Final 12 months we examined Logitech’s entry Combo Touch case for the eight-generation iPad and deemed it the last 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 greater than sufficient energy for work and play whereas additionally making the content material look nice. And whilst you might go for a Magic Keyboard — the Apple-made $299 or $329 keyboard and trackpad accent that lets your iPad float — we’d suggest having a look on the Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Pro as a substitute. Its starting price is just $199.99, and that’s only one cause why it’s a greater possibility. Let’s break down why.
Apple received lots 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 affords the usual QWERTY keys with the required extras (shift, caps lock, tab, and so forth.) and doesn’t have a high row of perform keys. Whereas the keys are backlit, you possibly can’t management the backlighting with a key command. Slightly odd.
The Combo Touch fixes this from the beginning. You get a full customary QWERTY keyboard with the required keys and a whole row of perform keys. The highest row options keys for dwelling, display brightness, digital keyboard, highlight search, keyboard backlighting management, playback controls (reverse, play/pause, ahead), quantity down, quantity up, mute and lock. It’s an analogous 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 Contact for iPad.
These combine instantly with iPadOS and work out of the field — no want to put in a selected app and even mess around in settings. Whereas working between this evaluate in Ulysses (a phrase processing app) on the left and viewing a PDF in Notability on the appropriate, we might simply hit the Highlight search key to drag up an asset or test a time period. The display brightness keys are handy whenever you don’t wish to stretch your hand and handle it from the Management Heart. Equally, media playback permits you to keep centered in your work with the power to regulate no matter is taking part in within the background with out having to modify to your music app.
Operate keys make all of the distinction and sit on high of a superb keyboard. You get a whole set of keys, and it’s roomy, particularly on the 12.9-inch variant. The 11-inch Combo Contact feels a bit tighter, however to not the purpose the place you possibly can’t work on it effectively. Logitech has opted for plastic keys which are embedded into the woven construct of the Combo Contact. The woven materials felt particularly beautiful on our palms and is just like the Alcantara material on the Floor Laptop computer. There’s a good quantity of separation between the keys, which makes unintentional presses a uncommon event.
Given how skinny this portion of the Combo Contact is, it doesn’t have essentially the most depth or journey of any keyboard that we’ve examined. Logitech’s external K380 performs higher, and the Magic Keyboard doesn’t depart you with a bottoming-out sensation. Nonetheless, although, there’s a decent recoil impact that delivers a good quantity of suggestions. It’s not as energizing or bouncy as different keys, however typing on the Combo Contact is a dynamic expertise.
Proper beneath the keyboard is an oblong trackpad. It’s very clean 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. Urgent the trackpad to click on inside iPadOS 15 delivers an audible sound as properly.
And the entire control-centric options are on the keyboard portion of the case. It’s a completely woven materials that leaves the keys dealing with the display (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 Professional itself. And it makes use of a sensible connection to auto join with the case, which is linked to the iPad. It’s a powerful magnet as properly that doesn’t come off with a lightweight tug; you’ll want to make use of some power. 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 hooked up.
The opposite half of the equation with Combo Touch is the wrap-around case portion. It’s a plastic and rubber construct that you just’ll place the iPad Professional within. We had to make use of just a little power when putting in it, as we wished the rubber lip to be solely across the iPad Professional’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. These with a third-party cable can relaxation straightforward, because the port cutout is loads giant.
Logitech doesn’t add a second USB-C port into the equation, which energy customers could also be disenchanted by. If you wish to cost and plug in a separate machine, you’ll want a dock.
On the appropriate aspect when held vertically, or high when used horizontally, there’s a cutout within the case for the Apple Pencil. In contrast to the Combo Contact for the entry-level iPad with a strap to slip the Pencil by way of, this variant for the iPad Professional permits you to connect it instantly. This fashion, the Apple Pencil stays in place, because of magnets, and might wirelessly cost. You’ll discover a plus and minus button on the aspect for quantity, in addition to one for energy.
It’s loads sturdy, and the fabric used offers some shock absorption. Should you occur to drop the iPad Professional, it is going to have some safety. We additionally admire the raised lip across the show in case you don’t have the keyboard portion hooked up.
The rear aspect of Combo Touch is similar woven materials with a small Logi brand. It gained’t stick out, although, because it’s the identical colour because the weave. However the true star is the kickstand on the again. You possibly can prolong it out almost flat for a mode that’s good for sketching or note-taking. You possibly 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 really works nice on a desk or any flat floor, but it surely’s a balancing act of kinds when attempting to apply it to your lap. The scale of the 12.9-inch iPad Professional makes that act twice as arduous. In conditions like that, we miss the Magic Keyboard, as it really works on our lap, because of the load within the backside case and the iPad Professional being held above it. Nonetheless, the Combo Contact permits you to use the iPad Professional in additional methods than the Magic Keyboard or Sensible Keyboard.
Except for not offering you with an additional port, our solely different qualm is that in case you’re not a fan of circumstances, you possible gained’t like this. Logitech has made a fairly slim answer, however it’s a little 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 Sensible Connector constructed into the case, which matches as much as the iPad Professional. 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 extra reasonably priced keyboard and trackpad combo case than Apple’s Magic Keyboard or Sensible Keyboard. It additionally provides in a bevy of different options and lets us reap the benefits of the multi-mode nature of the machine. There are nonetheless instances the place we just like the Magic Keyboard a bit extra, because it’s higher on laps, however the Combo Contact is a brand new go-to answer for us. When paired with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, it’s the final accent.