I purchased my iPad Mini with Retina display, check out my full review, a couple of weeks ago and have been picking up various cases to test out. After looking online, I decided to purchase the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and am quite happy with its functionality and design.
It is important to understand that you WILL have a compromised keyboard experience because the iPad Mini is a small device that is only 5.3 inches wide and 7.87 inches tall. Despite the size compromise, I still wanted a keyboard that would let me enter text faster than the software keyboards and after a week of use I can say I found that in the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover.
You will find five rows of keys with the keys, two shift keys, a large space bar, four directional arrow keys, and various function keys attached to the numbers. The key size is adequate for my usage, but they definitely are close together. I have medium to large hands and with my fingers up and angled I am able to enter text much more quickly than I thought I would be able to.
I also like to use these keyboards for propping up my iPad for viewing media. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover works OK for this, but the angle is a bit steep for media and even a bit steep for entering text with IA Writer. It would be nearly perfect if I was able to rotate my iPad down 10 to 20 degrees.
The keyboard attaches via magnets on the left side of the iPad Mini with Retina display and stays very securely in place. I like that the keyboard acts as a durable cover for the iPad and the black one I bought matches my Space Gray iPad mini close enough for me.
The instant wake/sleep functionality of the iPad is supported with the keyboard cover. The keyboard charges up via microUSB and connects quickly and easily via Bluetooth. The specs state it will last for up to three months when used up to two hours a day so for my one hour of use a day it may seem to last forever.
The keyboard cover is just 208 grams and is available in black, white, silver, and purple. It is only 7.3 mm thick and also comes with a 3-year hardware warranty.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard is available at Apple stores, Best Buy, various other stores, and online at places like Amazon. The retail price is $79.99, but you can also find it on Amazon for $59.99 or even less for used models.
James posted a few thoughts on other keyboards for the iPad Mini back in October, but after reading that post and looking around at the Apple Store I think this one is the best for the compact iPad Mini with Retina display.
A reader pointed out the ZAGG keyboard options and unfortunately they do not have a keyboard option for the Retina Display model. The folks at ZAGG said they plan to launch them in January so I imagine we might see more about these at CES next week. I have used the ZAGG keyboards on my older full iPads in the past and love that they have backlighting, options for multiple angles, and an excellent key layout. I plan to use the $29.99 used Logitech one I found until ZAGG launches their compatible models.
- iPad Mini with Retina display review: Perfect balance of size and specs
- 15 best iPad and iPad mini keyboards (hands on): Fall 2013
- Apple's iPad Air, iPad mini launch: 6 not-so-obvious takeaways
- Apple iPad Air reviews are in: World's best tablet gets even better
- Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately