Last 12 months we examined Logitech’s entry Combo Touch case for the eight-generation iPad and deemed it the final word accent for Apple’s entry-level pill. Flash ahead over a 12 months later, and we now have the 2021 iPad Pro — a tool that delivers more than sufficient energy for work and play whereas additionally making the content material look nice. And whilst you may go for a Magic Keyboard — the Apple-made $299 or $329 keyboard and trackpad accent that lets your iPad float — we’d advocate having a look on the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Pro as an alternative. Its beginning worth is simply $199.99, and that’s only one motive why it’s a greater choice. Let’s break down why.
Apple bought rather a lot proper with the Magic Keyboard when it first launched within the spring of 2020. It delivers a punchy typing expertise with loads of journey and a big trackpad for navigating iPadOS. Oddly sufficient, although, it solely provides the usual QWERTY keys with the required extras (shift, caps lock, tab, and so forth.) and doesn’t have a prime row of perform keys. While the keys are backlit, you’ll be able to’t management the backlighting with a key command. A bit of odd.
The Combo Touch fixes this from the beginning. You get a full customary QWERTY keyboard with the required keys and an entire row of perform keys. The prime row features keys for residence, display screen brightness, digital keyboard, highlight search, keyboard backlighting management, playback controls (reverse, play/pause, ahead), quantity down, quantity up, mute and lock. It’s an identical expertise to what you’ll discover on Logitech keyboards and even the MacBook Air. It’s additionally the identical format that we cherished on Combo Touch for iPad.
These combine immediately with iPadOS and work out of the field — no want to put in a particular app and even mess around in settings. While working between this assessment in Ulysses (a phrase processing app) on the left and viewing a PDF in Notability on the best, we may simply hit the Spotlight search key to tug up an asset or test a time period. The display screen brightness keys are handy while you don’t wish to stretch your hand and handle it from the Control Center. Similarly, media playback helps you to keep centered in your work with the flexibility to regulate no matter is taking part in within the background with out having to modify to your music app.
Function keys make all of the distinction and sit on prime of a superb keyboard. You get an entire set of keys, and it’s roomy, particularly on the 12.9-inch variant. The 11-inch Combo Touch feels a bit tighter, however to not the purpose the place you’ll be able to’t work on it effectively. Logitech has opted for plastic keys which are embedded into the woven construct of the Combo Touch. The woven materials felt particularly pretty on our palms and is just like the Alcantara material on the Surface Laptop. There’s an honest quantity of separation between the keys, which makes unintended presses a uncommon event.
Given how skinny this portion of the Combo Touch is, it doesn’t have essentially the most depth or journey of any keyboard that we’ve examined. Logitech’s exterior K380 performs higher, and the Magic Keyboard doesn’t depart you with a bottoming-out sensation. Still, although, there’s a decent recoil impact that delivers an honest quantity of suggestions. It’s not as energizing or bouncy as different keys, however typing on the Combo Touch is a dynamic expertise.
Right beneath the keyboard is an oblong trackpad. It’s very easy and simple to get a deal with on, just like the one discovered on the Magic Keyboard. And by way of navigational capabilities, it’s expansive sufficient for single or multi-finger swipes. Pressing the trackpad to click on inside iPadOS 15 delivers an audible sound as nicely.
And all the control-centric features are on the keyboard portion of the case. It’s a totally woven materials that leaves the keys dealing with the display screen (and since they’re matte, we’ve no issues about scratching) and a easy woven end dealing with the surface world. It magnetically attaches to the hull of the case, which surrounds the iPad Pro itself. And it makes use of a wise connection to auto join with the case, which is linked to the iPad. It’s a robust magnet as nicely that doesn’t come off with a light-weight tug; you’ll want to make use of some drive. It additionally retains the keyboard portion flat on no matter floor you set it on. We didn’t have any connection points; it was immediately paired from the primary attachment. You additionally don’t all the time have to have the keyboard portion connected.
The different half of the equation with Combo Touch is the wrap-around case portion. It’s a plastic and rubber construct that you simply’ll place the iPad Pro within. We had to make use of a bit of drive when putting in it, as we wished the rubber lip to be fully across the iPad Pro’s edge. Logitech has additionally designed the case with 5 cutouts — one for every of the 4 stereo audio system and the USB-C port. Those with a third-party cable can relaxation simple, because the port cutout is lots giant.
Logitech doesn’t add a second USB-C port into the equation, which energy customers could also be disillusioned by. If you wish to cost and plug in a separate gadget, you’ll want a dock.
On the best facet when held vertically, or prime when used horizontally, there’s a cutout within the case for the Apple Pencil. Unlike the Combo Touch for the entry-level iPad with a strap to slip the Pencil by way of, this variant for the iPad Pro helps you to connect it immediately. This method, the Apple Pencil stays in place, because of magnets, and can wirelessly cost. You’ll discover a plus and minus button on the facet for quantity, in addition to one for energy.
It’s lots sturdy, and the fabric used gives some shock absorption. If you occur to drop the iPad Pro, it may have some safety. We additionally admire the raised lip across the show in the event you don’t have the keyboard portion connected.
The rear facet of Combo Touch is the identical woven materials with a small Logi brand. It gained’t stick out, although, as it’s the identical colour because the weave. But the actual star is the kickstand on the again. You can lengthen it out practically flat for a mode that’s good for sketching or note-taking. You can pull the kickstand out and prop the iPad up like a laptop computer — we’ve been clinging to this mode essentially the most.
It works nice on a desk or any flat floor, however it’s a balancing act of types when attempting to make use of it in your lap. The measurement of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro makes that act twice as onerous. In conditions like that, we miss the Magic Keyboard, as it works on our lap, because of the burden within the backside case and the iPad Pro being held above it. Still, the Combo Touch helps you to use the iPad Pro in more methods than the Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard.
Aside from not offering you with an additional port, our solely different qualm is that in the event you’re not a fan of instances, you doubtless gained’t like this. Logitech has made a reasonably slim answer, however it is a bit of clunky. The case needed to be thick sufficient for cover and the kickstand. It additionally retains you from having to make use of Bluetooth pairing, as there’s a Smart Connector constructed into the case, which matches as much as the iPad Pro. That handles the connection, pairing and energy all with out bothering you to do something. And that’s an absolute pleasure.
Logitech’s Combo Touch case isn’t only a more inexpensive keyboard and trackpad combo case than Apple’s Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard. It additionally provides in a bevy of different features and lets us make the most of the multi-mode nature of the gadget. There are nonetheless occasions the place we just like the Magic Keyboard a bit more, since it’s higher on laps, however the Combo Touch is a brand new go-to answer for us. When paired with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, it is the final word accent.
Logitech’s Combo Touch is obtainable for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro now with a beginning worth of $199.99.