Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for iPad Air Review

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Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard V2-0499

For the best keyboards with an iPad, Logitech has been the top of the line. In fact, the Ultrathin is my current go-to keyboard, and I’ve recommended it above every other iPad keyboard and keyboard case since it released late last year. Yet here we are just over half a year later with a new model that’s the exact opposite of the original. Why?

When I asked Logitech, the response was that the original Ultrathin was great, but it wasn’t what they wanted to make. It wasn’t the keyboard cover that perfectly matched the iPad, and I agree. It has a few flaws, like the magnetic flap that sticks out and the weak magnetic holster. And unfortunately other things that were fixed that weren’t broken in the first place. Yet after plenty of use, the new Ultrathin is an instant favorite.

Logitech took the name to heart. This keyboard is as thin as can be; the keys are slightly concave instead of bubbling out like the original, and are so low profile that it’s almost like typing on a tactile touchscreen. Touch-typists will absolutely adore it, especially compared to the older, bigger-buttoned keys.

As a typist who prefers laptop-style keys but also loves mechanical keyboards, the original Ultrathin is more to my preference. The keys are easier to keep track of without looking because they’re easier to feel, while this newer model is faster and thinner. It’s one of the fastest keyboards I’ve ever typed on, and it’s certainly the fastest for the iPad, so if your question is which model to get, your typing preference matters. Bigger, fatter keys that are easier to press, or thinner, lower-profile keys that are made for speed?

The first major fix for the Ultrathin is the iPad holster, which the iPad sits in while typing. It’s fully adjustable and powerfully magnetic, so the Air stays firmly in place unlike the original Ultrathin, where the iPad can fall out pretty easily. The holster also tilts 15-40 degrees so the iPad rests snug in most any sitting position, flat on a table to half-laying down on the couch. The clasp stays right where you leave it.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard V2-0504

Then there’s the magnetic cover flap. On the previous Ultrathin, it stuck out like a sore thumb and didn’t keep a strong grip on the Air (a running problem for Logitech). Here, it’s completely invisible until you push the Air into place over the Ultrathin, and the magnetic flap almost magically pops up and connects to the iPad. At least, that’s the intent. It doesn’t always work…in fact, the flap doesn’t come up more often than not. It’s easier to just manually raise the flap than almost stupidly drag the iPad across the case to make the flap go up and connect. Sadly the magnet isn’t as strong as it could be either, so it sometimes disconnects from the iPad in a bag. And opening up the keyboard when connected always makes a popping sound as if the flap were breaking; it isn’t, but it doesn’t help inspire confidence in the Ultrathin whatsoever.

Logitech also improved the available function keys to be more useful for typical use. The addition of a app switch and screenshot keys is surprisingly useful, though iPad owners who use keyboards today may not think so because those are everyday functions. Now you won’t need to do something special to activate those features, which is very useful.

Battery life is incredible, listed as 3 months but in my experience with previous products over nine months. I only recently charged my original Ultrathin for the second time a few weeks back, so I have no doubt that it’ll last long enough for users to never worry about.

I’m always searching for the best accessories for my iPad, and the new Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard perfectly fits the bill. It’s more travel friendly and better for touch typists than the original, and is certainly more stable and friendlier for the Air. If you already have the original Ultrathin, then I only recommend this newer version if you are a touch typists; the other benefits are good but not enough to warrant the additional purchase. Don’t have a keyboard for the iPad already? There isn’t anything better than the Ultrathin.


 
 
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Price: $100
 
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Positives


Excellent low-profile keys for touch typists. Extremely thin and light. Excellent battery life. Position changes for the iPad is exceptionally useful.

Negatives


Magnetic lock feels flimsy, doesn't react to iPad very well, isn't strong enough.


1

James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.


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