Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Logitech Keyboard Folio mini for iPad mini
Logitech's Keyboard Folio mini combines an attractive, folio case with a physical keyboard
- Good protection as a case
- Attractive fabric & sturdy construction
- Excellent battery life
- Cramped typing experience
- A little bulky when used in tablet mode
The Logitech Keyboard Folio mini combines an attractive, folio case with a physical keyboard. The keyboard itself is a little cramped, but the case offers good protection without adding significant bulk to the iPad mini.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Logitech's Keyboard Folio mini combines an attractive, folio case with a physical keyboard that aims to speed up typing. The case offers good protection without adding significant bulk to the iPad mini, but the keyboard itself is just too small to comfortably type on for long periods.
The Logitech Keyboard Folio mini basically takes the exact same keyboard from the Ultrathin Keyboard mini and builds it into a folio-style case. The case is clearly the highlight, particularly the attractive fabric on the outside that feels almost like denim. There's a combination of soft touch plastics and rubber used inside and the overall impression you get is that this is a premium product. It's a little bit of an effort to slip the iPad mini into the rubber holder inside, but it holds the tablet very securely once fitted.
Conveniently, opening the Keyboard Folio mini automatically unlocks the iPad mini's screen and puts it to sleep when you close it. The case doesn't restrict access to the iPad mini's Lightning connector on the bottom, nor the headphone jack and lock button on the top. There's also a cutout on the back for the camera lens, and on the right side for the mute slider and volume buttons. However, you really have to dig your finger into this slot to access them.
When opened for typing, a built-in magnet allows the iPad mini to sit in place at an appropriate angle for typing. However, unlike many other folio style cases, you can't position the iPad mini at any other angles without it falling over. Thankfully, the Keyboard Folio works very well on your lap. It isn't top heavy at all and therefore isn't prone to toppling over.
You can fold the iPad mini flat onto the Folio mini's keyboard when you don't want to type, though it does add plenty of thickness. It's also more prone to be used in landscape mode in this manner, due to the fact the bend in the folio case makes it thicker on the right side than the left. When folded closed, the rubber lips that hold the iPad mini in place prevent the keys from coming into contact with the screen.
Connecting the Logitech Keyboard Folio mini to your iPad mini is a very simple process. Turn it on via the switch on the right side of the case where it will automatically enter pairing mode. Then go to the Bluetooth menu on your iPad mini to connect it. The iPad mini will prompt you to enter a four digit code using the keyboard to finalise the connection.
The biggest issue with the Keyboard Folio mini is the small size of the keys. A device as small as the iPad mini was always going to have this issue and while Logitech has done a reasonable job, typing is still a cramped experience. A particular annoyance is the tiny comma and quotation keys, along with the delete button. Unlike the Ultrathin Keyboard mini, however, we didn't accidentally bump the screen while typing as the iPad mini sits slightly further up.
Despite the cramped layout, the keys themselves are spring loaded and offer good feedback and tactility. Typing is also a relatively quiet experience, with none of the annoying or overly loud clicking sounds we've seen from many rival iPad keyboard accessories.
The Logitech Keyboard Folio mini has a number of iOS function keys, but these are shared with the standard number keys on the top row. When pressed with the fn key in the bottom left corner, the function keys can lock and wake the screen, activate Siri, search through spotlight, hide or show the on-screen keyboard, start a photo slideshow, adjust the volume and pause or play any media content. The Fn key can also be used with the left and right arrow keys to select text to copy and paste.
The Logitech Keyboard Folio mini runs on a non-removable, rechargeable battery. Logitech says the battery on the Keyboard Folio mini will last three months on a single charge with two hours of typing per day. A small LED above the delete key denotes when the unit is powered on and also glows while charging. Logitech includes a USB to micro-USB charging cable in the box.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini is available now for $99.95 through Apple stores, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi, Myer, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Big W and Dick Smith retail outlets.
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