Review: Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2
Logitech's Keyboard Case for iPad 2 ($100) is a co-branded update of the Zagg Zaggmate with Keyboard that we reviewed earlier this year; the major form and function are the same, so we won't rehash all of the information here. This is still an aluminum shell with a hard plastic Bluetooth keyboard and pop-up plastic iPad stand inside, designed to hold the iPad 2 face-down when not in use, and bundled with a USB charging cable. However, there are some noteworthy differences between the two generations of this product. First is a slightly smaller footprint to accommodate the smaller size of the iPad 2: the new version is just a hair shorter in both directions. Luckily, the keys are still the same size -- about 90% of those on a traditional keyboard.
We appreciated that Logitech improved the fonts used on the keys, as well as on the body of the case; the continued inclusion of iOS-specific keys along the top row is also a very nice touch. In addition to the Home Screen, Spotlight, Screen Saver, Keyboard, volume, track control, and lock buttons seen on Apple’s iPad Keyboard Dock, there are also keys for cut, copy, paste, undo, and redo. Logitech did choose to leave out the brightness controls, however, as was the case on Zagg’s original iPad version. Typing remains the same as on the prior Zagg version of this keyboard: as accurate as the best of the other iPad-specific keyboards we’ve tested, but not quite up to snuff with Apple’s Wireless Keyboard or iPad Keyboard Dock, both of which have full-sized keys.
There are a couple of less than positive changes this time out. For one, the Dock Connector port opening has been relocated and is now on the opposite side from the keyboard’s charging port, which could potentially make charging both devices at the same time a little more of a hassle. Rubber feet for the case are no longer included in the package, so the metal is left to rub against the desk it’s likely to sit on. These offsets keep the Logitech version of this case at the same overall rating as its Zagg predecessor.
So who should consider Logitech’s Keyboard Case for iPad 2? As we said in the Zaggmate with Keyboard review, this is an accessory for users who aren’t looking for substantial iPad 2 body protection, but want a relatively low-profile Bluetooth keyboard that does a very good job of approximating a netbook-quality typing experience. While the accessory’s overall level of performance as a case precludes it from meriting our general level recommendation, it’s worthy of a limited recommendation for users who intend to toss their iPad 2s and keyboards into a more protective bag of some sort, and value the modest space savings they’ll achieve by squeezing everything into the iPad 2’s only slightly fatter footprint. Given the price of this accessory and the keyboard compromises it entails, we’d still lean towards a less expensive Apple Wireless Keyboard with any of a dozen other cases, but if all you want is screen protection, this is a fine option.