From the feel of the keyboard, it appears that Logitech is using the same key mechanism found on the other keyboards. The difference lies in the material that covers the keys.
For those who like to sip on coffee or other beverages while typing on an iPad keyboard, you're going to love the FabricSkin. It's water resistant, so spills just wipe right off.
The exterior of the case is either a matte finish plastic material or cotton fabric that has a bit of grip to it. Your iPad is held into place by a plastic frame that completely encases the back and sides. There are holes for the ports and speakers, pass-through switches protect those on the iPad from damage. The rear-facing camera is exposed through a small hole on the back of the case.
How about typing on this keyboard? Well, strangely enough I felt that the keys were too far apart! The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is still my favorite iPad keyboard as the spacing and size of the keys are similar to those on the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Here I just felt like there was too much room between the keys, which is not what I expect from an iPad keyboard. As such, my fingers occasionally hit the wrong keys -- especially when I was trying to type a "1", in which case I usually hit the Home key ans was bumped out of my current app. Logitech refers to this new keyboard layout as EasyType, and it may take a little getting used to.
The keys require a bit more pressure than those on the Ultrathin keyboard and many other "standard" keyboard designs, but are much more normal than the dreaded "chiclet" keyboards that some companies have released.
There's one thing I was absolutely thrilled about with this keyboard: it automatically turns itself on and connects to your iPad when you snap the device into typing position. If you decide to use your iPad as a tablet and fold the keyboard underneath, the keyboard turns off by itself. That not only saves you from accidentally typing as you mash the iPad against a leg or desk, but it saves power as well. The company says that the battery should last for about 3 months of use at 2 hours per day -- that's equivalent to about 182 hours.
The FabricSkin Keyboard Folio comes in four colors and finishes in the US. First, there's Carbon Black, which uses a matte leather finish with a white keyboard. There's also Mystic Blue, which also has a matte leather surface and a blue keyboard with white letters -- red accents really make the design pop. If you're a fan of red, Mars Red Orange is going to be your favorite for the FabricSkin -- it has a white keyboard. Finally, the Sunflower Yellow case uses a fine-weave cotton exterior and khaki keyboard. Other markets will also get Electric Blue and Urban Gray color options.
Now here's a quandary... With the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio installed on your iPad, the total weight of the unit is 2.69 pounds. An 11" MacBook Air weighs less at 2.38 pounds, while a 13" MBA is just a tad heavier at 2.96 pounds. In other words, if you're thinking about using an iPad and one of these keyboards as a lightweight laptop replacement, think again.
The FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad is extremely well-designed and constructed, and is worth the premium price that Logitech has given it. If you can adjust your typing to the slightly wider key spacing, it may end up being your favorite keyboard for any device.
- Keyboard is splash-resistant
- An extremely stylish and protective case
- Automatically turns on and off based on iPad positioning
- Can be flipped completely for "tablet-only" use
- Excellent battery life
- Fast initial pairing with iPad
- Installed on an iPad, it's heavier than an 11" MacBook Air
- EasyType key spacing may not be to the liking of all potential users; like any iPad keyboard, try before you buy
Keyboard Folio for iPad mini: Design and Functionality
A few years back I made the grave error of purchasing a PC netbook and converting it to a Hackintosh. Why was it such a mistake? Because of the keyboard! I spent most of a trip to Africa cursing at the thing simply because my muscle memory was looking for keys in certain places where they actually weren't.
No such problem with the Keyboard Folio for iPad mini. The keys are all pretty much in the correct places, although some of them have been scaled down in size to allow the keyboard to be exactly as wide as an iPad mini is tall -- a tad under 8 inches. By comparison, the standard Apple Wireless Keyboard I use most of the time is a full 3 inches wider.