The iPad is certainly proving itself to be a capable tablet, and Logitech’s latest keyboard accessory aims to improve productivity by offering a full-sized laptop keyboard to fit beneath it.
The Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard is a two-part design comprising a black plastic case for housing your iPad 2 (or new iPad) and, positioned underneath this, a QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard emerges from the rear of the casing in two halves as you raise the iPad from its lay-flat position, with each half moving in an arc around the sides of the case and locking together at the front once the iPad is fully upright in the casing.
The case supports the iPad in horizontal orientation, positioning the home button on the left and the camera on the right, with the keyboard underneath relying on Bluetooth for connecting to the iPad.
The Fold-Up Keyboard comes with a small USB-to-micro-USB plug, which can be used to charge the battery in the keyboard.
If you’re a fan of Apple’s magnetic Smart Cover system and have been annoyed at the lack of keyboard cases with support for the things, you’re in luck, as Logitech’s solution caters specifically to you. The design leaves the left side of the iPad exposed, allowing you to remove the magnetic cover and then reattach it.
Installation is easy: simply push your iPad 2 into the case, letting the black plastic grips snap the case in. From here, you sync up the Bluetooth keyboard to the iPad’s Bluetooth connection, pressing down the “connect” button on the keyboard to activate synchronisation mode.
Owners of the 2012 new iPad (iPad 3) may experience some trouble, but we were able to snap it into position. The fit was very tight and we did have some difficulty removing it, but given that the case isn’t designed for the slightly thicker new model, that’s hardly surprising. Meanwhile, a first generation iPad will not work with the Fold-Up Keyboard.
We suggest using the Smart Cover with this case as you can’t really fit any other style of cover or skin over the screen. Leaving the screen bare is an option, but this keyboard case is really designed to accommodate the slick roll-up magnetic cover.
That said, it’s not perfect, and the Smart Cover’s ability to turn the iPad into a stand doesn’t really work here. In fact, if you fold the cover back and try to stand the tablet up, you’ll find the cover snaps off.
Still, the cover is really just a neat magazine or book-like protection for the iPad, and the Fold-Up Keyboard still has more to offer… like a fold-up keyboard.
Simply push the button at the back of the case and you’ll be able to pull the iPad up, with the keyboard coming out from underneath and sliding into position as its two parts join together. The iPad sits up in a landscape position and is held in place by a metal support at the rear.
Unlike most of the iPad keyboard cases we’ve seen thus far, you don’t need to physically switch the Bluetooth keyboard on – pulling the keyboard out automatically activates Bluetooth, and pushing it back under the case turns the keyboard off.