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Review: Logitech TypePlus keyboard case for iPad Air

Although the iPad Air 2 has recently launched, there are still a lot of the previous model iPads around. This keyboard case is one of the best for the iPad Air.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ keyboard case for iPad Air

Take an iPad Air and put it in a good case with a keyboard and the tablet becomes a real workhorse. There are quite a few cases available, and the new Logitech Type+ is one of the best.

Logitech made some good design choices with the Type+ that result in a good keyboard for touch typists. A slightly wider keyboard allows for big keys with good spacing, and a layout that mimics those on laptops eliminates a learning curve when moving from laptop to this keyboard.

The portfolio style case of the Type+ protects the iPad Air while adding little bulk to the thin form. It has a unique design that keeps the Type+ firmly in place while making it easy to remove and insert the iPad Air.

The material comprising the outside of the portfolio yields a secure grip and protects from simple spills. It extends about a half inch around the iPad Air, which makes the wider keyboard possible.

The half of the case housing the iPad Air rests on a magnetic strip when using the keyboard. Setting the iPad on the strip triggers a useful action that I'll describe later.

To use the iPad Air without the keyboard, you can set it down on top of the keys. This leaves the keyboard turned off to prevent accidental key presses. 

All about typing

The Logitech Type+ is one of the best keyboards for the iPad Air, perhaps the very best, for rapid touch typing. The key spacing practically eliminates hitting the wrong keys, which is common with other keyboards that squeeze keys too close together. The key travel is shallow, and keys are easy to press as a result.

Since it has a layout similar to those of laptops, you can move from a laptop to the Type+ with little effort. Many designers of keyboards for the iPad take the liberty of moving keys around to fit the small size, but that's not the case with the Type+. The keys are where you expect them, and the ones you expect to be oversized (e.g., Shift) are larger than the others.

The top row of the Type+ has iPad control keys that are typical for such keyboards, with a couple unique to the Logitech. There is a dedicated key for taking screenshots that is a boon to those of us who do that a lot. Another key pops up the virtual keyboard, especially useful for entering emoji in text messages.

Power advantages

The Logitech Type+ connects to the iPad Air via Bluetooth, and has an LED indicator that shows when the keyboard is powered on (green) and connected to the tablet (blue). To conserve battery on the rechargeable keyboard (with included microUSB cable), the keyboard automatically turns on when the half of the case holding the iPad Air is placed on the magnetic strip for use. The keyboard turns off when the tablet is lifted off the strip.

Battery life is quoted in months of use on a single charge.

The portfolio case uses smart cover technology to turn the iPad Air on and off when it is open and closed. A magnetic closure holds the case closed, preventing the iPad from accidentally powering on during transport.

Minor quibbles

Not all is perfect with the Logitech Type+ case. The keyboard is not backlit, and while not a big issue for me, others may find that a deal breaker.

Another oversight on Logitech's part is the failure to put an indicator for remaining battery life on the Type+. There is no way to tell what the current battery life is at any time. Since months pass between charges, it's easy to forget to charge. 

Conclusion

In spite of the minor quibbles, the Logitech Type+ keyboard case is one of the best for the iPad Air. The light case provides simple protection for the expensive tablet, from both minor drops and spills.

The Logitech Type+ comes close to knocking my favorite keyboard for the iPad Air, the ClamCase Pro (), out of its top spot. It may indeed replace it with more time.

The Logitech Type+ is available for $99.99 from retailers, including the Apple Store.

Pros:

  • Key layout consistent with laptops
  • Long battery life
  • Works well for typing and in tablet mode

Cons:

  • Not backlit
  • No battery indicator

Reviewer's rating: 9 out of 10

See related:

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2 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ in use

The small case can fit easily on the smallest table for typing.

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3 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ side view

The case only provides a single viewing angle but it fits most any environment.

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Logitech Type+ portfolio

The case is barely thicker than those without a keyboard.

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Logitech Type+ front, closed

The material on the outside of the case repels liquid for spill protection.

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6 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ keyboard

The keyboard is slightly wider than those on other models for the iPad Air.

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Logitech Type+ tablet configuration

The case is very comfortable to use in tablet mode.

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8 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ LED Indicator

Green = power on

Blue = connected to iPad Air

Slow flashing green = charging

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9 of 9 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Logitech Type+ keyboard side of portfolio

The keyboard is turned off unless the iPad is on the magnetic strip (above top row of keys) for typing.

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