Tablets like the iPad 2 are quickly sneaking up on laptops as the preferred device for computing while traveling or casual at-home use. But one of the biggest drawbacks to the functionality of the iPad is its lack of a real keyboard. Typing anything longer than a Facebook status or quick email on your iPad can seem arduous and frustrating. Logitech’s new Keyboard Case for iPad 2 aims to solve that problem by integrating a Bluetooth keyboard and a slim protective case in one item.
The idea behind the Logitech Keyboard Case is solid. Why have a case for your iPad 2 and a separate Bluetooth keyboard when you could combine the two into one slim accessory? The case has the slim part down. It barely adds any bulk to the iPad 2 when folded into the aluminum keyboard case. Setting up the keyboard is fast and easy, requiring you to only press a button on the keyboard and select the device from the settings on your iPad 2. After that, the keyboard is paired via Bluetooth and you can start typing.
While the keyboard isn’t full-sized, it does have nice buttons that feel similar to those on a real keyboard. The buttons are a little more cramped and we pressed two letters at once a couple times, but for a travel keyboard it is a comfortable size and better than most. The keyboard also includes handy “special function” keys that let you quickly return to the iPad’s home page, cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, and control volume and playlist options.
The keyboard case features a long groove designed to hold the iPad 2 in both portrait and landscape modes for typing and viewing. To stand you iPad 2 up, you must first set up a special triangular ‘hinge’ that will support the back of the device. Unfortunately, this ‘hinge’ feels cheap and like it could break or malfunction at any time. This also means that your iPad 2 is in no way secured to the keyboard. We would be wary of carrying or moving it without undoing the hinge and placing the iPad 2 back in the case.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the keyboard case is its function as an actual protective case. While the keyboard includes high-density padding to protect the front of your iPad 2, the case does nothing to protect the back of your device, which is particularly vulnerable to scratching. The less obvious problem is that getting the iPad 2 in and out of the case is less than seamless. The instructions on how to remove the iPad 2 are confusing to begin with, and the iPad 2 slipped when we awkwardly tried to remove it. One wrong move and you could do damage to your iPad 2 instead of safely protecting it.
The Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2 functions beautifully as a Bluetooth keyboard, but fails as a protective case. The keyboard is a nice size and has extra features that make typing on your iPad 2 easier and more convenient. We could see this case being useful for travel as it is lightweight and slim, but the case is sorely lacking in protection for your device and setting it up and returning the iPad 2 to the case is painfully awkward. Overall, we’d prefer a safer case and a separate Bluetooth keyboard to this combination of the two.
- Easy pairing
- Good size keyboard
- Slim design
- Special function keys
- Aluminum exterior
- Useful in portrait and landscape modes
- Difficult to open and close
- Doesn’t secure iPad
- Doesn’t protect back of iPad
- Cheap plastic hinge