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A few days ago, two of Belkin’s flagship iPad accessories arrived at my office — the soft touch QODE Slim Style Keyboard Case, and the anodized aluminum coated QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case.
Both cases provide iPad owners with a physical Bluetooth enabled keyboard, which is handy for serious typists. While many are able to get by with tap typing on iOS’ software keyboard, there’s simply no arguing against the fact that a physical keyboard is superior in virtually every way.
So, which one is right for you?
With that in mind, either of these keyboards will be suitable for getting things done in a more efficient fashion. There are pluses and minuses when it comes to both, but if basic typing is they key, either will be better than the software keyboard.
The Slim Style model is probably a bit better as far as pure typing goes, because it features a full size keyboard with dedicated iOS shortcut keys that don’t need to be toggled using a function key. It also features more room for your hands and fingers to roam around its surface; this due to the recessed location of the keyboard itself.
There are other minor differences between the two keyboards, things like key labels and shortcut location, but the basic form and function is near identical. For instance, the key depth, key size, and build material of they actual keys share the same properties between both.
That’s largely where the similarities between the two end. While it’s true that both products are cases with embedded keyboards, they couldn’t be any more different in other aspects.Slim Style Keyboard Case
The Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case is the cheaper of the two, coming in at $79.99 on Amazon. It features soft touch material — an almost rubber like quality on the exterior of the case. Inside, you’re greeted with the same material on the area beneath the keyboard, and a suede-like material underneath the area designated to hold the iPad Air.
Inserting the iPad Air into the Slim Style Keyboard Case was a breeze. Two flaps, held in place by elastic connectors, secure the iPad Air in a snug sure-fitted fashion.
There are cutouts in all of the necessary places to accommodate the Air’s buttons, switches, speakers, microphones, etc. By the way, the iPad Air features two microphones, a new one on the back of the device, and each case makes sure to look out for both.
On the opposite side of the case lies a flap that can be used to stand it up using friction. Viewing angles will depend on how you adjust the flap to meet the surface below it. Unlike the Ultimate Keyboard Case, which features three set viewing angles, you can, in theory at least, have many more angles with the Slim Case.
Although slim is a part of this case’s name, it’s really anything but. When combined with the iPad Air, it’s on par with the thickness of my MacBook Air at its thickest point.
The Slim Case adds significantly more heft to the equation, which is to be expected since it features a keyboard and protects the front and rear of the iPad Air. In other words, don’t go into this expecting a miracle when it comes to added size and weight.
Included with either package is a USB charging cable, which connects directly to the case in order to charge the built in battery. The Slim Style Keyboard case can be switched on or off using a manual toggle switch located above the keyboard’s volume keys.
Belkin claims that the Slim Style Case’s battery lasts for 60 hours of use and 60 days of standby time. If you think that sounds good, just wait until I run the battery numbers of the Ultimate Keyboard Case by you.Ultimate Keyboard Case
The Ultimate Keyboard Case is definitely the more “executive” device of the pair. Hence, its looks are much more polished and professional. It has a price, $129.99 on Amazon (pre-order), to match its executive looks as well.
The keyboard is essentially the same keyboard featured in the Slim Case, except that there are no dedicated iOS shortcut keys (they’re accessed via a function button). The lack of dedicated iOS shortcut keys is definitely something to consider, but I don’t think it hinders productivity to any great degree; just use the “fn” button.
Unlike the Slim Case, the Ultimate Case features a snap in design for holding the iPad Air. This results in a much more seamless merging of the two.
The Ultimate Case is very liberal in its use of magnets. It closes securely with magnets, and its viewing angles, three of them, are all established by strategic magnet placement.
Lacking a dedicated on/off button like its cousin, the Ultimate Keyboard Case takes that worry out of the equation. When you lock the device into one of the three predetermined viewing angles, the keyboard turns on automatically. When you close the case, the power is shut off.
According to Belkin’s documentation, the Ultimate Keyboard Case can last a whopping 6 months on a single charge. This is with an average use of two hours per day. Impressive stuff.Which to buy?
If price is your main concern, then it goes without saying that the $79.99 Slim is quite a bit more reasonable than the $129.99 Ultimate Keyboard Case. The Slim is certainly suitable for every day usage, and it has a keyboard that is arguably superior to the one found in the Ultimate Case.
With that said, I still believe that of the two offerings, the Ultimate Keyboard Case is the one to reach for. It’s not a svelte package by any means, but it’s noticeably thinner than the Slim case; it also looks better.
Couple those things with its ridiculous battery life, magnetically dialed-in viewing angles, and secure closure, and it’s easy to see why the Ultimate Keyboard Case is the one that most will prefer.
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One of the best things about the iPad is the possibility to add accessories to it, including Apple’s own Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard for the iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd or 4th generation), and the iPad Pro 11-inch (1st or 2nd generation) gives the user the ability to simply enjoy the best part of iPadOS with very familiar shortcuts from the macOS.
Do you know every one of them? Head below to find the most useful Magic Keyboard shortcuts for your iPad.Using common keyboard shortcuts
It doesn’t matter if you are on a Smart Folio Keyboard or the Magic Keyboard. Either one of them has a few tricks when you press the Command key, like on a Mac. If you are a PC kind of person, the Command key does the same thing as the Control key on a regular computer.
Here are a few common keyboard shortcuts:
Command-H: Go to the Home screen;
Command-Space bar: Show or hide the Search field;
Command-Tab: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps.
Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot;
Command-Shift-4: Take a screenshot and immediately open Markup to view or edit it;
Command-Option-D: Show or hide the Dock;
There are also some other common keyboard shortcuts that you can use in specific apps, like Notes, Mail, and the Calendar.
On the Notes app, for example:
Command-N: New Note;
Command-Return: End Editing.
On the Mail app:
Command-Shift-R: Reply All;
Command-Option-F: Search mailbox;
Command-Up arrow: View the previous email;
Command-Down arrow: View the next email.
On the Calendar:
Command-1: Go to day view;
Command-2: Go to week view:
Command-3: Go to month view;
Command-4: Go to year view;
Command-T: Show today;
Command-R: Refresh calendars.
You can also customize keyboard shortcuts on the Magic Keyboard:
Open Settings, then tap Accessibility;
Tap Full Keyboard Acces and turn it on;
Tap a command, then press a custom key combination to assign to it;
If you’re looking for the Escape key, there are two ways to enable it:
Tap Command-period to invoke Escape on the Magic Keyboard for the iPad;
Open Settings, General, Keyboard, then select Hardware Keyboard and choose Modifier Keys to use the Escape key instead of another command.How to use the Magic Keyboard trackpad
Different than the Smart Folio Keyboard, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad has a built-in trackpad, which you can use several gestures that will help you in your daily activities:
Open Control Center: move the cursor to the top right;
Open Notification Center: move the cursor to the top left;
Find the Dock: move cursor to the bottom of the display;
Select tests: long press when editing test to select.
Invoke Spotlight: two finger swipe down;
Zoom in and out: use pinch gestures;
Scroll webpages: in Safari, go swiping two fingers on your trackpad;
Cut, Copy, or Paste: tap selected text with two fingers.
Home Screen: swipe down with three fingers;
Multitasking view: a three-finger swipe up;
App view: a three-finger swipe up and hold;
Switch between open apps: three-finger swipe left or right.Some more useful tips
Adjust Magic Keyboard brightness
If you don’t like Apple’s own auto-brightness setting on the Magic Keyboard, you can always change it.
Open Settings, then General;
Select Keyboard, then tap Hardware Keyboard;
Use the Keyboard Brightness slider.
Lost? Here’s what to do
There are so many shortcuts to use with the Magic Keyboard, but don’t worry. If you ever forget a shortcut, just long press “Command” and a menu will appear with all the shortcuts available on that app.
Do you want to know even more about the top features of the Magic Keyboard? We’ve got you covered here.
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A folio case serves many purposes. I mean you can use it to provide a complete safeguard to your iPad, keep your digital pen perfectly in place and even carry your cards. Of course, most folio covers are slightly bulky and tend to take away the elegance of the device. However, there are some cases that offer the best of both worlds–the desired elegance and protective cushion–with some minor trade-offs. In this post, I’ve chosen some of the best cases for iPad Air 3rd generation, ensuring your need for a complete cover has the well-timed tryst. Find out which one deserves to pair with your tablet!1. MoKo
If you are looking for a reasonably good iPad Air case under $10, MoKo will be one of the better options.
The cover has 600D fabric exterior and features a simple design to give a professional look to the device. To prevent scratches from damaging the tablet, it comes with a soft lining interior.
You can use the stand functionality to bolster your hands-free media watching on your iPad. Due mainly to the on-point cutouts, accessing the camera, buttons and ports are convenient. Besides, MoKo offers this folio case in seven colors.2. DTTO Gentle Series
What puts this case at the forefront is the tri-fold stand. If you do not want to compromise with the more convenient viewing angles, give it a chance.
Another quality that makes it a very useful asset for your device is the heat dissipation design. Hence, there is less chance of your iPad to get hot.
As for durability, the cover has a shock-resistant TPU back. Thus, your device will be able to put away the challenges from low volume drops.3. Antbox
“Antbox” folio cover has an executive design that makes your iPad Air look authoritative. Thanks to the top-grade PU leather, the exterior feels more comfortable to the touch.
The manufacturer has used TPU casing to reinforce the construction. Besides, the case also features a pretty soft interior to ward off all the scuffs and also absorb shock.
If you use Apple Pencil, you can keep the stylus in the secure loop so that it stays secure. And yes, the magnetic closure also works reliably to reduce unnecessary power consumption.4. Wopin
As I admire the classy design, wopin’s offering has impressed me a lot. What makes it one of the best cases is the top-grade synthetic leather coupled with the refined workmanship.
Plus, there are also anti-slip grooves so that your iPad remains intact. It features a large pocket to ensure your cards have a safe place.
The built-in hand strap enables you to comfortably use your iPad with just one hand. Even better, wopin provides this case in some really adorable colors including black, brown, lake blue and grey.5. ProCase
I rate this case very highly. The best part about it is the aesthetic design, which can easily catch your attention if you prefer formal appearance.
Courtesy composition leather and the presence of smooth interior lining, it’s got the required resistance to keep your iPad fully protected from all sorts of damage. Features like the elastic Apple Pencil holders and multiple grooves make it a complete package.
Even better, the ProCase comes at just $9.09, which seems to be a steal when compared to other similar covers.6. JUQITECH
“JUQITECH” looks a fine prospect for your iPad. What has made me want this cover is the impact-resistant built quality. The mix of TPU, soft interior, and PU leather exterior has given it the desired strength to withstand even nasty bumps.
The cover offers trusted stand functionality to improve your hands-free movie watching experience. Moreover, you can keep your Apple Pencil in a useful holder so that it doesn’t get lost.7. Veco
“Veco” comes with honeycomb heat dissipation design to keep your iPad cool. Thus, even after a long run of gaming or media watching, your device won’t get hot.
The other quality that has caught my eyes in this cover is the impact resistant TPU casing. That means your tablet has got a bit more defense to stay secure. Besides, I also like its refined finish and the precise cutouts, which offer easy access to all the functions.8. Fintie
Whether you prefer a vintage design or like to flaunt a vibrant profile, Fintie has got you fully covered. The manufacturer provides iPad Air 2023 cases in multiple colors so that you can get a nice match for your device as per your taste.
Talking about the built quality, it’s the mix of PU leather and soft microfiber. While the exterior plays a big role in providing improved gripping and also resists impact, the inner shell wards off scuffs.
Besides, it has a robust magnetic strip to close the perfectly and also conserve battery. On top of all, at $3.99, it’s probably the cheapest iPad Air 10.5″ case in the market.9. ProCase
I know this is yet another cover from ProCase in this lineup. However, it’s very different from the one mentioned above.
The cover has a translucent back panel, which gives some luxury to your iPad to shine. And with the matte finish, it also provides improved hold. Moreover, the front cover can be folded effortlessly to provide better typing and viewing experience. Better still, this minimalist folio cover is available in 12 color options.10. Ztotop
Ztotop promises to deliver 360-degree protection to your iPad Air 3. Having given this leather cover a good spin, I can say that it can live up to its claim really well.
While synthetic leather gives it a professional touch, the smooth microfiber empowers the inner shell. Times when you want to use your device with just one hand; the elastic strap would come into play effectively.
You can also stash some of your essential cards in the pocket. What’s more, Ztotop lets you pick out this vintage cover in many attractive color variants.
There you go! This sums up our lineup of the folio covers for the new iPad Air.
Your top bet?
I feel really glad to have helped you find an appreciable companion for your iPad. Would you like to offer up your feedback about the one that’s going to grace your tablet?
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.
Moblin is an Intel-created open-source operating system for netbooks and, specifically, the kind of people who use them.
Fundamentally, Moblin is just another distribution of Linux (based on Fedora), although it’s one that benefits from some unique tweaks and a radical user-interface. However, traditional apps take a back seat, and some you might expect are missing (there’s no GIMP or chúng tôi for example). Moblin is based on the familiar GNOME/GTK desktop, like distros such as Ubuntu, but this is largely invisible because of the UI improvements.
Any offline functionality tends to be geared around playing movies or music, so you can keep up with The Wire or Britney’s latest while out of range of a wifi base station.
Moblin is open source, and free of charge, so you can download and try it yourself. Like most of Intel’s mainstream processors, the Atom is essentially an x86 chip, so you should be able to run Moblin on any computer, or in a virtualised environment. However, it requires 3D graphics drivers so is far from optimal in VMware or VirtualBox, and is also optimised for low-resolution widescreen displays. Additionally, its hardware support is deliberately limited to what is usually found in netbook computers.
The first beta of Moblin v2.0 has just been released, and I decided to take a play with it.Getting Started
The beta nature of this release is very evident and I got off to a bad start. The wifi card in my Dell Mini 9 wasn’t recognized, so I had to review the OS while tethered by a cable to my Internet router. Additionally, I had couldn’t sign into some of the online services, such as Twitter, because the Moblin sign-in software just didn’t work.
These are severe bugs for a beta release, and render the OS effectively useless, even for those who don’t mind taking on the chin the occasional crash or loss of data.
It felt a little like the Moblin developers have backed the wrong horse here. I would have liked to have seen tie-ins with the likes of Gmail and Google Docs. Where’s Google Gears, so my data can be backed up locally?
But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start with a description of how Moblin looks and feels.Look and Feel
Put simply, Moblin looks and feels terrific. We’re talking Apple-like levels of attractiveness. Similarly, intuition is the name of the game with the user-interface, and it invites an Apple-like sensibility of following your nose to work out how things work.
Across the top of the screen is a range of icons representing various activities you can do. This is effectively a floating toolbar, because it disappears when you don’t need it. When the mouse runs over the toolbar, its icons jiggle about in a neat way, a feature provided by the Clutter OpenGL graphics and animation toolkit that underpins the whole OS. This gives everything a fun feel, and reminds you that this is not a business-oriented OS. Moblin is for things you want to do, not things you have to do.Zoned Out
Key to Moblin’s interface philosophy is the concept of zones. However, the term is used in two separate and distinct ways. The first usage is the ‘myzone’. This gets its own toolbar button and effectively provides an aggregated home page where, for want of a better way of saying it, you can see at a glance what’s happening in your online world. Recent twitters from your friends appear here, as do thumbnail previews of your favourite websites. Calendar and To Do reminders also appear at the left.
The second use of the word is to provide what are effectively virtual desktops, which is a method of overcoming the limitations of small netbook screen sizes. Any application you start must be assigned to an existing zone, or to a new zone. More than one application can be assigned to a zone, and perhaps this lets you see the benefit — the zone switching tool (which has its own toolbar button) lets you select between not only zones but also applications within a zone. If you’ve ever used any of Mac OS X’s Spaces and Expose features, you’ll already be aware of the overall concept.
Far better would be if the application was automatically assigned to a new zone. The zone manager could then be used for the more sensible purpose of aggregating and managing existing program windows.Criticism
There’s not yet any way of customizing Moblin, outside of switching the wallpaper. This is strange because that’s definitely something its users are going to want to do. Netbooks travel around with their users, and probably spend a large part of their time in the user’s bedroom. They’re the ultimate personal computer, and as such people are going to want to customise every aspect of them.
Finally, ignoring Google’s online services is just crazy. I appreciate Google is a giant, and we should therefore view it with suspicion, but the fact is that Google dominates the online world right now. Practically everything I do online involves Google at some point, and I’m not unusual. Not integrating Google services within Moblin is as stupid as a new word processor being unable to load and save Microsoft Word documents, for example. However, it’s worth noting that Moblin is wisely seeking contributions from the community via an SDK. This might see the situation change in the future.
What’s so exciting about the netbook platform is that it gives operating system designers a chance to start again.
They can forget the old-fashioned metaphor of the desktop interface that’s been around since the 1970s. They can even abandon the file system concept. Instead, they can create an operating system quite simply geared-up for online activities. The computer becomes a gateway. It ceases to be an end in itself.
Such a plan might sound functionally limiting, but it isn’t. Far from it. Provided the operating system is built on a browser with a capable rendering engine (i.e. Gecko, or Webkit), the user is able to do just about anything they would normally do via online applications. This will become increasingly true over the coming years.
I like Moblin. I like it a lot. That it’s open source and freely available is the icing on the cake. This is one of the few examples of open source taking the lead, and pushing the concept of social computing further than it’s ever been before.
What I like more, though, is what Moblin is trying to do. It might be that Moblin doesn’t reach its destination but, as often happens with computing, Moblin’s gift to the world may turn out to be a proof of concept.
Keir Thomas is the author of several books on Ubuntu, including the free-of-charge Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference .
At the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, over 100 small aircraft droned, whined and roared as they zoomed in races at hundreds of miles per hour over the high desert floor; they maneuvered around giant courses, banking left around pylons that mark their turns. These aircraft range from tiny, home-built planes in the “sport” category, to full-on jets, to biplanes. All told, there are six different types of planes that compete.
The pits at Reno Stead Airport are where the planes, crew, and pilots hang out when they’re not racing, just like race cars spend time in pits. Here’s are some of the coolest machines we saw as we roamed the grounds under the hot sun.
Editor’s note: We’ve updated this post.
Jets round outer pylon four—located high on a hill some distance away from Reno Stead Airport—on Saturday, September 14. The jets in this category clocked average speeds around the course of more than 400 mph. Rob Verger
Pilot Lachie Onslow by an L-39 Albatross. This single-engine Czechoslovakian aircraft, made in the 1970s, hit around 440 miles per hour during a race. “They’re a beautiful jet to fly,” he says. It’s a trainer aircraft, as the two seats allow two pilots to operate it. Rob Verger
A North American P-51D Mustang. This “Goldfinger” aircraft is in the “Unlimited” category—and it can hit around 370 mph. Rob Verger
A Pitts S-1S. This little aerobatic red biplane weighs just around 800 to 850 pounds when it’s empty. Rob Verger
“Phantom” is a modified Mong Sport aircraft made mostly out of carbon fiber with a steel tube structure on the inside. This racing biplane won in the gold category at the races, with pilot Andrew Buehler at the controls. Its average speed was about 228 mph. “It’s a very demanding airplane to fly,” Buehler says. “You do not relax when you’re flying this airplane.” Rob Verger
This aircraft is a P-51D Mustang that flew in World War II. “Sparky” is a reference to a touch-down involving a landing gear malfunction, which resulted in actual sparks. Rob Verger
The “Dreadnaught” is Hawker Sea Fury, a British aircraft; it’ll hit around 455 mph. The engine is a 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney engine that can produce more than 4,000 horsepower. Rob Verger
The cockpit of the “Dreadnaught.” This aircraft won the Unlimited class, gold category, racing around the course with an average speed of 403 mph. Rob Verger
Dan West built this little plane, a Vans RV-8, from a kit in his garage in 19 months; it’s in the “sport” class at the air races. It cruises about 200 mph, but it will hit around 250 during a race. Rob Verger
This shiny canister of nitrous oxide in Dan West’s plane is what he calls his “little blue soldier.” Deploying the nitrous makes the aircraft go faster, just like in the Fast and Furious movies. Rob Verger
West’s plane, from the front. He flies it using a center stick and rudder pedals at his feet. Rob Verger
More nitrous oxide! This sport-class Van’s RV-8 aircraft packs four bottles of nitrous inside, and each one weighs 47 pounds when full. Rob Verger
This miniature jet is propelled by a single small engine in the back that weighs around 40 pounds and will produce about 250 pounds of thrust. It’s not competing this year; Ryan Steffey built it and is the pilot. “It’s a ball to fly,” he says. The whole plane weighs about 474 pounds with no fuel on board and it also has an emergency parachute. Rob Verger
The cockpit of Steffey’s plane. He hopes that the jet could someday compete in a new, small-jet class. Rob Verger
Jerry Kerby won a race in this 1957 de Havilland Vampire; it’s a British plane. A retired lieutenant colonel, he flew F-15Cs for the Air Force. This is his first year flying in Reno. He hit around 510 mph on the course. Rob Verger
This little Cassutt aircraft is in the “Formula One” category at the races; it’ll go around 250 or 260 mph. In a plane that small, the weight of the fuel, and even the pilot, is an important factor. Rob Verger
This Cassutt 111M is also in the “Formula One” class. It weighs 550 pounds and is about 20 feet long by 20 feet wide. Rob Verger
Dennis Buehn and his AT-6C aircraft, “Money Trap.” It was built in 1942. Rob Verger
The engine of a 1943 T-6 “Harvard” model plane, built in Canada. It goes about 217 mph. Rob Verger
This is the tail of a PBJ-1J medium bomber, the marine variant of a B-25; it’s a historic aircraft on display and not a race plane. It dates to 1945 but underwent a 23-year restoration beginning in 1993 to reach its current form. Rob Verger
The Douglas C-47B SkyTrain is a cargo aircraft; this one was built in 1943. Rob Verger
Two modern-day F/A-18E Super Hornets on the tarmac. This type of aircraft, made to fly on and off aircraft carriers, will be in the film Top Gun: Maverick. Rob Verger
Another Super Hornet. Rob Verger
An F-16D sits in front of a C-17 Globemaster III. Here’s what it’s like to fly in an F-16. Rob Verger
The dual engines of a F-15C. Rob Verger
Members of the Civil Air Patrol check out an F-15C. Rob Verger
Popular Science was on the ground (and in the air) in Nevada covering the Reno air races. Check out our by-the-numbers breakdown of the high-speed aviation competition in the desert, a look at what it’s like to fly upside down, and a glimpse at the past and future of the planes fighter pilots train in.
The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro is a great solution for those of you who are heavy typers.
Because this keyboard case, unlike Apple’s Smart Keyboard, fully surrounds the iPad Pro when closed, it actually saves you money to go with Logitech’s offering over Apple’s Smart Keyboard + Silicone Case combo.
Of course, the protection elements offered by the Logitech Create are mere side points to the main questions: How does this keyboard perform for typers? Can I use the Logitech Create to type long-form content, or is it primarily suited for quick text outbursts? How does it fair when attempting to lap type? These are concerns that anyone who’s interested in doing real work with the iPad Pro will have.
The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case isn’t without a few downsides, but for those of you primarily concerned with having a serviceable keyboard available at all times, it’s a very good option that’s worthy of your consideration.Heft and looks
Let’s just get my main gripe out of the way. The Logitech Create is a hefty keyboard case that adds some significant weight and thickness to an already heavy and sizable iPad Pro. If you’re looking for the most svelte setup, then you definitely want to stick to Apple’s Smart Keyboard offering, or better yet, become adept to using the excellent software keyboard offered with the Pro.
But the heft does mean that the Logitech Create offers adequate protection from the elements, and at the same time, it functions as a full-fledged typing machine that’s ready to go as long as your iPad has a charge.
I’m not a huge fan of the faux aluminum surface that surrounds the keyboard, and I don’t like the breaks in the material that are nonexistent with Apple’s unibody hardware, but those are just aesthetic complaints that have no real bearing on the keyboard’s functionality when it comes to typing. In this case, it’s definitely substance over style, and although it’s fairly unremarkable with regard to looks, it isn’t exactly ugly.Unboxing and securing
I have to be honest and say that I went into this review expecting to dislike the Logitech Create. Its looks and its heft gave me immediate doubts right after its unboxing, and placing the iPad Pro into the case itself didn’t exactly instill confidence in me.
Getting the iPad Pro into the Logitech Create requires you to snap the corners of the iPad underneath two tabs that lock it into place. It’s not the prettiest method for securing my $949 tablet, and at first glance, it almost seems like it would be a bit insecure, but it works. At no time did I feel like my iPad Pro might slip out of the case, as the fit is tight, even if it doesn’t seem so at first glance.Connecting
Once the iPad Pro is secured into the Logitech Create, it’s just a matter of raising the iPad, and placing it on the magnetic strip that rests right above the keyboard’s iOS-centric shortcut keys. Right in the center of the magnetic strip is a metal connector featuring three dots. These align directly to Apple’s new Smart Connector found on the iPad Pro.
The Smart Connector is the two-way interface that allows the iPad Pro to supply power to the keyboard, and receive input from the keyboard. It means that you no longer have to worry about charging the keyboard itself, and that means no unsightly cables, or dead peripherals at the most inopportune times.
The Smart Connector also means that connections are instant. There’s no cumbersome pairing process—you simply rest the iPad Pro on the magnetic strip, and start typing.
One of the main benefits of this keyboard over other keyboard offerings, is that its keys are backlit. Even Apple’s own Smart Keyboard features non-backlit keys. If you do a lot of typing in dark settings, then this may, by default, stir you in the direction of the Logitech Create.The keyboard
Ultimately, though, it’s all about typing, and everything else should play second fiddle to that fact. If the typing experience is bad, then the entire effort is essentially worthless.
So, how does the Logitech Create perform when typing?
I’m happy to report that the tying experience is better than average. It’s very MacBook Pro-esque. It features significant key travel for a chiclet keyboard, and it’s not far off from my 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display in this regard. I’d rate the Logitech Create’s key travel somewhere between a MacBook Pro and the recently released Magic Keyboard.
But one of the more unheralded aspects of any typing experience has to do with your palms and where they rest. On a MacBook, you have a significant area to rest your palms, but with a keyboard case, that is obviously less so. Still, I find that the Logitech Create features shallow, but ultimately workable, palm rest areas.
The Logitech Create features a row of iOS-centric hardware shortcuts for adjusting brightness, volume, controlling music, locking the screen, going back to Home, etc. There’s even shortcuts for controlling the keyboard backlight levels, although there are only two levels to speak of, not 16 like on the MacBook Pro.Lap typing
One of the hardest things to get right when it comes to typing on an iPad, and trying to emulate the feel of a laptop, is lap typing. Many keyboard solutions, including Apple’s own, make it nearly impossible to do proper lap typing. You usually run the risk of your iPad falling over and out of your lap, potentially damaging your device, or it’s just not reasonably comfortable.
I’m happy to report that lap typing is not only doable with the Logitech Create, but it’s actually good. In fact, I wrote this entire review with the iPad Pro sitting in my lap. The keyboard, key travel, palm rest, and viewing angle all contributed in some way to the positive experience.
Speaking of viewing angle, there is only one, which is an obvious downside. I’m fairly sure that Logitech extensively tested the optimal viewing angle, and settled on one that works for the majority of users. Yet, I understand that the viewing angle might not be comfortable for everyone.Conclusion
The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case is a bit on the bulky side, and the way the iPad Pro fits into the case feels a bit odd, but there’s no denying the value that you get from this product.
Not only does it provide what may arguably be the best external keyboard solution for the iPad Pro, but it fully protects your iPad from the elements. This case doesn’t require batteries or recharging, features great key travel, includes hardware keyboard shortcuts, allows lap typing, and features a serviceable palm rest area.
Yes, it’s bulky and makes a somewhat unwieldy products even more so, but it’s also a great value. At $149, you get a great keyboard and a case that will fully protect your iPad. If you’re a heavy typer who owns an iPad Pro, then you should definitely check out the Logitech Create before settling for any other option.
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