Review: Logitech Combo Touch is like the Magic Keyboard for iPad Air & 10.5-inch iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited January 21
AppleInsider tests out the new Logitech Combo Touch for iPad Air and iPad Pro. It is a combination case and keyboard that also includes an integrated trackpad for the first time -- all via the Smart Connector.

10.5-inch iPad Pro in the Logitech Combo Touch
10.5-inch iPad Pro in the Logitech Combo Touch


Apple's Magic Keyboard. The gold standard for iPad Pro accessories that fully takes advantage of the cursor support that arrived as part of iPadOS 13.4.

The rub is though, it is exclusive to the iPad Pro and what's more, carries a steep price tag. Fortunately, Apple partnered with Logitech to cater to other markets and it has carried it out in a big way.

Enter the Logitech Combo Touch. This is a iteration on the Logitech Slim Combo case we reviewed in the past. Namely a shell case with a magnetic keyboard that affixes to the edge of an iPad and connects via the Smart Connector, but they've improved it in countless ways.

With this new model, the build quality is elevated and it has integrated that trackpad, mimicking Apple's own Magic Keyboard to some degree.




Logitech's Combo Touch shell case

This new case, as with the Slim Combo, is comprised of two parts. A removable keyboard and a shell. If you don't need the keyboard, don't use it and stick with the shell.

You can use the stand of the Combo Touch on its own without the keyboard
You can use the stand of the Combo Touch on its own without the keyboard


The Combo Touch feels great. The shell is made of a soft, rubberized plastic material that can quickly snap onto the iPad. It fits both the iPad Air 3rd-generation and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. A version is also available for the iPad 7th-generation as well.

There is a clear camera cutout in the rather thick backing and a loop on the side fit for the Apple Pencil. Openings in the top and bottom make way for the speakers as well as the Lightning port and there is an additional opening for the rear microphone.

We mentioned the back of the shell is on the thicker side, and while that does add protection, its primary function is the integrated stand. The stand stays closed via magnets but opens up easily with a rigid hinge, and it can be opened to various angles and stay there to accommodate your work. When opened all the way, the iPad can be leaned back to be used as a sketch pad or for typing.

The material used is great
The material used is great


The exterior of the shell is a soft, heathered grey fabric that looks fantastic, provides good grip while being held, and is neutral enough to fit anyone's style. It can also look casual or professional depending on its environment.

The new keyboard on the Combo Touch

That same material is found on the front and the back of the keyboard. It is cut all around the keys providing a very seamless look and feel.

Adjusting the stand on the Combo Touch
Adjusting the stand on the Combo Touch


Logitech uses the Smart Connector for the keyboard which is our preferred method of connecting. As a physical connection, there is little-to-no lag while using it compared to Bluetooth. It also means there is no need to charge the keyboard as power is drawn from the iPad itself. Just one more device that doesn't need to be charged.

Function keys on the Combo Touch keyboard
Function keys on the Combo Touch keyboard


The keyboard has a good amount of key travel, roughly the same as Apple's Magic Keyboard or perhaps slightly less. Regardless, it feels good to type on and is tactile enough for us to keep the keys being pressed but not shallow enough to feel like typing on glass.

Like the Magic Keyboard, the keyboard is backlit which assists when working in low light. It can be controlled via function buttons within a dedicated row of function buttons. The function row includes a Home button, brightness controls, opening the onscreen keyboard, opening spotlight, keyboard backlight controls, media controls, volume controls, and a quick-lock button.

Large glass trackpad on the Combo Touch
Large glass trackpad on the Combo Touch


Below the keyboard is what really sets this keyboard apart. That is the new trackpad. Trackpad and mouse functionality is new to iPadOS and full cursor support is even newer. Because the functionality is so new, there are almost no alternatives so far when it comes to keyboards with integrated trackpads.

The most notable alternative is the Brydge Pro+, but it is again just for iPad Pro. Brydge is also using Bluetooth which can have mild lag when using the cursor and doesn't feel as seamless as the Logitech model is.




Essentially what it boils down to for 3rd-gen iPad Air and 10.5-inch iPad Pro users, the Logitech Combo Touch is your only real option.

The trackpad on the Combo Touch is nice and wide, providing ample tracking surface. It has a matte glass surface that feels comfortable to track on and can be depressed with a physical click. It does utilize a diving board design which means the far side is fixed and the rest can move -- like a diving board -- so you can't click the trackpad towards the top. Brydge had a similar drawback.

Logitech's Combo Touch supports multi-touch gestures
Logitech's Combo Touch supports multi-touch gestures


This trackpad supports multi-touch gestures, similar to Apple's own. Use two fingers to scroll, swipe back and forth with two fingers to go forward and back in apps or Safari, push forward to go home with multiple fingers, or push forward and hold with multiple fingers to open up app expose.

When connected for the first time, your iPad will prompt you to download the accompanying app. It isn't necessary but it does allow you to install firmware updates and adjust the delay on the backlit keyboard.

The most common feedback we heard preceding this review was how thick it was all going to be.

iPad Pro without any case, with the case, and with the case and keyboard attached
iPad Pro without any case, with the case, and with the case and keyboard attached


With the case and the keyboard attached it does get rather thick, but not so much to be limiting. Plus, the keyboard can always be removed when not in use making it far easier to carrying around.

Should you buy the Logitech Combo Touch?

If you want the best typing and productivity experience around on your iPad, then absolutely invest in the Combo Touch.

iPad Pro in Logitech's Combo Touch
iPad Pro in Logitech's Combo Touch


You need to have a supported iPad, and if you do, you won't be disappointed. It has everything you need between a light protective case, a built-in stand, an integrated glass trackpad, backlit keyboard, and an Apple Pencil holder.

Pros
  • Keyboard is detachable

  • Keyboard has variable backlight

  • Keyboard and trackpad connect via Smart Connector and don't need charged

  • Glass trackpad is smooth and responsive

  • Best and only option for 3rd-gen iPad Air and iPad Pro 10.5-inch

  • Heathered fabric looks and feels great

  • Case is protective and has integrated stand

  • Loop for Apple Pencil

  • App for additional settings and firmware updates

  • Full support for multitouch gestures
Cons
  • While cheaper than Magic Keyboard, still pricey

  • Case can be bulky if you want minimalism

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

Logitech's new Combo Touch keyboard for Apple's iPad Air 3 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro is available for purchase now at Apple for $149.95 as well as the version for th 7th-gen iPad. Logitech itself states the Combo Touch is coming soon on its direct website.

Deals on compatible iPads can be found in the AppleInsider iPad Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,098member
    Seems nice if you have these models. I wonder if they’ll make it for the newer 11” pro, and the 12.9” models? How heavy is it? That’s always my biggest complaint about cases.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Not a fan of the "cloth-like" case, especially in these times. Give me a smooth silicone case to be able to wipe down and keep clean. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 33
    thttht Posts: 4,091member
    This image is one of the reasons I use the touchscreen all the time:


    What is the final thickness? 18 mm?

    Hopefully there will be a good sleeve for the upcoming iPad Pro models.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,896member
    Shipped and arriving Monday for my 10.5” Pro. All specs are available via the embedded link, but the weight is 21.52 oz. The iPad Mini case from Logitech had the same textured covering and keeping it clean was never a problem for me. In fact, my previous Logitech case outlasted my Mini, which is effectively deceased due to the dreaded Lithium Ion battery bloat and one too many iOS updates.
    bill.creechjrcGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Question; when the keyboard Is closed, are the keys touching the iPad Pro screen or is there a protective felt like cover over the keys like the Apple Keyboard? 
    Thank you. Cheers, Bill 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Question; when the keyboard Is closed, are the keys touching the iPad Pro screen or is there a protective felt like cover over the keys like the Apple Keyboard? 
    Thank you. Cheers, Bill 

    Bill the keys do not touch the iPad screen. The case has a lip that is above the iPad screen and the keyboard has a little edge that sets on that lip.  This is my first iPad keyboard and I am typing on it right now and I am very impressed. I have a mid 2012 MacBook Pro and to me except for the size of this combo touch the keys and trackpad are great. 

    entropysGeorgeBMacGG1bill.creechwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    dewme said:
    Shipped and arriving Monday for my 10.5” Pro. All specs are available via the embedded link, but the weight is 21.52 oz. The iPad Mini case from Logitech had the same textured covering and keeping it clean was never a problem for me. In fact, my previous Logitech case outlasted my Mini, which is effectively deceased due to the dreaded Lithium Ion battery bloat and one too many iOS updates.
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    jrcjrc Posts: 817member
    Ordered for my 10.5 Pro, too. I love that iPad. This looks like it will really make it even more useful. 
    edited April 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 621member
    dewme said:
    Shipped and arriving Monday for my 10.5” Pro. All specs are available via the embedded link, but the weight is 21.52 oz. The iPad Mini case from Logitech had the same textured covering and keeping it clean was never a problem for me. In fact, my previous Logitech case outlasted my Mini, which is effectively deceased due to the dreaded Lithium Ion battery bloat and one too many iOS updates.
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    Apple lists it in their store as compatible with the 10.5” iPad Pro. I would be surprised if they got it wrong. It is listed as “Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case with Trackpad for iPad Air (3rd Generation).”
    jrcGeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 10 of 33
    NotMuch-You?NotMuch-You? Posts: 18unconfirmed, member
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    That's not what I'm seeing.


    jrctenchi211cyberzombiejony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    tommy65tommy65 Posts: 56member
    The good thing with other vendors bringing out accessories for the iPad is that we now do have a choice. To be honest I never had any personal problems with Logitech keyboards or mouses. Time will tell.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 440member
    According to this link it is compatible with iPad 7, iPad Pro 10.5, and iPad Air 3. I thought I remembered reading when these were introduced that the iPad 7 model was slightly different in size.

    https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/combo-touch.html
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 33
    dewme said:
    Shipped and arriving Monday for my 10.5” Pro. All specs are available via the embedded link, but the weight is 21.52 oz. The iPad Mini case from Logitech had the same textured covering and keeping it clean was never a problem for me. In fact, my previous Logitech case outlasted my Mini, which is effectively deceased due to the dreaded Lithium Ion battery bloat and one too many iOS updates.
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    Not true. Review and Logitech site both show 10.5” ipad pro. 
    GeorgeBMacchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,494member
    Nice Review!  Thank you!

    From what I see here, this is consistent with comparisons of earlier Apple vs Logitech cases:  Both are very well made, reliable, dependable and fully functional.   But, the Logitech cases tend to be thicker and heavier -- but very protective.   Also however, the new Apple keyboard offers another advantage:  being able to tilt the iPad & its screen the way you like and change it as needed.

    Both seem to be great cases that not only greatly enhance the functionality of iPad but are something anybody would be happy with.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,896member
    dewme said:
    Shipped and arriving Monday for my 10.5” Pro. All specs are available via the embedded link, but the weight is 21.52 oz. The iPad Mini case from Logitech had the same textured covering and keeping it clean was never a problem for me. In fact, my previous Logitech case outlasted my Mini, which is effectively deceased due to the dreaded Lithium Ion battery bloat and one too many iOS updates.
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    Apple, Logitech, AppleInsider, and all other sites who have reviewed this product say that it is fully compatible with the iPad Pro 10.5”. But I will let you know if my bubble is burst, along with a row of the corresponding emoji. 

    As far as the case adding thickness to the iPad, that’s a legitimate concern and falls into the category of “trade-off.” Life is full of these little nasties. When I removed the current protective case from my iPad in anticipation of the new case’s arrival I was shocked by how thin and light the naked IPad Pro 10.5” really is. It’s amazing. However in this instance and all others, there is simply no way to “attach” an external peripheral to the iPad without adding mass and bulk. If someone can come up with a mass-less, or better yet, negative mass physical keyboard/trackpad case I’d be all over it in a heartbeat. Maybe on the other side of black holes these problems will be resolved?

    One question I have is: how well does the Logitech software work? I’ve had nothing but problems with Logitech's software on every platform they support. If the functionality of the Logitech device requires their software it’s usually a non-starter. I see the Logitech app have less than 2 stars on the App Store which lads me to believe that they've flubbed it yeast again.
    edited April 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 33
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,359member
    Apple's Magic Keyboard. The gold standard for iPad Pro accessories” - have you actually used one? All I’ve seen is Apple announcements, no actual hands-on reviews. It’s hard to call something a gold standard if you haven’t used it.

    Nice Review!  Thank you!

    From what I see here, this is consistent with comparisons of earlier Apple vs Logitech cases:  Both are very well made, reliable, dependable and fully functional.   But, the Logitech cases tend to be thicker and heavier -- but very protective.   Also however, the new Apple keyboard offers another advantage:  being able to tilt the iPad & its screen the way you like and change it as needed.

    Both seem to be great cases that not only greatly enhance the functionality of iPad but are something anybody would be happy with.
    I have an earlier Logitech iPad Pro case and it is exactly as you describe. In addition, Logitech gives you a row of function keys that come in quite handy. As you say, the ability to elevate the screen is the key difference for the Apple case. Whether it’s worth an extra $150 is open to debate.

    Also, I completely agree with the convenience of the smart connector - it’s an instant reliable connection. No need to charge, ever. No extra cord to worry about bringing with on vacation. No wireless connection to troubleshoot when it doesn’t work or that will disconnect when you put it in airplane mode.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    TiBook2002TiBook2002 Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Almost 24 hours with this new case on my 10.5 IPP and this is legit. Pros- Compared to the ASK, keyboard clicks feel great/HQ touch and sounds, ability to remove is great and I agree with AI, touchpad is silky smooth, accurate and intuitive (still have to learn all of the time saving gestures). Cons - Case is thick. Feels almost as thick as the old 12” PowerBook, which I loved. The texture of the case is a little slick so for those worrying about it picking anything up, I wouldn’t worry about it. 

    For me, this is a hit. I was able to get to spreadsheets and work immediately, which was a main reason why I couldn’t use the IPP as a primary device.  This changes that for this first time. As someone who has been using an iPad and trying to make it work at work since day one, I think it finally has a chance. I can write notes and sketch with the pencil and also tackle some docs, spreadsheets and presentations with one device. The apps and multitasking now needs to catch up. 
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,494member
    MplsP said:
    Apple's Magic Keyboard. The gold standard for iPad Pro accessories” - have you actually used one? All I’ve seen is Apple announcements, no actual hands-on reviews. It’s hard to call something a gold standard if you haven’t used it.

    Nice Review!  Thank you!

    From what I see here, this is consistent with comparisons of earlier Apple vs Logitech cases:  Both are very well made, reliable, dependable and fully functional.   But, the Logitech cases tend to be thicker and heavier -- but very protective.   Also however, the new Apple keyboard offers another advantage:  being able to tilt the iPad & its screen the way you like and change it as needed.

    Both seem to be great cases that not only greatly enhance the functionality of iPad but are something anybody would be happy with.
    I have an earlier Logitech iPad Pro case and it is exactly as you describe. In addition, Logitech gives you a row of function keys that come in quite handy. As you say, the ability to elevate the screen is the key difference for the Apple case. Whether it’s worth an extra $150 is open to debate.

    Also, I completely agree with the convenience of the smart connector - it’s an instant reliable connection. No need to charge, ever. No extra cord to worry about bringing with on vacation. No wireless connection to troubleshoot when it doesn’t work or that will disconnect when you put it in airplane mode.

    True!  Although, at least with my grandson's iPad, we have not had any problem with BlueTooth connection.   But admittedly, the iPad doesn't get used a lot -- especially for school work -- which is why I bought it for him.  (Although he is in one of the top school districts in PA and a well-to-do one at that, they still rely on paper & pencil.  And, even their cyber school is paper and pencil based!   Friday evening he sent me text messages of 10 math papers that he needed help filling out!   LOL...)
  • Reply 19 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,400member
    Sorry to burst your bubble this case is not compatible with 10.5” ipad pro only with the slightly thicker ipad 7th gen. Check the Logitech website 
    Sorry to burst YOUR bubble (and it was a bubble) but you're the only person who thinks this and you are incorrect -- as proven by AppleInsider (who tested it on a 10.5" iPad Pro for this article, which you'd have noticed if you'd read it), Apple, and all the other review sites -- oh and there's TiBook2002 above, who has one on his 10.5-inch iPad Pro and says you're wrong.

    MplsP said:
    “Apple's Magic Keyboard. The gold standard for iPad Pro accessories” - have you actually used one? All I’ve seen is Apple announcements, no actual hands-on reviews. It’s hard to call something a gold standard if you haven’t used it.

    There's a fellow stranded in Korea (but who normally lives in TX) who got his early and did a YouTube review. The short version is that he thinks the keys are much better than previous Apple iPad keyboard cases, loves the trackpad, and the magnetic cantilever works well. Personally I'll probably wait a year and see how well it holds up after months of routine use before ordering, but I cannot deny that I would like one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Have you guys noticed an issue with scrolling? Try scrolling with two fingers, stop and let go, and the screen will keep scrolling. The correct behavior would be scroll, stop and let go, and then nothing happens. Also, any comments on the battery drain?
    watto_cobra
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