few weeks ago I reviewed the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, which promised to be an excellent upgrade over the earlier Keyboard Folio. It wasn’t, due mostly to what can only be described as a very silly feeling keyboard because a cloth layer sat over the keys. Only Justin Long’s character in Live Free or Die Hard could appreciate such a typing experience, and perhaps not even him. For as many excellent features the FabricSkin had, it lacked the simplicity most keyboards offer.
That’s precisely why I asked to try out the Keyboard Folio, which I missed the first time around. Logitech obliged and I am so glad they did. The Keyboard Folio is the perfect answer to the FabricSkin; the keyboard on this case is just perfect. Super low profile with adequate feedback, plenty of space for the keys (even on a small 10-inch frame), and all the functions you could want on an iOS-built keyboard. For iPad typists, it really is a dream come true.
Outside of the keyboard is where the case’s design is lackluster. The case itself feels scratchy and uncomfortable to hold. The cheap material isn’t good enough for a keyboard of this quality, and for $100 it certainly doesn’t match the price. The iPad itself fits snugly, and all of the ports and buttons are easy to reach, though unlike the FabricSkin the Keyboard Folio is no fun to hold in any way. There’s only one comfortable position for this case, and that’s typing away on a table.
Furthermore the best feature of the FabricSkin, the instant on/off keyboard, was never built into the Keyboard Folio and therefore users have to turn it off every time they stop typing. Which, which normal for the world of iPad keyboard cases, a huge loss for the Folio. This only exacerbates the power drain on the iPad and keyboard by leaving it on all the time.
Holding the iPad in the Keyboard Folio is an equally unfortunate experience because of the poor quality of the cloth and the overall design, which is thick and allows for the keyboard to flop around sullenly. The smartest decision made for the FabricSkin was enabling users to hold onto the keyboard — comfortably — as if it were the back of a standard folio case. The Keyboard Folio obviously cannot offer the same, but the feel of the outside of the case is so shoddy that even gripping the keys feels better.
The magnetic lock to keep the iPad in place over the keyboard is strong and makes typing away on the lap or in strange positions doable. It doesn’t work well on bare legs, but otherwise the magnet actually makes the iPad more secure and in-place than any other magnetically-stabilized keyboard case I’ve tested.
As much as I love this keyboard, the Keyboard Folio for iPad is an upsetting accessory. It does one thing so right, better than any competitor: Logitech has solved typing on the iPad, with a case, with the Keyboard Folio. The problem lies in nearly every other aspect of what it means to be an iPad case. Even though typing this review on the Keyboard Folio is an excellent experience, reading on the iPad with it, remembering to shut down the power, the horrible material, and even the extreme additional thickness to the iPad add to make one of the most lopsided cases I’ve ever tested.
If you just want to have a case for your iPad that you can type on, there’s nothing better for that than the Keyboard Folio for iPad. But if you plan on doing anything else on your tablet, then I recommend you stick with other cases and either forgo the keyboard for now, or stick with the older Solar Keyboard Folio, which is significantly less expensive, feels much better, and has a really great keyboard to boot.
Bottom line: It’s the best keyboard made specifically for the iPad, so if you plan on nothing but typing there’s nothing better. For everything else, it’s mediocre, big, and scratchy.