I have been using the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for my third-generation Apple iPad. But similar to Apple's Smart Cover, it does not protect the sleek aluminium back of the tablet.
The new Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air protects both the rear and front of your new iPad Air. It also has a Bluetooth keyboard on the reverse of its front flap.
At 18.5mm thick, the case more than doubles the thickness of your 7.5mm thin iPad Air and adds 425g on the weighing scale.
However, I found the folio case can easily fit into the tablet compartment of my day bag and the extra weight did not hurt my shoulder.
You dock your iPad Air by sliding the tablet into the two corner clips of the rear flap. But you have to make sure the iPad is all the way into the clips as the tablet might slide out if the fit is not tight enough.
The review unit was in black, but it is also available in red and grey. The interior, though, is white. From the flaps to the keyboard, the folio case is silicone wrapped and feels smooth.
It is supposed to be made of water-repellent materials. I tried using the keyboard with my wet hands and it worked normally. However, the rubbery exterior does pick up a fair share of dirt and lint.
Pairing the keyboard to your iPad Air is easy. On the bottom of the front flap, you will find a Connect button and micro-USB charging port. Press the Connect button and select the folio case option in the Bluetooth menu on the tablet.
Once paired, you can close the front flap to put your iPad Air to sleep. When you open the flap and dock the iPad onto a magnetic strip above the keyboard, it automatically pairs with the iPad Air again.
You can dock your iPad Air in only one angle, but it is probably the most comfortable viewing angle.
On a full charge, the keyboard is supposed to last for three months for two hours of daily use. After its first full charge, the review unit did not need a recharge during the three months I was using the keyboard.
The only issues I have with the folio case are the price and, unfortunately, the keyboard.
At $189, it is rather expensive, even though you are getting both a keyboard and a protective case.
The keyboard buttons lack the tactile response of a conventional keyboard and the unconventional layout of the keys means it needs time to get used to.
For example, the Caps and "A" functions are combined on one key, so are the Tab and "Q" functions - I found myself getting the "Q" character when I wanted the Tab function. I had no such problems with my Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.
The Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is convenient and spill-resistant. But its hefty price tag and unconventional keyboard layout are slight drawbacks.
By Trevor Tan
Compatibility: Apple iPad Air
Value for money: 3
Battery life: 5
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