen iPad two years ago, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to use it for writing. More specifically, I’ve been looking for a good keyboard.
There’s a lot to being a good keyboard for the iPad. It needs to have the right form factor. It should be portable and reliable. It should have iPad specific keys. It should look nice.
I’ve tried multiple keyboards over the years and none panned out. The bigger ones (like Microsoft’s Bluetooth Keyboard 6000 or Apple’s Wireless Keyboard) were nice to use, but not portable. Smaller ones (like Menoteck Flexible Mini Keyboard) were portable, but not very reliable or easy on the fingers.
After a while, I gave up looking. I assumed that my iPad would forever be sans keyboard. And I must admit that things looked bleak until a new hope emerged: Ultra Thin Keyboard Cover from Logitech.
This shiny new keyboard/cover made specifically for the iPad had a lot going for it. It looked beautiful. It was getting great reviews. It was even deemed cool enough by Apple to start selling it at the Apple store.
It had the hype, but did it have the goods? Was this beautiful keyboard/cover made specifically for the iPad all I was looking for? Read on to find out.
First, let’s talk about the good. This keyboard is very well made. It looks great, matches my iPad perfectly, and the keys feel nice and solid.
Next, it’s dead simple to use. Initial setup couldn’t be easier: the pairing was quick and painless (which is not always the case from prior experience). Furthermore, daily use is very convenient. It turns on as soon as you open the iPad and is ready to go in a second or two.
It also works great as a stand/cover. Logitech clearly put in some effort into making this thing look like it was designed for the iPad. When the cover is on, it looks like one uniform device:
When it functions as a stand, the iPad fits perfectly within its groove, either in landscape or portrait. Oh, and even though the viewing angle cannot be changed, it’s very convenient.
Finally, there are other niceties like iPad specific keys (e.g. Home screen key), which make using it almost surprisingly comfortable.
Probably the most pronounced fault is also the most obvious: it’s a compact keyboard.
For example, the length of the home row (i.e. distance between the “A” key and the “L” key) is 6 inches on this keyboard. This is a full inch shorter then a similar metric on my main keyboard (Microsoft’s Bluetooth Keyboard 6000).
How big a deal is this? Well, it definitely takes getting used to, especially if you’re a touch typist. Actually, my biggest problem was with using the delete key. It’s fairly small and took a while to find without looking.
Another thing to point out is how heavy the keyboard is. Well, to be more precise, how heavy your iPad will become with the keyboard attached. It’s certainly noticable, though nothing terrible.
I wanted to see whether this keyboard was something I could stand using for long periods of time. After a bit of use, it starts to feel almost as comfortable as using a full sized keyboard. In fact, I wrote most of this post on it.
So, if you’re looking for a keyboard for your iPad (and a cover to boot), I would definitely recommend Logitech’s Ultra Thin Keyboard Cover.
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