“Micro leather” on the outside and “suede” on the inside, Roadster Writer ($100) is Logiix’s new keyboard folio case for the iPad Air. Like a number of other cases we’ve seen recently, Roadster Writer has a plastic shell on its inner right side, capable of protecting the iPad Air’s body. While the shell isn’t detachable from the folio, the large chiclet-style Bluetooth keyboard is, enabling you to adjust both the iPad’s viewing angle and the keyboard’s location relative to it. A micro-USB cable is included for charging the keyboard, but no promises are offered as to its longevity between charges.
Unlike some of the best iPad Air keyboard cases we’ve covered, such as Airbender Pro from New Trent, Logiix chose a shell with a rather low amount of coverage. Not only are the buttons and ports exposed — not unexpected for the style — but the material cuts in, away from the chamfered edges. It also appears that the case is slightly too small, as it bows at the edges, and both the top microphone and Sleep/Wake button holes come right up to the edge of what they’re respectively exposing. As for the outer case, an uninspiring piece of obviously faux leather wraps around to look like a book cover, with a magnetic latch keeping it shut. There aren’t any auto-locking magnets inside the case itself. One advantage Roadster Writer does have on most of the competition is the ability to rotate the shell for portrait orientation typing if you prefer that over landscape typing.
The keyboard is nicer than the case itself. Built into a 9.5” by 6.5” plastic plate, the whole thing magnetically attaches to the inside of the left cover, and can be easily removed. Along the edges, you’ll find the standard controls: a power switch and pairing button at the upper left corner, and the micro-USB charging port on the opposite side. Each of the letter keys measures about 0.5” on any side, which is small, but reasonable. The iPad-specific function keys are combined with the numbers, and the characters normally found on the tilde key have been reassigned, but otherwise, everything is where it should be. This includes the oft-moved apostrophe, here thankfully presented as fully sized. Typing on the keyboard is a pretty good experience. While it doesn’t feel as great as some of our favorites, the layout is totally reasonable, and the amount of travel the keys have is nice.
Most iPad keyboard cases still sell for about $100, but at that price, they generally have some standout feature to set them apart from the crowd. Roadster Writer is lacking any such attribute. It combines a good keyboard with a case that’s fine at best, and it’s too expensive. With so much solid competition out there, this one earns our C+ rating.
Company and Price
Model: Roadster Writer
Compatible: iPad Air