Final 12 months we examined Logitech’s entry Combo Contact case for the eight-generation iPad and deemed it the last word accent for Apple’s entry-level pill. Flash ahead over a 12 months later, and we now have the 2021 iPad Professional — a tool that delivers greater than sufficient energy for work and play whereas additionally making the content material look nice. And whilst you may go for a Magic Keyboard — the Apple-made $299 or $329 keyboard and trackpad accent that lets your iPad float — we’d suggest looking on the Logitech Combo Contact for iPad Professional as an alternative. Its beginning worth is simply $199.99, and that’s only one purpose why it’s a greater choice. Let’s break down why.
Apple bought rather a lot proper with the Magic Keyboard when it first launched within the spring of 2020. It delivers a punchy typing expertise with loads of journey and a big trackpad for navigating iPadOS. Oddly sufficient, although, it solely gives the usual QWERTY keys with the required extras (shift, caps lock, tab, and so on.) and doesn’t have a prime row of perform keys. Whereas the keys are backlit, you possibly can’t management the backlighting with a key command. Slightly odd.
The Combo Contact fixes this from the beginning. You get a full customary QWERTY keyboard with the required keys and an entire row of perform keys. The highest row options keys for house, display screen brightness, digital keyboard, highlight search, keyboard backlighting management, playback controls (reverse, play/pause, ahead), quantity down, quantity up, mute and lock. It’s the same expertise to what you’ll discover on Logitech keyboards and even the MacBook Air. It’s additionally the identical structure that we liked on Combo Contact for iPad.
These combine straight with iPadOS and work out of the field — no want to put in a particular app and even mess around in settings. Whereas working between this overview in Ulysses (a phrase processing app) on the left and viewing a PDF in Notability on the suitable, we may simply hit the Highlight search key to drag up an asset or examine a time period. The display screen brightness keys are handy while you don’t need to stretch your hand and handle it from the Management Middle. Equally, media playback allows you to keep targeted in your work with the flexibility to manage no matter is enjoying within the background with out having to change to your music app.
Perform keys make all of the distinction and sit on prime of a superb keyboard. You get an entire set of keys, and it’s roomy, particularly on the 12.9-inch variant. The 11-inch Combo Contact feels a bit tighter, however to not the purpose the place you possibly can’t work on it effectively. Logitech has opted for plastic keys which can be embedded into the woven construct of the Combo Contact. The woven materials felt particularly pretty on our palms and is much like the Alcantara material on the Floor Laptop computer. There’s an honest quantity of separation between the keys, which makes unintentional presses a uncommon event.
Given how skinny this portion of the Combo Contact is, it doesn’t have essentially the most depth or journey of any keyboard that we’ve examined. Logitech’s exterior K380 performs higher, and the Magic Keyboard doesn’t go away you with a bottoming-out sensation. Nonetheless, although, there’s a decent recoil impact that delivers an honest quantity of suggestions. It’s not as energizing or bouncy as different keys, however typing on the Combo Contact is a dynamic expertise.
Proper under the keyboard is an oblong trackpad. It’s very clean and straightforward to get a deal with on, just like the one discovered on the Magic Keyboard. And by way of navigational capabilities, it’s expansive sufficient for single or multi-finger swipes. Urgent the trackpad to click on inside iPadOS 15 delivers an audible sound as nicely.
And the entire control-centric options are on the keyboard portion of the case. It’s a completely woven materials that leaves the keys going through the display screen (and since they’re matte, we have now no issues about scratching) and a easy woven end going through the skin world. It magnetically attaches to the hull of the case, which surrounds the iPad Professional itself. And it makes use of a wise connection to auto join with the case, which is linked to the iPad. It’s a robust magnet as nicely that doesn’t come off with a light-weight tug; you’ll want to make use of some drive. It additionally retains the keyboard portion flat on no matter floor you set it on. We didn’t have any connection points; it was immediately paired from the primary attachment. You additionally don’t all the time must have the keyboard portion connected.
The opposite half of the equation with Combo Contact is the wrap-around case portion. It’s a plastic and rubber construct that you just’ll place the iPad Professional inside. We had to make use of slightly drive when putting in it, as we wished the rubber lip to be completely across the iPad Professional’s edge. Logitech has additionally designed the case with 5 cutouts — one for every of the 4 stereo audio system and the USB-C port. These with a third-party cable can relaxation simple, because the port cutout is loads giant.
Logitech doesn’t add a second USB-C port into the equation, which energy customers could also be disillusioned by. If you wish to cost and plug in a separate gadget, you’ll want a dock.
On the suitable aspect when held vertically, or prime when used horizontally, there’s a cutout within the case for the Apple Pencil. In contrast to the Combo Contact for the entry-level iPad with a strap to slip the Pencil by way of, this variant for the iPad Professional allows you to connect it straight. This manner, the Apple Pencil stays in place, due to magnets, and might wirelessly cost. You’ll discover a plus and minus button on the aspect for quantity, in addition to one for energy.
It’s loads sturdy, and the fabric used offers some shock absorption. Should you occur to drop the iPad Professional, it can have some safety. We additionally respect the raised lip across the show if you happen to don’t have the keyboard portion connected.
The rear aspect of Combo Contact is similar woven materials with a small Logi emblem. It gained’t stick out, although, because it’s the identical shade because the weave. However the actual star is the kickstand on the again. You possibly can prolong it out almost flat for a mode that’s good for sketching or note-taking. You possibly can pull the kickstand out and prop the iPad up like a laptop computer — we’ve been clinging to this mode essentially the most.
It really works nice on a desk or any flat floor, but it surely’s a balancing act of types when attempting to apply it to your lap. The dimensions of the 12.9-inch iPad Professional makes that act twice as laborious. In conditions like that, we miss the Magic Keyboard, as it really works on our lap, due to the burden within the backside case and the iPad Professional being held above it. Nonetheless, the Combo Contact allows you to use the iPad Professional in additional methods than the Magic Keyboard or Sensible Keyboard.
Other than not offering you with an additional port, our solely different qualm is that if you happen to’re not a fan of instances, you probably gained’t like this. Logitech has made a reasonably slim resolution, however it’s a little clunky. The case needed to be thick sufficient for defense and the kickstand. It additionally retains you from having to make use of Bluetooth pairing, as there’s a Sensible Connector constructed into the case, which matches as much as the iPad Professional. That handles the connection, pairing and energy all with out bothering you to do something. And that’s an absolute pleasure.
Logitech’s Combo Contact case isn’t only a extra inexpensive keyboard and trackpad combo case than Apple’s Magic Keyboard or Sensible Keyboard. It additionally provides in a bevy of different options and lets us reap the benefits of the multi-mode nature of the gadget. There are nonetheless instances the place we just like the Magic Keyboard a bit extra, because it’s higher on laps, however the Combo Contact is a brand new go-to resolution for us. When paired with the iPad Professional and Apple Pencil, it’s the final accent.