Review of Ipad 2 Keyboard Case

In my hunt for the perfect case for my iPad 2, I came across the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg. I had actually been looking for a case that would ideally protect both the front and back of my iPad 2 but wouldn’t add a lot of bulk to the iPad itself.

I’ve actually had my iPad 2 for over a mont and have just been using the Grantwood sleeve that I was using for my original iPad while looking for the perfect solution for my iPad 2.

As often happens to me, while I was shopping for cases, I came across the Apple bluetooth keyboard that is a perfect companion for the iPad or iPad 2. The only issue with that though is that I’d most likely end up having to buy a separate case for the keyboard AND the iPad whenever I wanted to take it on the road.

Enter the Logitech Keyboard Case. It is in fact a case for the iPad 2. It is also a bluetooth keyboard that has iPad specific function buttons as well. It is also quite slim and is just big enough to do what it needs to. It is also make of aircraft aluminum to be very tough, light, and almost perfectly matches the metal on the back of the ipad.

What sealed the deal for me was that when you want to throw it all in your bag you pop the iPad 2 face down on top of the keyboard and both become a single unit with only the aluminum back of the iPad 2 showing and the aluminum back of the case showing (brilliant)! No more worrying about having two different devices and two different cases to carry around and manage.

I went ahead and bought the Logitech Keyboard Case to give it a try. I’m actually typing this review with it and my iPad 2 right now.

Features:

The keyboard is bluetooth. You simply pair it with your iPad 2 and you’re done. No messing with wires or connectors that go into the iPad 2’s dock connector. You just turn it on, pair it with your iPad 2 the first time and start typing.

The keyboard has plenty of iPad specific buttons on it to control your iPad 2 without having to take your hands off of the keyboard.

There is a Home button that will flip you out to your home screen no matter what app or screen you’re on. One feature I really like about the keyboard based Home button is that it allows you to quickly double tap the Home button and bring up the multitasking menu of the iPad 2. I can switch to email or another app to check something then double tap again and flip right back to my blogging app without skipping a beat.

There is a search button that will take you to the iPad 2 search page where you can immediately start typing your search (again without touching the screen.

Next up is a slide show button that automatically starts showing a slideshow of whatever pictures you have on your iPad 2. I think of it as a screensaver function. For example, if you’re at work and want to get up and grab a cup of coffee but don’t want all your neighbors to see what you’re up to on the screen, just hit the slideshow button and walk away.

The Virtual Keyboard button is next. It allows you to bring up or hide the iPad 2’s built in on screen keyboard (which by default never comes up while the iPad 2 is actively paired with a bluetooth keyboard).

There are dedicated buttons for cut, copy, and paste. I find this to be a nice feature as again, it keeps you from having to stop typing and use the screen to copy and paste. You can for example use the shift and arrow keys to highlight words then use the copy and paste buttons to move your text around, all without having to touch your screen.

The undo and redo buttons are cool and have come in handy a couple of times but aren’t essential for me.

Next up there are music and movie specific buttons. Play, previous, next, pause, mute, and volume up and down. These are actually quite handy as I use them to play music on my iPad 2 while I catch up on email or type up these articles. If a song comes on that I want to skip, I just hit the next button and move ahead to another song. If the phone rings I hit the mute button. I’m using them more than I actually thought I would.

The last (and most annoying) custom button on the top row for me so far is the lock button. It’s placed at the far upper right corner of the keyboard right where my pinky keeps wanting to go when I’m hitting the delete button (backspace). I’ve accidentally locked and put the iPad 2 to sleep a couple of times when I meant to backspace. It’s not a big deal as all you have to do is hit another key and everything comes right back where you left it almost instantly. I will have to train myself not to over reach for that backspace key though.

Pairing the keyboard with the iPad 2 is super simple. You just turn on the keyboard and turn on bluetooth from your iPad 2. You hit the connect button on the keyboard and a light comes on. You then go to the bluetooth section under Settings on your iPad 2 and you’ll see “Logitech Keyboard Case” listed. You tap on it and your ipad will display a 4 digit code. You type that code on the keyboard and hit enter and that’s it! You’re paired.

The keyboard itself is pretty compact. The keys are a bit smaller than standard laptop keys and you will need a few minutes to get used to typing on it. It really does flow well and in a little while you van crank out your text at full speed. This is especially important for me as I have HUGE hands and get cramped up on tiny keyboards. I used to have a Dell Mini 9 netbook and that keyboard was just too darn small for my huge paws.

Positioning:

When it comes to using the iPad 2 on this keyboard / case, it’s awesome. The case has a little stand that pops up and a groove in the case. You can place your iPad 2 in the groove and let it lean against the stand in either portrait or landscape (sideways) position. As mentioned earlier, it’s bluetooth so there are no wires or connectors to fuss with. One nice feature of using it with your iPad 2 in the landscape position is that it leaves the dock connector exposed so you can charge your iPad 2 or use accessories at the same time.
Case and Protection:

When you’re all done with your typing and surfing, you just pick up your iPad 2, flip it face down and lay it on top of the keyboard. The sides and edges of the case wrap around the outside of your iPad protecting it from dings and bangs. The inside of the case is fully rubberized on all parts that your iPad 2 will touch when in the case.

The only part of your iPad 2 that is exposed when in the case is the back and the edges along the back side. The screen and edges on the screen side of the case are fully protected. One of the invisishield or competing plastic wraps for the backside of the iPad 2 would protect it fine and still work with this case.

The iPad 2 fits quite snugly in the case so I’m really not worried about it popping out in my bag or even if it takes a fall. The drawback to it fitting so snugly is that it won’t work with other cases or the Apple Smart Covers. I figure when I want to travel light, I’ll use the Smart Cover. If I know I’ll need to do more typing, then I’ll bring the Logitech Keyboard Case.

The designers seemed to have put some thought into the design as well. There are cutouts on the case for the dock connector that would allow you to charge your ipad with the case on. There is also a cutout for the headphone jack so you could still listen to your tunes with the iPad 2 closed up in the case.

Power:
The Logitech Keyboard Case has the same magnetic sensors as the Apple smart covers and automatically turns your iPad 2 on and off when you put it in and out of the case.

The bluetooth keyboard uses an internal rechargeable battery. You charge it by connecting a USB to micro-USB cable between the keyboard and your computer. I can’t say yet how long it should work but the documentation does say that when the low batter light comes on you will still have 3 to 4 days of power left, so I’m not too worried about it.

Conclusion:

Overall I’m extremely happy with the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg. It’s the perfect compromise for me between a great case and a great portable keyboard without having to carry separate devices and a huge perk that it’s specifically built for the iPad 2 and has the custom function buttons.

It looks sharp and does exactly what I need it to without too many annoyances.

At the end of the day, yes I’ll recommend this to my friends.

Did you get one as well? Find a better solution? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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