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Logitech unveils Ultrathin Keyboard for Apple's iPad mini

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Computer accessory maker Logitech announced on Tuesday that it would be rolling out a version of its Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for Apple's iPad mini.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini


The Ultrathin Keyboard mini brings the same features Logitech implemented with the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the full-size iPad. It will include Smart Cover functionality, keys to control the iPad mini's media functions, and full-size EasyType keys for faster typing.

EasyType keys also offer iPad function shortcuts, allowing users to copy, cut, paste, and carry out other common word processing actions. Logitech also says the keyboard will have a three-month battery life, assuming two hours of usage per day.

The new keyboard connects to the iPad mini via Bluetooth, and its body contains magnets, allowing the device to securely latch onto the iPad. It also doubles as a hands-free viewing stand.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini will be available in the United States and Europe beginning in February of 2013. Its suggested retail price is $80.
post #2 of 25
Why doesn't Apple make something like this?
post #3 of 25
Not a big fan of Logitech. Their products lack the level of production quality of Apple. Too plasticky and cheaply made. I prefer to get only Apple accessories...and if Apple doesn't make them (which is common) then I usually pass.

I also shy away from accessories that I have to carry, pack, charge, or just store. They seem to add bulk to the iOS device and take away from the elegance of the design.

Having said this it looks rather intriguing, especially for the Mini. I will check it out.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?

 

Because they don't need to.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?

 

Apple leave lots of niches for third-party accessories, and there are lots of keyboard choices. (Keyboard attachments are a big and popular niche, but a niche nonetheless: a tablet is at its best being a tablet, not a wannabe laptop. And attaching a keyboard to a tablet with no real adjustable hinge is always going to be a little cheesy and awkward and lacking Apple simplicity; true of this, true of the Surface. That said, I'd gladly use one of these sometimes and leave it home doing no harm the rest of the time!)

 

This keyboard is the clear winning option in my book, since it uses the magnets instead of plastic friction clips. I like the Fn-Arrow commands to select text, too.

 

Logitech beat Microsoft to the Surface punch: they've been selling these for the full iPad long before Microsoft mimicked (and, yes, enhanced greatly) Apple's magnetic Smart Covers.

 

I like these better than the Surface because of a) more key travel and b) most important: portrait support! Plus, no awkward kickstand. (The kickstand would have a real benefit... if it were adjustable! Missed opportunity there.)

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Not a big fan of Logitech. Their products lack the level of production quality of Apple. Too plasticky and cheaply made. I prefer to get only Apple accessories...and if Apple doesn't make them (which is common) then I usually pass.

I also shy away from accessories that I have to carry, pack, charge, or just store. They seem to add bulk to the iOS device and take away from the elegance of the design.

Having said this it looks rather intriguing, especially for the Mini. I will check it out.

 

I agree with all of the above... bulk = bad! But I'd take a keyboard like this with me just SOMEtimes and be glad for it. (BT uses little power, so charging would be rare.)

 

I know people who have largely replaced their computer with an iPad, but only because they got an external keyboard.

 

As for Logitech quality, I too have concerns: I've had a couple of their products die, and a couple feel cheap. Others have felt great and lasted forever, though, so it's hit or miss. The tie-breaker: every other attachable iPad keyboard seems even more cheap, and doesn't attach by magnets! (Folios? Holy bulk, Batman!) And reviews for this (full-size iPad version, on Amazon, Wirecutter, etc.) have been great.

 

I wish it came in red-and-black. (The full-size one comes in a third color, red-and-white.)


Edited by nagromme - 2/5/13 at 9:48am
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?

If Apple made something like this, people would complain they're gouging customers. If Apple doesn't, people will complain that Apple doesn't innovate.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. This is what it means to be Apple.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?

A better route would be the projected keyboard because then you'd just roll up the smart cover, sit it on its side and the keyboard would be right there - multi-language, resizeable, no separate batteries and no extra weight to the device. It might not work in portrait but it depends on how they do the projection system.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Not a big fan of Logitech. Their products lack the level of production quality of Apple. Too plasticky and cheaply made. I prefer to get only Apple accessories...and if Apple doesn't make them (which is common) then I usually pass.

I also shy away from accessories that I have to carry, pack, charge, or just store. They seem to add bulk to the iOS device and take away from the elegance of the design.

Having said this it looks rather intriguing, especially for the Mini. I will check it out.

 

Agree, but if this is aluminum, I'll take a very close look at it.  My daughter has been wanting a notebook for school just for the keyboard....we have an extra iPad so I don't want to spend on a notebook.  But $79, with aluminum casing?  And it matches the white 32 GB white iPad at home?

 

I think my problem has been solved ;-)

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

Apple leave lots of niches for third-party accessories, and there are lots of keyboard choices. (Keyboard attachments are a big and popular niche, but a niche nonetheless: a tablet is at its best being a tablet, not a wannabe laptop. And attaching a keyboard to a tablet with no real adjustable hinge is always going to be a little cheesy and awkward and lacking Apple simplicity; true of this, true of the Surface. That said, I'd gladly use one of these sometimes and leave it home doing no harm the rest of the time!)

 

This keyboard is the clear winning option in my book, since it uses the magnets instead of plastic friction clips. I like the Fn-Arrow commands to select text, too.

 

Logitech beat Microsoft to the Surface punch: they've been selling these for the full iPad long before Microsoft mimicked (and, yes, enhanced greatly) Apple's magnetic Smart Covers.

 

I like these better than the Surface because of a) more key travel and b) most important: portrait support! Plus, no awkward kickstand. (The kickstand would have a real benefit... if it were adjustable! Missed opportunity there.)

 

 


 

I agree with all of the above... bulk = bad! But I'd take a keyboard like this with me just SOMEtimes and be glad for it. (BT uses little power, so charging would be rare.)

 

I know people who have largely replaced their computer with an iPad, but only because they got an external keyboard.

 

As for Logitech quality, I too have concerns: I've had a couple of their products die, and a couple feel cheap. Others have felt great and lasted forever, though, so it's hit or miss. The tie-breaker: every other attachable iPad keyboard seems even more cheap, and doesn't attach by magnets! (Folios? Holy bulk, Batman!) And reviews for this (full-size iPad version, on Amazon, Wirecutter, etc.) have been great.

 

I wish it came in red-and-black. (The full-size one comes in a third color, red-and-white.)

Agreed. That battery life of a month at 2 hrs use a day is impressive! :)

post #10 of 25
So this already exists at a much lower price ($25): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ABSP6QY/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

I just bought one and I love it. This new logitech one might be better, but for $55 more, it should be a lot better.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

Agree, but if this is aluminum, I'll take a very close look at it.  My daughter has been wanting a notebook for school just for the keyboard....we have an extra iPad so I don't want to spend on a notebook.  But $79, with aluminum casing?  And it matches the white 32 GB white iPad at home?

 

I think my problem has been solved ;-)

I was thinking the same thing for my GF! :) She is happy to put up with a little extra bulk for the keyboard. She does a lot more typing than I do. You're right. A better solution than buying a $1,000 MBA.

 

You might also want to checkout FingerPrint. It's an App you put on your Mac and allows you to print from any iOS device (on your network). Better than buying a new printer just so you can print from an iOS device. $20. Works well for me...even though I'm doing a lot less printing! :)

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilroot9 View Post

So this already exists at a much lower price ($25): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ABSP6QY/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

I just bought one and I love it. This new logitech one might be better, but for $55 more, it should be a lot better.

That does look good. Thanks for the link! :)

 

Looks like good reviews, too.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I was thinking the same thing for my GF! :) She is happy to put up with a little extra bulk for the keyboard. She does a lot more typing than I do. You're right. A better solution than buying a $1,000 MBA.

 

You might also want to checkout FingerPrint. It's an App you put on your Mac and allows you to print from any iOS device (on your network). Better than buying a new printer just so you can print from an iOS device. $20. Works well for me...even though I'm doing a lot less printing! :)

 

Thanks for the tip.  Unfortunately I'm going to have to buy an Airport Express soon to extend my network anyway, probably just plug the usb printer into it.  If it weren't for me needing the extender, though...

post #14 of 25
This ain't gonna fly. Their ultra thin is great with the full size iPad but the Mini is more than 2.5 inch shorter so this is going to be for kid's fingers only. I'll pass.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

Agree, but if this is aluminum, I'll take a very close look at it.  My daughter has been wanting a notebook for school just for the keyboard....we have an extra iPad so I don't want to spend on a notebook.  But $79, with aluminum casing?  And it matches the white 32 GB white iPad at home?

 

I think my problem has been solved ;-)


I would think the Apple keyboard would be just fine. I had one for my iPad. Now it's my AppleTV remote control...

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?


Isn't that why we have a computer?

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Not a big fan of Logitech. Their products lack the level of production quality of Apple. Too plasticky and cheaply made. I prefer to get only Apple accessories...and if Apple doesn't make them (which is common) then I usually pass.

I also shy away from accessories that I have to carry, pack, charge, or just store. They seem to add bulk to the iOS device and take away from the elegance of the design.

Having said this it looks rather intriguing, especially for the Mini. I will check it out.


Don't be so quick to dismiss anything that doesn't have a fruit logo on it.

 

I have the larger version of this keyboard for my iPad 3 and it blows away anything that Apple makes.

 

These Logitech keyboards are made specifically for iPads so they have all the features you need and none that you don't since the keyboards don't have any extra buttons for other devices. As for bulk, these are the thinnest and most convenient you can get -- WAY more convenient than any keyboard Apple makes, especially since these latch on with magnets.

 

Logitech also makes the best mice -- believe it or not, I think the only Apple mouse I used that I liked was the ADB mouse for the Mac Plus. Apple mice are just plain awful -- I'll always use a more traditional third party mouse like the Logitech VX Nano I'm using right now...

post #18 of 25

Does look interesting, especially the vendor: Generic. $80 list selling for $30. Wonder whether it's even a licensed Apple product. Might not have to be but once you identify it as something for an Apple product, it might have to be.

 

Actually, I really would like a low-cost bluetooth keyboard for my AppleTV.

post #19 of 25
I have the bigger brother version of this keyboard for the iPad Retina and it works quite well. The small keys do take a bit of time to get used to but it's otherwise a great accessory. Taking notes on it during meetings is far better than having to lug a heavy MBP 15 from room to room. I wonder how cramped the keyboard is going to be considering the iPad Mini has such a smaller footprint.
post #20 of 25
I have the iPad version. It works pretty well and seems to be built pretty well. Not sure how this is going to work with an iPad mini, since the iPad version is a little cramped as it is and the iPad mini isn't as tall.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilroot9 View Post

So this already exists at a much lower price ($25): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ABSP6QY/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

I just bought one and I love it. This new logitech one might be better, but for $55 more, it should be a lot better.

 

Worth a look--but too few reviews to say, yet. Also, you're comparing Logitech's MSRP with a generic street price. Logitech's full-size version is 15% off on Amazon, so the Mini probably will get there as well, bringing it to around $70.

 

And I think the Logitech might BE a lot better: less cheaply-made (silver-painted plastic?) and magnetic attachment instead of just clipping on.

 

For the price, I still think your link (and another one called the Sharkk?) is worth considering--after it has been in more peoples' hands longer.
 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by endlessct9a View Post

I have the bigger brother version of this keyboard for the iPad Retina and it works quite well. The small keys do take a bit of time to get used to but it's otherwise a great accessory. Taking notes on it during meetings is far better than having to lug a heavy MBP 15 from room to room. I wonder how cramped the keyboard is going to be considering the iPad Mini has such a smaller footprint.

 

Key size will be slightly larger than the on-screen portrait keyboard on a full-size iPad. That's a way to estimate how it would feel. True touch-typing with the "home position" etc. isn't going to happen on any mini keyboard, but for someone like me who types fast in his own way, it's not a problem.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Why doesn't Apple make something like this?

A better route would be the projected keyboard because then you'd just roll up the smart cover, sit it on its side and the keyboard would be right there - multi-language, resizeable, no separate batteries and no extra weight to the device. It might not work in portrait but it depends on how they do the projection system.

 

I disagree with this... I have a laser projected BT keyboard. It is cool and works. However, it is no where near as good as even a cheap physical keyboard for typing though. You cannot see the keys with your hands in the way. It is worse than on-screen keyboards due to the angle you use them (flat surface) vs a propped up typing angle (smart cover). Even if Apple did it better, not seeing it out perform on-screen or a physical accessory though.

post #23 of 25
A couple of my students have the iPad version - it's pretty solid. As opposed to Logitech's USB computer keyboards - which are plastic fluff compared to standard Apple ones. If this lives up to those expectations, then that does it - a Mini and this thing will do it for me.
post #24 of 25

When I use the iPad it is roughly 12" from the end of my nose.  If I use a keyboard it will be more like 20" to 24".   For me, at that distance, a 13" Air is marginal and a +20" would be preferable.  I wouldn't even consider using an iPMini at that distance.  For that reason I've come to the conclusion that a keyboard isn't of much value to me.  YMMV

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwal View Post

When I use the iPad it is roughly 12" from the end of my nose.  If I use a keyboard it will be more like 20" to 24".   For me, at that distance, a 13" Air is marginal and a +20" would be preferable.  I wouldn't even consider using an iPMini at that distance.  For that reason I've come to the conclusion that a keyboard isn't of much value to me.  YMMV

 

Good point. Bad posture solves the problem... just work up a good hunchback and you can get close while typing! But that's not a good thing.

 

I've been on the fence between an iPad 5 and an iPad Mini 2. Your post has me leaning towards the iPad 5. A mini with a keyboard would be OK occasionally, but I can already see the iPad replacing my computer more and more as time goes by.

 

I'll have to try a Mini at 24" and see how I feel about that. Even if it looks OK to me, my unconscious habits might make me lean in closer--and my spine doesn't need that!

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