Review: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini

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Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 5.55.30 PM

If you’re looking for a keyboard to compliment your iPad mini, here it is.

  • Score:

    9.5 / 10

  • The Good:

    Nice design, fits iPad mini well via magnets, protects the front when not in use, types well, connects quickly, great battery life, colour matches your iPad mini

  • The Bad:

    Does scratch easily, can feel cramped initially but that’s expected.

  • Bottom Line:

    There is a learning curve, but after just two weeks I’m already touch-typing on it. I’ll definitely be buying one for my iPad, and if you’re looking to lose the bulk of a laptop and just use an iPad for writing notes, then I couldn’t recommend this keyboard more.

I love my iPad mini. Sure, it’s sometimes a little too small for, say, reading a magazine, but it’s one of my most-used devices. However, I’ve never considered it to be a ‘post-PC’ device. I’m still much more productive typing on physical keys with a desktop OS. Which is why the Logitch Ultrathin Keyboard for the iPad mini intrigued me.

Like a smart-cover, the keyboard attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad, acting as a screen-cover when not in use as a keyboard. While the magnets in the iPad aren’t enough to hold the cover on (and don’t even hold the regular smart-cover on), in my carry bag, I had no problems of the cover disconnecting.

It weighs 208g, and just like it’s bigger varient, matches the size of the iPad mini. While the keys are, obviously, more cramped to match the front of the iPad mini, I definitely got used to it, and even found myself typing at the same rate as my regular keyboard. I had to write notes for a class at school and, to my surprise, wasn’t disadvantaged by this smaller keyboard connected to the iPad. I ended up writing 1000 words without breaking a sweat. Going back to a full-sized keyboard, though, I did find that I had to get used to that size again, and vice versa, however I have started to learn the difference much more quickly. The addition of special keys, for things such as locking the iPad screen or changing volume and brightness, worked a treat too.

Typing on the keyboard feels solid too, considering the context of it. It doesn’t match the firm Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, but I’m really not fussy when it comes to this, so didn’t find it to be a flaw in the slightest. It isn’t crazy good, but it’s definitely a good feel and doesn’t feel cheap.

Since I own a white iPad mini, I received the same coloured aluminum case, but it did scratch a little in testing, revealing a darker shell underneath the presumably silver paint. Visually, though, the keyboard’s design is perfect, apart from this minor complaint. It really feels like part of the iPad mini when you use it.

When actually using the keyboard, you first unclip the magnetic edge and place the iPad into a closer slot, which it sits without distraction. Pressing on the screen doesn’t cause it to move, which was another nice surprise of the keyboard. It feels solid when in use, and I felt confident in using this for long periods of time.

Speaking of this, the keyboard, which connects over Bluetooth to the iPad, has an impressive 180 hours, or 3 months with 2 hours a day, of battery life according to Logitech. Despite the fact I’ve only used this for a fortnight, I do believe this statistic. I didn’t even charge it out of the box, and it’s still working right now, despite being on for hours and hours. And the Bluetooth pairing is instant every time I need to use it.

And that’s where this keyboard shines. Despite its literal size drawbacks, it really does work as it should and works really, really well. There is a learning curve, and I did need to look at the keys initially to use the keyboard, but after just two weeks I’m already touch-typing on it. I’ll definitely be buying one for my iPad, and if you’re looking to lose the bulk of a laptop and just use an iPad for writing notes, then I couldn’t recommend this keyboard more. If you own an iPad mini, you should own this keyboard. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see an official keyboard from Apple that works just as this accessory does.