Keyboard cases for iPad are nothing new, but Logitech's latest takes a different tack; it's a keyboard for iPad in its own case.
One of the most contentious things about tablets as a category has been whether they're any good for content creation. We're slowly starting to see more and more productivity apps based around visual content creation, but that still leaves a challenge for anyone who works with all things lexical; namely that typing on an iPad's glassy screen isn't exactly natural. You can get quick with it, but anyone with a smidgen of proper touch typing training will quickly find it limiting in the extreme.
That's where keyboards come into play; the iPad has no shortage of bulky keyboard cases; some good, some downright awful. Logitech's $99.95 Tablet Keyboard for iPad takes a rather different approach; instead of being a keyboard case for iPad, it's a Bluetooth keyboard… in a case.
What we liked
For something that's designed to work with the iPad, it's funny how much the Logitech keyboard looks like the Sony Tablet S; that teardrop shape is quite distinctive. The case that protects the keyboard also serves as a pop-up iPad stand, and because it's free standing, you can use it with the iPad in portrait or landscape orientation.
It's also worth noting that this is just a Bluetooth keyboard; I had no trouble pairing it with a Motorola Xoom, and noted that the only features that didn't work were the photo and onscreen keyboard buttons, both of which are function key combinations.
Is it faster than using the onscreen keyboard? Yes, it most definitely is. It also benefits from having better keyboard layout and response than most keyboard case keys, which aids accuracy and makes it more comfortable to type on for longer periods of time.
What we didn't like
There's still some challenges that it presents that a dedicated keyboard case doesn't suffer from; the key one here is that it's essentially a desk-based product. It's feasible, if a little fiddly, to flip out a keyboard case on a train, but unless your balance is truly superb, there's no way you'd want to do that with the Logitech keyboard.
This brings up the second issue with the Logitech Keyboard for iPad; it's full sized, and that means you're not only lugging around an iPad (possibly in its own case) but also the keyboard in its case. The line between when it's reasonable to travel with just a tablet, or when it'd make sense to carry a laptop instead is rather stretched here.