Lightweight. Sleek design. Large, well spaced keys. Long battery life. Adjustable groove stand.
Weak hinge magnet. Can be difficult to reconnect to magnetic hinge. Slightly expensive. No battery level indicator. Keys aren’t backlit.
The Logitech Ultrathin for iPad Air 2 has an excellent keyboard and long battery life, but don’t count on it to protect your iPad from any impacts.
BY PC MAG ME TEAM
Who says the iPad Air 2 is only good for playing Goat Simulator and streaming Netflix? The iPad Air 2 can be a lean, mean, word processing machine with the right external hardware. The Ultrathin for iPad Air ($89.99) by Logitech can bring out that productivity hidden within your iPad with its excellent keyboard. Its well-spaced keyboard and adjustable groove stand earns it our Editors’ Choice award. Just remember that it’s a keyboard cover, not a full-blown case; don’t expect it to protect your iPad as it fumbles out of your hands while you celebrate how much work you’re getting done.
Design and Features
The Ultrathin keyboard case for iPad Air 2 measures a slim 9.45 by 6.93 by 0.25 inches (HWD), and weighs a mere 11.53 ounces. It comes in either Space Gray aluminum with black plastic, or Silver aluminum with white plastic. Since it’s a cover rather than a case, it won’t offer any protection for your iPad’s back. The magnetic hinge it connects to is quite weak, so it could easily detach in a crowded backpack, exposing your iPad’s screen to whatever lurks in there.
While the hidden magnetic hinge is more aesthetically pleasing than the flimsier, loose hinges on previous Ultrathin models, the magnetic hinge is temperamental. You need to approach the hinge very slowly with your iPad’s left edge, and even then it’s hit or miss.
Out of the box, all I had to do was turn on the keyboard, which automatically enables its pairing mode, and pair it with our iPad in iOS 8’s Settings menu. You won’t need to use the pairing button unless you want to pair the Ultrathin with a different iPad.
Logitech replaced the rechargeable battery (and the micro USB port) of its predecessor with two watch-style CR2032 coin batteries stored in a small drawer on the keyboard’s top left edge. The company claims a two-year battery life with an average use of two hours per day. To compare, Zagg claims its Slim Book for iPad Air 2 also has a two-year battery life based on an average of three hours per day (without the keys’ backlighting enabled). However, there’s no battery indication system on the Ultrathin, which could leave you guessing.
The Ultrathin for iPad Air 2 inherits the adjustable magnetic groove stand from its predecessor, which offers the most versatility we’ve seen on a keyboard cover, as you can adjust the angle at which your iPad is propped. But you’ll find full-blown keyboard cases offer multiple iPad viewing modes, like the ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2’s 360-degree hinge.
Performance and Conclusion
The keys on the Ultrathin aren’t backlit, but they’re very well spaced, amongst the largest we’ve seen on an iPad keyboard, and all in their familiar and rightful places. Key travel isn’t as deep as on other keyboard cases, like the ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2 (which has the deepest key travel we’ve tested). But feedback is springy and responsive, making for a very comfortable typing experience. You’ll find the usual array of iPad-specific keys on the keyboard’s top row, including Home, Lock, multi-task, Siri, search, on-screen keyboard on/off, camera, and media controls. I never experienced any key bouncing (key repetition) while writing this review with the Ultrathin on our iPad Air 2, which can be an issue with Bluetooth keyboards.
The Logitech Ultrathin for iPad Air 2 offers an excellent keyboard, but like all covers rather than cases, you’ll need to consider that it doesn’t offer much protection for your iPad. You can also enjoy a $10 price drop over its predecessors, or you could spend a little more for a full keyboard case, like the $129.99 Zagg Slim Book for iPad Air 2 for added protection and versatility. If viewing modes aren’t that important to you, but you’d like to give your iPad more protection, the Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro for iPad Air 2 provides an excellent backlit keyboard and superlative build quality.