Stuff We Like: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad with Retina Display

Daniel Bader

December 29, 2012 11:55am

Many opponents of the iPad use its sandboxed app ecosystem as an example of how the tablet is incapable of being used as a productivity device.

But over the past year or so, we’ve seen many app developers and accessory manufacturers attempt to turn the popular device into a laptop replacement. One of the best utilities for this purpose is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Doubling as a hardy aluminum cover that matches the iPad’s brushed metal aesthetic, when flipped over the case reveals a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard.

Optimized with a row of function keys at the top, the keyboard supports a few actions, such as jumping to the Spotlight Search screen or controlling the music volume, that are usually only available on by entering the settings or mulitasking menu.

The case docks with the iPad via a small groove just north of the top keyboard row. It sits at a very comfortable angle, and I found it to be as close to optimal as I could ask for in a non-adjustable hinge. Once paired to the iPad, which is a task beyond simple, the keyboard works as any other — it is even compatible with devices other than the iPad (though you’ll likely need your own stand). We’re happy that Logitech decided to thicken the case slightly rather than create a shallow and problematic keyboard. The keys have excellent feedback, and working inside apps such as iA Writer, Drafts and Blogsy was a treat.

The keyboard itself lasts for around two weeks on a single charge with moderate daily use, though be sure to turn it off when storing. It charges via a microUSB cord, one of which comes bundled with the case. It charges quickly and silently.

The Ultrathin utilizes the iPad’s Smart Cover magnets to snap into place, so it opens and closes like a laptop. While it’s not light — the case weighs three quarters of a pound — with the iPad attached it mimics a light ultrabook at just under two pounds.

For avid writers, or just users looking for an alternative to the tempestuous onscreen keyboard, the Logitech Ultrathin Keycover Cover is a must buy. It is available for a reasonable $99.99 from Logitech’s website, and can be found for less at other retailers.

  • Mike

    Looks funny – iPad is ugly. 16:9 tablets are better.

  • Josh

    Great way to copy the Surface lol what a joke.

    • EvanK

      Keyboard covers have been around before the surface. I have a friend whose iPad’s case has a build in keyboard on the cover, and she bought it over a year ago.

  • Nemoi

    Will it blend?

  • Omar

    Looks horrible. The Asus “transformer” concept is 100x better.

  • DeeZee

    I bought a Zagmate for my original iPad when they first came out in mid 2010. It was $99 then, and had the rough unfinished look and feel of a prototype. It worked perfectly and I still have it. Fast forward to today: Logitech has refined it and it has become a wonderful way to type extensively on a portable Bluetooth enabled device. Looks cool too – people still ask questions. Turns out I don’t do much “typing” anymore so when I bought my iPad2, I got a (similar) white keyboard cover in Hong Kong for $25. It’s certainly not for the typing purist, but for the unbeatable price it works perfectly, is a great stand and provides solid protection.

  • jaydee

    “It charges quickly and SILENTLY”

    Is silent charging a differentiator? Which keyboards charge LOUDLY? Actually, I don’t know of anything that charges loudly…

  • Dalex

    I don’t like the Ipad personally, but its strenght is that it doesn’t try to be anything other than a tablet. It excels at being a tablet, a content consumption device.

    This is trying to turn it into something its not. The Transformer is much better at this purpose. Samsung’s Smart PC is also great.

  • 2c

    RIP RIM!!!!! 😀 😀

  • freestaterocker

    Hey look it’s iSurface!!! Fail.

  • Steve

    The iPad is the best tablet on the market hands down! Asus transformer and the surface are jokes when you compare them. Every tablet developer has been chasing apple for years and still is. Good luck with your glitchy android platform or your windows surface that has a terrible tablet platform!

  • DrBadass

    I still don’t get the point to these keyboard accessories. Ipad 499 + keyboard accessories 50 to 100 dollars. That the price of a new laptop with much more memory and bigger screen.

  • Toy lover

    I tried this keyboard and was very impressed.

  • Eric Smith

    iPad + keyboard like this + a bunch of adapters converters cables = more expensive than Surface Pro, which is way much more powerful.