Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

Summary: The Logitech Tablet Keyboard for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, made by ZAGG, is a good wireless keyboard for mobile content creation.


My dream tablet doesn't yet exist but after I wrote that article I remembered that the ZAGG keyboard I mentioned would soon be released by Logitech for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. While the Logitech web site still indicates that only pre-orders are possible, I plunked down my money and discovered that it is now shipping. My Logitech Tablet Keyboard arrived a few days ago and I have been using it heavily since then.

A popular portable keyboard for the iPad is the ZAGG keyboard/case that turns the iPad into a near laptop replacement. Computer peripheral maker Logitech recognized the quality of this keyboard and sells it with its own products. This peripheral for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is largely the same as the iPad version.

Check out the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in photos

Image Gallery: Logitech Tablet Keyboard made by ZAGG Image Gallery: Charge Image Gallery: Charge
The case is a simple tray made of brushed aluminum that is well constructed. It adds a bit of weight to the ultralight Galaxy Tab when it is nestled in the tray but it offers good protection for the tablet's screen. The Tab simply snaps into the case that is padded inside at the corners to both protect and hold the tablet securely in the case. The entire unit is only slightly bulkier than the thin Tab, and is a little heavier. The back of the tablet is exposed while in the case.

The real utility of the Logitech case is evident when the tablet is removed from the tray. A near full-size (92%) Bluetooth keyboard is presented that turns the Galaxy Tab into a little laptop. The chiclet keys have a good feel, and I can type almost as fast using this keyboard as I can on any keyboard. The tablet sits in a special slot above the keyboard that looks hardly big enough to secure the Galaxy Tab but does so in either landscape or portrait orientation. The tablet is easy to pop into this slot, and just as easily removed when it is time to pack up.

The Logitech has a rechargable battery that lasts weeks with normal usage according to the company. A friend using the iPad version tells me the keyboard works for months on a charge, and this should be no different. Power requirements are minimal, as power is only needed for the Bluetooth radio that is used to connect the keyboard to the Galaxy Tab. Pairing the two devices takes a couple of steps, which is only needed the first time the keyboard is used. The keyboard auto-connects to the tablet ìn just a second or two when turned on after it is paired.

Logitech has included a number of special keys designed to be shortcuts to commonly performed tasks on the Tab. Searching through the Android Market found a free app that Logitech has written that enables all of these special keys. There is no mention of this app in the documentation that accompanied the keyboard, and no detail indicating which keys are enabled when it is run.

The Logitech keyboard will not work with third-party onscreen keyboards as the active keyboard. I normally use the SwiftKey Tablet keyboard on the Tab, and when the Logitech keyboard is paired it pops up a dialog box that informs me that the Samsung default keyboard must be the active one to use the Logitech. It changes the keyboard back to the Samsung one, so no further action is required. I suspect this has to do with some third-party keyboards using predictive text, which would interfere with using a physical keyboard. The Samsung keyboard remains active until manually switching back to a preferred keyboard when the Logitech is no longer being used.

The top row of the Logitech has keys to perform cut, copy, and paste functions. There are also shortcut keys to launch email, the web browser, and contacts. There are even media control buttons that operate the music player, and three volume buttons. The two keys I use the most are the Home button and the Return button, which is convenient to do from the keyboard and makes it possible to control the Android system without going to the touchscreen. These keys only launch the default Tab apps, so if you use another browser and/or email app they cannot be configured to launch these instead. It would be nice to at least see Logitech set these to launch whatever might be the default browser, and not the Samsung app.

The keys are chiclet style and well-spaced for rapid typing. The keyboard works as well as those found on many laptops and netbooks. The lip around the keyboard does not interfere with typing. The Galaxy Tab sits securely in the docking slot, but there is no way to adjust the viewing angle; this has not been a problem during my usage given the good viewing angles on the Tab.

Putting the tablet into the case is as easy as setting it on top of the keyboard with the screen down and lightly pushing the edges. The Tab sits snugly in the case with no worry about it falling out during transport. Removing the Tab from the case is easier if you set the case on its edge and gently pull the Tab away from the case.

There are cutouts in the lip of the Logitech case to allow charging the tablet without removing it from the case. There are also two cutouts that correspond to the two speakers so they can be heard while in the case. I'm not sure why you would every need to play audio while in the case, as the screen is not visible.

The Logitech Tablet Keyboard is easily the best mobile keyboard I have used for tablets. It is designed specifically for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and this integration turns the tablet into a netbook replacement. Using the two together demonstrates this integration, as they feel like a single device during usage.

Logitech didn't do everything right with this keyboard. It has a microUSB port for charging, but only included a 6-inch USB-to-microUSB cable for charging. For $99, I expected to find a power adapter in the box, but Logitech instructs you to use the cable with a powered laptop USB port for charging. While standard power adapters and microUSB cables will likely work, the omission doesn't make Logitech look good. Even without the adapter, a 6-inch cable is so short to be ridiculous, and very difficult to use.

The Logitech keyboard/case is expensive at $99.99, but it adds so much value to the Galaxy Tab that it is worth it for those wanting a good mobile device for content creation. As some users do with the iPad, I could see Galaxy Tab owners leaving the laptop at home for short trips and carrying the Tab in the Logitech Tablet Keyboard. While I wish it was cheaper, I am happy with my purchase given the utility it provides.


Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, Mobility, Samsung, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Review comment by Technogies.com

    Thats really nice Review, and must be submitted on technogies
  • SGT 10.1 is too pricy either with or without this Logitech Tablet Keyboard:

    To make the tablet more lucrative, Samsung has to lower the price. It is too much comparing to iPad 2. The latter is made of metal, has three-to-five times faster graphics, up to ten times faster floating point vector operations (for multimedia and science applications), has more refined tablet OS/experience and dramatically bigger choice of tablet applications of all kinds (you can not even begin to compare).

    With lowing prices, Samsung will have big boost in sales (at least until courts ban the tablets for being copy-cat of Apple design and, more importantly, capacitive mobile multi-touch features, which Apple invented and patented in the middle of 2000s.)
    • Why do you have to give Apple users such a bad name?

      Do you take pride in being a pr1ck?
      • For now, I outlined concrete and fair arguments, and you are 'pr1ck' for ..

        @toddybottom: ... behaving the way to do. ;))
      • Fair arguments?

        Point out what anything you wrote had to do with the Logitech keyboard.

        You are an idiot and a troll because you spam your nonsense on blogs that have nothing to do with your nonsense.

        Get back under your bridge, your kind is not wanted here.
      • My reply has everything to do with the subject, since it is related to SGT

        @toddybottom: ... 10.1; both tablet's and this keyboard's sales would be much bigger if the price would be more competitive.

        This is valid argument, and you came with childish, kindergarten level provocative name-calling -- this means the the only 'troll' here, for now, is you.
    • Lame

      ASUS Transformer has been doing this for months.
      Picked mined up with keyboard dock for $503.00

      Now, what was that lame iPad comment?

  • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

    The Asus transformer is still much better. The Keyboard integrates much better, and the battery in the keyboard will charge the tablet. In addition Asus wasn't stupid enough to leave off the SD card slot like Samsung did. Asus also does a much better job delivering updated software.
    • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

      @ryanmc: It's also got a trackpad too. The Transformer is clearly far superior.
      • BINGO!!!

        Lovin' mine!
  • This is a fantastic keyboard

    I bought this for my iPad and can confirm the amazing battery life and high quality of this keyboard / case. The slot that holds the tablet is very well built and I never worry that the tablet will fall out. I also really like this design over others that force you to stay in either portrait or landscape mode. I purchased this over a month ago and have still not had to recharge it which leads to my first of 2 complaints for this keyboard:
    1. There is a noticable delay of approximately 5 seconds waking up the keyboard and establishing the bluetooth connection. Since this happens many times a day (either because the iPad goes to sleep or the keyboard goes to sleep) it does get a bit annoying.

    2. The case can be tricky to remove since it is held very snuggly and there is only a small slot where you are expected to "grip and rip" the case off. I suspect that people with thicker fingers might have trouble with it.

    Other than that, this keyboard is really good and drastically increases my productivity with my tablet.
    • The trouble with Bluetooth

      @toddybottom Agreed.

      Bluetooth is the problem. I'm afraid that as long as devices need to wake each other up separately, bluetooth isn't a very good technology.
      Schoolboy Bob
    • Yup

      Why I like the ASUS design.. Direct connection, no BT involved.
  • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

    Or just get a laptop which has a keyboard and more power than a tablet.
  • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

    This is a welcome trend, but I think that the form factor that will ultimately prevail is going to be smartphone-based. The tablet of the future may well be a dock for a smartphone, and it will also fit into a lapdock (as Motorola offers for some of its high-end phones) and a desktop dock (like the Motorola HDdock). The tech for this is in its infancy, since the Moto phonedocks have a memory bottleneck. But the concept is there, and future implementations are going to be amazing.

    The day may come when the smartphone is the core "swiss army knife" personal computing appliance - using the cloud for storage, and changing its persona into touchscreen pad, netbook and desktop at the switch of a peripheral, and connecting with the world at speeds that make both WiMax and LTE look snail-like.

    Of course, this vision can be all wrong, and the tech of the future could involve subdural implants and interact directly with the optic nerve and other avenues to/from the brain. (Just as long as we don't end up as batteries . . .)
    • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

      @joann_percy@... Your vision is corect and I have the patents filed in the PTO for this very type of design.
      • Dated when?

        ASUS PadFone :)
        They have already previewed it......
    • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

      @joann_percy@... I share your vision - the ultimate human/computer interaction is direct interface to the brain via the nervous system, through some form of embedded device with wireless communications, or possibly via the skin's electrical signals. And we're a long way down this road already... for example, http://www.kevinwarwick.com. (Hope & expect he's got a lot of patents already!)

      However, in the meantime, dockable & expandable smartphone (i.e. portable CPU) is the way I want to go. Something like the Atrix but much more expandable/customisable/modular/flexible...
  • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

    Thanks for a great review. As a writer, I'm not about to buy a tablet until the "with keyboard / without keyboard" option is fully taken care of, and it sounds like we're taking a big step in that direction at this point. Good to hear. I'll see if I can go check one out in person!
  • RE: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Galaxy Tab 10.1: Near laptop replacement (review)

    Pairing a keyboard with a slate still does not provide either the mobility or content creation capabilities of a modern netbook.