Top positive review
173 people found this helpful
Good, but still plagued with weak magnets - only in a different spot
on November 10, 2013
I just got this Logitech Ultrathin case for my new iPad Air. I had the Ultrathin for my iPad 2 for over a year, so I'm quite familiar with it. The level of functionality it brings to the iPad is just unbelievable. Contrary to what Apple preaches, keyboards aren't going anywhere for a looooong time and are, for anyone who does anything productive on their iPad, a total necessity.
What's so great about this Ultrathin case though is that it is easily one of the lightest, thinnest, easiest to use & transport keyboards on the market. It isn't some bulky case or folio and when you want to just hold your iPad by itself, it's as simple as separating the magnetic keyboard from your iPad; you don't have to fuss with any snaps or other physical attachment, nor do you have to wriggle your iPad out of some tight enclosure.
This model is pretty similar to the one I had for my iPad 2, so I know it well. Of course it does have some minor changes & refinements, and the below are my observations of this new Logitech Ultrathin case, updated for the iPad Air:
- Let's get the bad news out of the way first: One of the first things I noticed & complained about with the U2 case is how weak the edge/hinge magnets were that hold the case to the iPad when closed. While that issue has been addressed - the edge/hinge magnets are now much stronger, frustratingly enough, the magnets that are supposed to retain the device when it's clicked into the keyboard for use are so weak I had to play with it to see if there even were any magnets in that location at all. Indeed, there seem to be magnets to hold the iPad air at an angle while in the slot, but they are ridiculously weak and offer virtually NO retention.
With the U2 case & iPad 2, you could pick up the iPad itself with the keyboard still attached in the slot, give it a good shake & it wouldn't come loose. With the new case for the Air, sadly, you can barely lift the iPad at all and the keyboard drops loose. This will certainly take some readjustment in my daily routine and I hope I do not drop this keyboard. I dropped my U2 keyboard & slightly bent it - it is fragile.
- While what struck me at first about the Ultrathin keyboard for iPad 2 (can we call it "U2" for short?) was how thin and light it was. The opposite was true for the new Air keyboard - it instantly felt almost clunky & heavy. This is more indicative of how thin & light the air is, than a knock to Logitech, but the new keyboard case feels much closer in weight to the air than the U2 felt to the iPad 2. Of course the iPad 2 is significantly heavier than the Air, and so the Logitech U2 case rightly feels drastically lighter than the iPad 2.
With the iPad Air being so thin and light, adding Logitech's case almost - but not quite - makes it feel like you're carrying around a second iPad Air.
Again I want to be clear that this is not, on its own, a thick and heavy case - quite the opposite in fact, and I still think it is the best keyboard on the market. However, coming from my old, much heavier iPad 2, the Air is so much thinner and lighter as to make even a slim keyboard like this one, feel & appear thick & heavy...again, this is to Apple's credit for how great a job they did with the iPad Air!
- I'm glad to see Logitech implement some rubber bumpers to better separate the hard plastic of the keyboard case from the iPads screen. My iPad 2 screen has a very, very slight wear mark from where the glass contacts the plastic - after over a year of use, it's rubbed together enough to wear my screen a tiny bit. I suggest people put a screen protector onto your iPad if you're at all concerned about this.
The rubber bumpers are on the edges of the keyboard, along the same row as the space bar, and a long strip runs above the slot where you place the iPad for use - which is exactly the spot I could have used protection for my iPad 2.
I've got a screen protector on order for my new Air to prevent this issue, and a back cover to provide added grip anyway.
Additionally, there are now tiny rubber "feet" on the outside of the case, and a raised rubber strip along the edge where it clips onto your iPad, almost like the feet/pads on the underside of a laptop. This is a nice touch, and we'll see if it helps. I was considering getting a screen protector to apply to the outside of this case as the bare aluminum is slick. I'll have to wait & see if the rubber pads help, or are too small to make any difference.
- On the "U2" case, there was a chintzy strip of plastic running along the inside of the slot where you place the iPad for use - that shifted over time, exposing a gummy adhesive residue that would occasionally get tiny bits onto my iPad screen. A very small annoyance, but I'm glad to see it's gone. Logitech's attention to the tiniest details such as this make the issue with the super-weak slot magnets even more infuriating.
- This is definitely an iOS 7 bug/design "feature" but it's annoying that you can no longer hit the home button from your home screen to access the spotlight search. You must swipe down on the screen. I used to hit the home button a lot to get to search on my iPad 2/iOS6, so I miss that implementation. This is 100% Apple's fault, nothing to do with this keyboard, but thought I'd mention it.
- Printed on the box and case itself is the phrase "i5" indicating Logitech themselves expected this latest iPad to be called the 5. Clearly they were as surprised as anyone by the new name. Tiny detail I noticed.
Overall, I still think this is the best keyboard "case" options for the iPad. I gave it 4 stars because of the super-weak magnets that hold the iPad in place in its slot. This is a big problem and I really wish Logitech would get it right.
I have read others talking about the case & keyboard separating at the slot where you insert the iPad for use - unfortunately mine is also having this problem. I'll just live with it. Logitech's site shows a 2-year warranty on this keyboard, so if it needs replacing within that time frame, I hope Logitech will honor this defect under warranty.
I must say, overall, this does seem like quite a step down from my old Logitech Ultrathin for my iPad 2. I just went and inspected it and while I can get a slight separation at the exact same spot if I pull on it, it does seem much more sturdy than this current/new keyboard for the Air.