Logitech introduced its Create Keyboard Case for the 12.9″ iPad Pro last year, and now the company has released Create for the smaller 9.7″ iPad Pro. This edition is cheaper ($130, down from $150), and smaller (of course). The Smart Connector keyboard has the same layout as the larger version, albeit with smaller-sized keys — which are still backlit. The 9.7″ Create also adds an Apple Pencil holder to the case, which is a very welcome inclusion. Create comes in blue and black color options.
We had issues with the weight and general awkwardness of 12.9” iPad Pro Create case, and the smaller size works wonders here. When an iPad Pro is in the case, the total weight is just under 2 pounds — a significant decrease from the 3.17 pound 12.9” Create. The exterior of Create is still a nice, water-repellent synthetic fabric, and there’s still button coverage and proper openings for the rear camera and all ports. Create doesn’t quite offer complete protection — there are openings at the top and bottom of the Pro — but it’ll be close enough for most. And the addition of a simple loop to hold an Apple Pencil is a big bonus.
Apple’s Smart Connector presents a simple and effective iPad-keyboard link, and that’s unchanged on Create. The keyboard here is all plastic, while the larger Create offered an aluminum area to surround the keys. Create’s keyboard uses all the space possible for its keys. It’s not as large as a standard keyboard, but it’s quite good considering the space limitations. Shortcut keys are still here, and it’s great to have backlighting, as well. The keys themselves are responsive, and adequate for longer stretches of typing. Create is workable on a lap, but it’s best on a sturdy surface.
The case can also drop down into a drawing mode to use with Apple Pencil. In fact, the only thing Create really lacks as a total solution is that there isn’t really a great way to hold it as a normal tablet. It’s a bit awkward in that way, so like most keyboard cases, it’s still at its best when typing.
Logitech’s Create is a bit more refined here than it was for the larger iPad Pro. Installation is easier, there’s a place to hold Apple Pencil, the total package is lighter, and we experienced none of the odd connection issues we found with the larger Create. The keyboard case is expensive, but not unreasonably so — we’ve reviewed very good Bluetooth keyboards in a similar price range, and those lack the ease of the Smart Connector. Overall, this is a good glimpse at the potential of Apple’s Smart Connector, and this version of Create earns our high recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: 9.7” iPad Pro