Logitech’s IPad Keyboard Is Cheaper Than Apple’s — And It Has More Features

Logitech’s IPad Keyboard Is Cheaper Than Apple’s — And It Has More Features

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CNN —  

Last year we tested Logitech’s entry Combo Touch case for the eight-generation iPad and deemed it the ultimate accessory for Apple’s entry-level tablet. Flash forward over a year later, and we now have the 2021 iPad Pro — a device that delivers more than enough power for work and play while also making the content look great. And while you could opt for a Magic Keyboard — the Apple-made $299 or $329 keyboard and trackpad accessory that lets your iPad float — we’d recommend taking a look at the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Pro instead. Its starting price is just $199.99, and that’s just one reason why it’s a better option. Let’s break down why.

Logitech

Apple got a lot right with the Magic Keyboard when it first released in the spring of 2020. It delivers a punchy typing experience with plenty of travel and a large trackpad for navigating iPadOS. Oddly enough, though, it only offers the standard QWERTY keys with the required extras (shift, caps lock, tab, etc.) and doesn’t have a top row of function keys. While the keys are backlit, you can’t control the backlighting with a key command. A little odd.

The Combo Touch fixes this from the start. You get a full standard QWERTY keyboard with the required keys and a complete row of function keys. The top row features keys for home, screen brightness, digital keyboard, spotlight search, keyboard backlighting control, playback controls (reverse, play/pause, forward), volume down, volume up, mute and lock. It’s a similar experience to what you’ll find on Logitech keyboards and even the MacBook Air. It’s also the same layout that we loved on Combo Touch for iPad.

These integrate directly with iPadOS and work out of the box — no need to install a specific app or even play around in settings. While working between this review in Ulysses (a word processing app) on the left and viewing a PDF in Notability on the right, we could easily hit the Spotlight search key to pull up an asset or check a term. The screen brightness keys are convenient when you don’t want to stretch your hand and manage it from the Control Center. Similarly, media playback lets you stay focused on your work with the ability to control whatever is playing in the background without having to switch to your music app.

Function keys make all the difference and sit on top of an excellent keyboard. You get a complete set of keys, and it’s roomy, especially on the 12.9-inch variant. The 11-inch Combo Touch feels a bit tighter, but not to the point where you can’t work on it efficiently. Logitech has opted for plastic keys that are embedded into the woven build of the Combo Touch. The woven material felt especially lovely on our palms and is similar to the Alcantara fabric on the Surface Laptop. There’s a decent amount of separation between the keys, which makes accidental presses a rare occasion.

Given how thin this portion of the Combo Touch is, it doesn’t have the most depth or travel of any keyboard that we’ve tested. Logitech’s external K380 performs better, and the Magic Keyboard doesn’t leave you with a bottoming-out sensation. Still, though, there’s a tight recoil effect that delivers a decent amount of feedback. It’s not as energizing or bouncy as other keys, but typing on the Combo Touch is a dynamic experience.

Right below the keyboard is a rectangular trackpad. It’s very smooth and easy to get a handle on, like the one found on the Magic Keyboard. And in terms of navigational capabilities, it’s expansive enough for single or multi-finger swipes. Pressing the trackpad to click within iPadOS 15 delivers an audible sound as well.

And all of the control-centric features are on the keyboard portion of the case. It’s a fully woven material that leaves the keys facing the screen (and since they’re matte, we have no concerns about scratching) and a simple woven finish facing the outside world. It magnetically attaches to the hull of the case, which surrounds the iPad Pro itself. And it uses a smart connection to auto connect with the case, which is linked to the iPad. It’s a strong magnet as well t

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Logitech’s iPad keyboard is cheaper than Apple’s — and it has more features

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