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Logitech unveils its Solar Keyboard Folio for the new iPad and iPad 2, we go hands-on

Logitech unveils its Solar Keyboard Folio for the new iPad and iPad 2, we go hands-on
Michael Gorman
Michael Gorman|@Numeson|May 3, 2012 4:00 AM

There are all sorts of ways to go green these days, from driving an EV to installing super efficient light bulbs, and now Logitech's given us an environmentally friendly way to type tactilely on a tablet. It's a new iPad and iPad 2-friendly case called the Solar Keyboard Folio, which packs a Bluetooth keyboard powered by ambient light using the same solar cell tech found on the firm's computer keyboards. Once topped up with photons, Logitech claims its battery will keep you typing for over 1,000 hours even in complete darkness. The case is crafted of black, soft-touch, faux leather embossed with a small Logitech logo and has perforations for the iPad's speakers, plus a portal for the tablet's camera.

Its keyboard is made of gray plastic, and pecking at the grid is a similar experience to using the one found on Logitech's other recently released iPad typing peripheral, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Buttons are short-throw and provide satisfying clicky feedback, but the space bar and shift keys have a hollow feel when pressed. Perhaps the Folio's most intriguing design feature is the feet on the corners of the cradle in which the iPad is placed. Those little nubs allow for two viewing angles -- your slate can be seated in a more upright position behind the keyboard for typing, or in the notches outside the two shift keys for a more obtuse viewing angle when the keyboard isn't needed. What's this bit of green gear cost? It goes on sale in the US and Europe this month with an MSRP of $130.

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Logitech Introduces Light-Powered Protection for the New, Third-Generation iPad
New Solar Keyboard Folio Provides Hassle-Free Protection with Minimal Bulk

NEWARK, Calif. - May 3, 2012 - Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced the expansion of both its solar and tablet accessories lineups with the Logitech® Solar Keyboard Folio.
Made for the new, third-generation iPad® as well as the iPad 2, the ultra-slim, book-style case and keyboard offer stylish design with protection, featuring a built-in keyboard that's powered by light.

Similar to Logitech's solar keyboards for Mac® and PC, the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio includes onboard solar cells that charge the built-in Bluetooth® keyboard in any light, whether indoors or outdoors. When fully charged, the battery lasts for up to two years, even in complete darkness (based on a average use of two hours per day).

"Now that people are seemingly inseparable from their tablets, using them for everything from sending emails to watching videos, they want accessories powered to meet their needs," said Alexis Richard, director of product marketing at Logitech. "The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a smart partner for your iPad. Its sleek built-in keyboard uses light to charge and it provides hassle-free protection for your iPad – both for the front and back. It gives you an ideal way to use and protect your tablet without adding bulk."

The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio has two stand positions, so when you want to use your iPad you can choose the viewing angle that's best for you. Open the folio and place your iPad in the first position to enjoy the full keyboard when you're typing. Place your iPad in the second position and the first keyboard row acts as your one-touch media playback and volume controls, so you can play, pause and change volume instantly.
The folio also has an instant On/Off function, which means your iPad automatically wakes when you open the folio and goes on standby when you close it.

Pricing and Availability

The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in May 2012, for a suggested retail price of $129.99. For more information please visit www.logitech.com or our blog.