Review: Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for Apple's 9.7" iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2016
Logitech's Create Backlit Keyboard Case, made specifically for the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, leverages the tablet's Smart Connector port for both data and power, negating the need for a separate battery or pairing process with virtually no key lag.



The outside of the case is covered with a durable, water resistant textured fabric that feels great in the hand. It provides a nice grip and, along with the case chassis, feels durable and well built.

On the sides are cutouts for iPad's speakers, microphones and cameras, with added key pushers for the volume and power buttons. While the volume controls feel great, the power button is a bit stiff. The case makes up for this by having a lock button as well as sensor-based auto lock and unlock features when the case is opened and closed the case.




The inside seam of the case includes a convenient slot to store your Apple Pencil. The rubbery material holds Pencil securely and tucks it out of sight, but allows for quick and easily access when needed.

To insert your iPad Pro, you line the tablet up with the hard edges of the case and press down firmly. The iPad will snap in and hold fairly snug to the case wall. Lifting up the case, the Smart Connector magnets pull the iPad to the cover and click together, automatically pairing.

The Create features a top row of convenient shortcut keys including a home button, brightness adjustment, search and browser keys, backlight settings, music and audio controls, and a dedicated lock button. Unlike Apple's Smart Keyboard, the Create case includes a key mapped to open the iOS soft keyboard for access to emoji, voice dictation and other features.

The Create keyboard keys are smaller and spaced closer together than a standard Apple keyboard, but we found them very tactile. I was able to type almost as fast and accurately with the Create keyboard as I could with my MacBook Air the first time I used this case, and I'm sure after a few days I'll get even better.




Using the Logitech Create on a desk was really great, and it does a fairly good job on your lap as well. My only complaint would be the single 55 degree typing angle. While not a huge deal, it would be nice to have some adjustability.

The backlighting feature, with user-selectable off, low and high brightness modes, is really useful in dimly lit situations. In order to save power, the case will turn off after 8 seconds of not being used, but turns back on instantly with a press of a key. With this feature and direct connectivity of the case, battery drain is minimal.




Overall, Logitech's Create Backlit Keyboard Case for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a fantastic product. At $129 it's $30 cheaper than Apple's Smart Keyboard and offers more protection and wider set of features. If having a very slim case for better portability is of most importance, Apple's keyboard will likely be a better choice. But If you're looking for a robust keyboard case this is a great option.

Score: 4 out of 5



Pros
  • Tactile keyboard that's nice to type on
  • Integrated backlight and dedicated media/shortcut key row
  • At $129, it's cheaper than Apple's option

Cons

  • Bulky and inconvenient to add/remove iPad from case
  • Two viewing angles, but only one for typing
  • $129 is still pricey


Where to buy



The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case is available in black or blue and can be purchased for $129 from Logitech and Amazon.com.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    The case makes up for this by having a lock button [not sure what you mean here] [not sure what you mean here] 
    nolamacguysuddenly newton
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Love the idea, but it's the lack of viewing angles in these types of cases that prevents me from grabbing one. I'm hoping we see lots more options of Smart Connector cases and some company (like Zagg and their brilliant folio case design) comes along and creates one that solves that problem.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    Ngl I have yet to see a keyboard cover as good as the one for the surface pro 4. It's thin, it feels nice, it's backlit, has a large glass trackpad, good key travel and it just snaps on and off
  • Reply 4 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 25,689member
    I bought the iPad Pro Smart Connector keyboard and ended up using it exactly twice. Turns out I never really needed it.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,046member

    I went through pretty much all constellations since buying my iPad Pro 12.9" on day one... Apple's Smart Keyboard is OK for typing, but the lack of a backlight and the lack of different viewing angles make it useless (and thanks to Ive's obsession with thin gray typeface, key caps are not even readable in average light). Calling up Control Center in keyboard mode is a pain in the ass (triggers something else a felt 90% of the time)... definitely needs at least function keys for brightness and volume. The big Logitech keyboard was the next experiment. Better priced, nice backlight, great function keys... still no viewing angles, almost impossible to remove and bulky. 

    I have now found my ideal solution... The Sena Vettra iPad folio (multiple angles, full protection, even supports portrait mode for FaceTime etc.), made from real leather and not Apple's plastic, plus the stand-alone Logitech K811 BT keyboard (light, small, backlit, great typing experience - and it also works with the Apple TV). Highly recommended.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    holyoneholyone Posts: 247member
    Dose it not come with its own battery? I wonder how "minimal" the battery drain Really is Not bad though one of the more useful uses for the SC I hope apple keeps the application of the SC to things that make sense if they take it to the iPhone
  • Reply 7 of 11
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,162member
    If you're not worried about breaking your iPad Pro (as I'm not), the Zerochroma Solo is fantastic. Very light weight, inexpensive, infinitely adjustable in all orientations and provides a convenient handle.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BQWQKUA/

    It's a hair wide for newer iPad models (or at least it used to be), but a little Dremel-ing or sandpaper-ing fixes that if it's still an issue with newer stands and it matters to you.

    (Even if I do break the iPad, it's $49 to replace under AppleCare+ -- it's more of a hassle than anything.)
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 8 of 11
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,700member
    I bought the iPad Pro Smart Connector keyboard and ended up using it exactly twice. Turns out I never really needed it.
    Well Apple is certainly pushing it in their new ad. This thing is kind of embarrassing how much it looks like a Surface ad.


  • Reply 9 of 11
    READ REVIEWS ON APPLE STORE IT SCRATCHES THE IPAD SCREEN, I HAVE CONTACTED AI VIA TWITTER AND EMAIL TO TELL THEM TO PUT THIS IN REVIEW BUT NO RESPONSE.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    OK, I bought one directly from Logitech's website and it lasted one week before is stopped communicating with the iPad. I've been working with Logitech for 2 weeks to process a replacement and they still haven't approved a replacement. They don't even communicate with me. I have to keep calling and emailing them. They usually don't answer their emails. It's a great idea but Logitech has failed on every other aspect of this sale. I highly recommend avoiding not only this keyboard but Logitech in general. Horrible support and they don't stand by their products.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    runwaysamrunwaysam Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    What if someone created an adapter that worked with the iPad Pro's smart keyboard? Rather than the viewing angles that the Sena Vettra case provides, it would give the option to lift the iPad higher for viewing at eye-level. How much would you be willing to pay for that?
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