First look: Logitech Create is first third-party Smart Connector keyboard for iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
Just hours after Apple opened the iPad Pro preorder floodgates, Logitech unveiled its first accessories for the jumbo-sized tablet, including the Create Backlit Keyboard Case, a folio-style protector with full-size keyboard, Smart Connector support and more. AppleInsider goes hands-on.




Logitech says the Logi Create Backlit Keyboard, not to be confused with the Logi Create Protective Case, was designed in close collaboration with Apple to match not only iPad Pro's aesthetic, but its promise as an on-the-go productivity tool.

Instead of going with a standard rubberized exterior, Logitech chose a rugged tightly-woven fabric to wrap Create's keyboard and paired iPad Pro. The material feels durable and we don't doubt on-the-box claims of resistance against scratches and scuffs. Logitech also says its special fabric protects against spills.



As for docking, iPad Pro snaps into a backing opposite Create's keyboard. Flexing the bottom portion out allows the iPad Pro's smart connector to connect magnetically to the top of the keyboard via Apple's all new Smart Connector, a three-pin port that supplies Create power for its backlit keys and provides a hardwired data connection in lieu of Bluetooth.

The keyboard itself looks more akin to MacBook Pro, with familiar black chiclet keys sitting in a shallow concavity, their tops flush with a raised palm rest. Thanks to iPad Pro's gigantic footprint -- roughly the size of a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro -- key width and pitch are standard for a full-size keyboard with room to spare on all sides.


Logitech Create (left) next to Apple's 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.


Like other third-party keyboards, Create comes with dedicated shortcut keys and hardware controls for "typing or viewing modes," adding flexibility to iOS 9's onscreen shortcut bar.

The keys themselves are on par with other third-party manufacturers in terms of travel and a fairly thick keyboard base makes the entire platform relatively sturdy for laptop typing. We're not sure how well Create will handle Apple's monstrous iPad Pro, which weighs in at 1.57 pounds (1.59 pounds for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model), but we plan to conduct a full test in the coming days.

The Logi CREATE Backlit Keyboard Case is available from Logitech's website for $149.99.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    appexappex Posts: 687member

    No way. iOS is a toy. I rather get a full computer: MacBook Air.

  • Reply 2 of 27
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Does anyone know if this keyboard case is available in non-US keyboard layouts? The photos on Apple's UK store show the US layout but nothing is mentioned in the description.

     

    I'm a bit miffed that Apple's smart keyboard is showing as shipping in 3-4 weeks and, even then, it's US layout only.

  • Reply 3 of 27
    No backlighting by the looks of it, no mention on their website either. At that price point they could have added it. Duh.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

     

    No way. iOS is a toy. I rather get a full computer: MacBook Air.




    You forgot the ";-)"

  • Reply 5 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Planetary Paul View Post



    No backlighting by the looks of it, no mention on their website either. At that price point they could have added it. Duh.



    In the first graf: "Create Backlit Keyboard Case"

     

    Backlights are powered by the Smart Connector.

  • Reply 6 of 27
    frykefryke Posts: 217member

    The Logitech website has it in various keyboard layouts – and it does come with backlight. Looks good, although I prefer my MacBook 12" and the iPad mini.

  • Reply 7 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    In the first graf: "Create Backlit Keyboard Case"

     

    Backlights are powered by the Smart Connector.




    Amazing what you can miss by looking for it ;-), thanks!

  • Reply 8 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,984member

    BTW,

     

    Daring fireball has a review of the iPad Pro up. Game changing hardware.

     

    John is not happy with the keyboard support; too much touch of the screen involved. Needs to be fixed for people that would replace a notebook with the combo.

  • Reply 9 of 27
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    BTW,

     

    Daring fireball has a review of the iPad Pro up. Game changing hardware.

     

    John is not happy with the keyboard support; too much touch of the screen involved. Needs to be fixed for people that would replace a notebook with the combo.


     

    Uh...what the hell did they think it was going to be? Have they ever used an iPad with a keyboard? Any time in the last 5 years?

  • Reply 10 of 27
    pmz wrote: »
    Uh...what the hell did they think it was going to be? Have they ever used an iPad with a keyboard? Any time in the last 5 years?

    He admits he hasn't. TBH I use a Bluetooth keyboard (HP's old TouchPad keyboard for the curious) and find it satisfactory. I think I'd appreciate the pointing precision of the Pencil.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    I rather get a MacBook Air.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    I have to imagine that despite the problems associated with touchscreen laptops, Apple will eventually make all of their laptops multitouch at some point.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,075member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppeX View Post



    I rather get a MacBook Air.



    Thanks for letting us know, twice now...

  • Reply 14 of 27
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    BTW,

     

    Daring fireball has a review of the iPad Pro up. Game changing hardware.

     




    Like that's any big surprise. Daring Fireball lives and dies by Apple...best be on their good side.

  • Reply 15 of 27
    appex wrote: »
    No way. iOS is a toy.

    oh, look -- the "[apple product X] is a toy!" troll trope. how nice.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    tmay wrote: »
    Daring fireball has a review of the iPad Pro up. Game changing hardware.

    John is not happy with the keyboard support; too much touch of the screen involved. Needs to be fixed for people that would replace a notebook with the combo.

    yep. i hope apple takes his review and makes a punch-list of stuff to fix.

    http://daringfireball.net/2015/11/the_ipad_pro
  • Reply 17 of 27
    pmz wrote: »
    Uh...what the hell did they think it was going to be? Have they ever used an iPad with a keyboard? Any time in the last 5 years?

    read the review. he mentions its the same set of shortcomings ipads have experienced w/ other keyboards -- unfinished implementation. for ex:

    - you can start a spotlight search on it, but you cant use the arrow keys to select the result item you want.

    - you can navigate emails with it, but you cant use the space key to page-down within an email.

    - you can page down a webpage using space key, but it goes too far and skips lines.

    ...etc. things which will surely be fixed, but are definitely problems.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    appex wrote: »
    I rather get a MacBook Air.

    thanks for letting us know that, twice.

    how about one more time?
  • Reply 19 of 27
    I have to imagine that despite the problems associated with touchscreen laptops, Apple will eventually make all of their laptops multitouch at some point.

    then you havent been paying attention. they wont, for the same reason that they will instead fix the iPad Pro to gain better keyboard control -- ape arms is uncomfortable and not ergonomic. it's a major drag to have to take your hands off the keyboard/trackpad to reach up and touch something. and unlike on iOS, on OS X the UI elements were designed for input devices with more precision than your sausages.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    satchmo wrote: »
    Like that's any big surprise. Daring Fireball lives and dies by Apple...best be on their good side.

    wrong. if youve read DF closely or listened to his podcast, then youd know Gruber knocks apple any time he sees fit. hes done it numerous times on numerous product shortcomings. if youd read the review youd see some of them.

    that doesnt change the truth of this review -- the A9 hardware is incredible.
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