The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (UKC) for the iPad fits over the face for travel and opens to create a stand and keyboard. The design is elegant, the keyboard is terrific, but there are just a few compromises and limitations. Overall, it’s still a great product for the price.
It’s a fact. There are some people who need a really good keyboard for their iPad when on the move. Even though Apple doesn’t provide one and has opted to retain a vision of a pure tablet for its millions of customers, there are those who still desire a keyboard. When it closes up to protect the iPad and matches its style, so much the better.
The UKC is a flat keyboard assembly that has magnets on the edges. When the iPad (2,3 or 4) is brought into close contact, in preparation to cover the iPad, the rear magnets grab the iPad, and then the remaining magnets keep the duo securely closed up.
However, when the iPad is opened and still connected with the virtual hinge on the back, there is nothing to hold the iPad at any given angle. The iPad must be pulled away, and then placed in the special gutter. That constrains the iPad to stand at a fixed angle, 30 degrees from the vertical. Some users may find that annoying; I did.
You could insert the iPad in portrait mode, but it becomes a bit top heavy and seems to put some stress on the gutter. It’s really designed, it seems, to be used in landscape mode. Neither Logitech’s marketing images nor the manual suggests use in portrait mode.
When the iPad is in place, the gutter keeps it positioned fairly well. However, there is no positive, secure fit. Even though I was able to lift the duo by the iPad, and they stayed together, a slightly stronger jostle will separate them. As a result, I judge that the best use of the UKC is on a desk. If you do decide to sit with the assembly on your lap, I think it’s possible that the iPad could topple out and fall to the floor if nudged strongly. In contrast, the Brydge can much more safely be used as if it were a MacBook on one’s lap.
The UKC comes in a white or black face and keyboard to match either the white or black iPad. In either case, the back is a thin layer of aluminum that matches the color and texture of Apple’s iPad. The plastic keeps the weight down, and the UKC weighs only about 11 ounces. However, the price paid is a certain amount of strength and durability compared to solid aluminum.
The first thing one notices is how good the keyboard looks and how good it feels. The spacing between key centers is 16 mm, the same as the Brydge, but the keys action is just slightly softer. Personally, I like that because keys with a soft action allow me to type faster for some reason. (I’m typing this, however, on an Apple aluminum keyboard for publication.) I judge the key action/feel to be excellent, almost as good as any dedicated keyboard you might buy.
The next thing I noticed, to my great joy as I wrote notes to myself, is that the Delete key is protected. That is, you must first press the Function key to lock the iPad’s display. There are no worries there, and that’s great foresight and thoughtfulness. The Home key, which will kill an app, is also thoughtfully placed out of the way on the far left above the Tab key.
The UKC comes in a very thin box but with a cardboard tray and plastic to protect it during shipping. Included is a cleaning cloth, a booklet with warranty and safety information, a 10 page user manual, and the micro USB cable.
The manual is complete and well written, except for battery information. However, I was endlessly amused by the fact that the manual itself shows a picture of the manual and has a call out that explains that it (the picture of the manual) is the manual. Logitech has a wry sense of humor.
Custom laser engraving is available. Just enter the text when checking out on the Logitech website.