Hands-on with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover for iPad Mini with Retina display

Hands-on with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover for iPad Mini with Retina display

Summary: The Apple iPad Mini with Retina display is an extremely portable and powerful tablet. You can use the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover to increase productivity on the go.

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TOPICS: Mobility, iOS, iPad
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Hands-on with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover for iPad Mini with Retina display

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.

LogitechiPadMini2

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.

LogitechiPadMini3

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.

LogitechiPadMini4

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.

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Topics: Mobility, iOS, iPad

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12 comments
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  • Don't you guys read each other's own reviews??!

    The ZaggKeys cover BLOWS this thing away. In fact I'm using it right now to type this at nearly desktop levels of efficiency and speed. Not only that, I HATE that silly "take the iPad and the keyboard apart and slide it in to this silly channel" BS that gives you a grand total of ONE angle.

    The ZaggKeys Cover is far more versatile, easier to type on, has a full set of backlighting colors, and folds together like a clamshell remaining mated to the iPad until you separate them for any other reason. It improves the functionality of the iPad alone easily 10 times or more.

    There's also the ZaggKeys Folio which offers more protection but at the expensive of more plastic and a larger total profile. These were both reviewed by James at least twice or three times for the iPad mini, Mini retina and iPad Air.
    Playdrv4me
    • OK... I see your blurb about James at the end...

      Which makes me even MORE puzzled as to how you came to the conclusion that this thing was BETTER for 20.00 less (or even 40) than the ultra durable and convenient ZaggKeys Cover.

      Seriously, if Apple made a keyboard of their own, this would be it.
      Playdrv4me
      • James and I both have looked at iPad keyboards in the past

        I saw that James posted a stock photo of this keyboard, but didn't see his specific experiences written up about it.

        I agree that ZAGG makes fantastic keyboards and those are the ones I used with my 3rd generation iPad. When I went to their site to see about one for the iPad Mini with Retina display, their web pages for iPad Mini keyboards specifically state they are for the iPad Mini WITHOUT Retina display. I emailed their PR folks and have yet to hear back if those will actually fit with the Retina display Mini that I understand is just slightly thicker.

        Do you use their keyboards with an iPad Mini with Retina display or iPad Mini? If they indeed do work with the Retina Mini then I will return this one and get a ZAGG model.
        palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        • Just confirmed with ZAGG, no Retina support with current keyboards

          I just had a conversation with the folks at ZAGG and their current line does not support the Retina display mini, but they are launching new models in January. So for now, I will use the used $30 model of this keyboard.

          Thanks for your comment though regarding ZAGG keyboards.
          palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
          • It works fine, Matt...

            In fact, the Retina mini works *better* because the fit is ever so slightly more snug in the special hinge that holds the iPad.

            If I can come up with ANY complaint at all, and it's a real stretch, it's that there is a slight color mismatch between the space gray and the older "black" of the keyboard. That's literally it. Rarely does any product work this well. And Zagg's warranty is excellent.
            Playdrv4me
          • *That's for the cover

            The folio probably will NOT work, but who cares, it's no less protected than it is with that Logitech thing.
            Playdrv4me
          • Thanks for the confirmation, I may go buy one then

            I thought they were very close and didn't see why the cover one wouldn't work. It is on sale at ZAGG too so I think I may give it a try soon. I don't really care about the color matching up, but the rest of the keyboard functionality looks great.
            palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
          • Terrific...

            ... I would love to hear how it works out for you.
            Playdrv4me
  • I use the Logitech with my iPad Mini Smart Cover

    I use the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover on my original iPad mini. It works like a champ and the battery life is excellent.
    The lack of backlit keys and the angle/cramped typing space when using the provided slot for propping it up are detractors.
    I improvised and incorporated the iPad Mini Smart Cover that I already had and use it for propping it up while in use. When it's not in use the cover lays flat between the iPad screen and the keyboard, this works very well. I also have a Gear 4 ThinIce Liquid Rubber cover to protect the back of the iPad Mini. I can't post pics in comments otherwise I would.
    I have almost purchased the ZAGGkeys cover for the mini several times, however, I plan to get the iPad Air and will probably wait until then and get the ZAGGkeys cover for that.
    Joecurcio
  • tiny hands

    I don't have tiny hands or slender fingers.......... I can't type decently on a tiny keyboard and consider them absurd. The on screen keyboard is worse........but doesn't take any space....... except for screen space, or weigh anything. It is long past time for the keyboard to go the way of the Dodo...... but what to replace it with?? Styluses and voice commands are both impractical............ Will somebody please come up with the 21st century data entry method...... please!!
    **owly**
    • Sometimes a solution, even an old one, is the perfect

      solution. That's why a hundred years later, we still use steering wheels and gas pedals in our cars, and why we use keyboards for entering text.
      baggins_z
  • speech

    Or we can talk to our PC using speech just like Star Trek :)
    ThinkFairer8