I wouldn’t have heard about this latest update to the Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip-on Keyboard Cover for iPad Air if it weren’t for Tools and Toys. The premise is still the same: it’s an aluminum cover that matches the iPad, with a nearly full-sized Bluetooth keyboard on the interior. It’s not a case you’ll take around for protection, but rather a sleek all-in-one typing package for writers on the go.
The new hotness comes in the form of a new tilting iPad dock that enables flexible viewing angles, and a terribly clever hidden magnetic latch. Previous versions of the cover had the magnetic latch hang loose while not in use, as it does on the iPad’s Smart Cover, but this latest version feels like something pulled out of a Tesla Model S. The latch is there when you need it as a cover, but tucks back into the body of the keyboard while you type (check out the Logitech website for a preview).
That said, previous versions of the Ultrathin are now on sale as a result. They used to retail for $100, but they’re now on Amazon for about $70.
Logitech has been my go-to keyboard company for iPads for a while now, but the Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Case I just learned about (via iClarified) looks like a really cool alternative to the popular Logitech Ultrathin. The QODE still latches on to the front of an iPad Air via magnets, but it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve:
- an all-aluminum design to match the Air (in silver or slate grey)
- a weight sensor that turns the keyboard on or off, depending on whether the iPad is docked
- an angled keyboard, which is likely a little more comfortable for typing
I don’t think the QODE is revolutionary by any means, but it’s an interesting iteration on a category of $99 super-thin keyboards that haven’t really seen much innovation over the last few years. The QODE reviews I’ve seen on Amazon.com have been pretty positive thus far, and people are even singing the praises of the metal keys (which I’m still on the fence about). Of all the iPad keyboards I know off from ZAGG, Logitech, and Belkin, this is the one I’d be most interested in checking out.
TwelveSouth, makes of premium Apple-only accessories, recently announced their SurfacePad for iPad mini. It’s a svelte Napa leather cover that adds very little to the iPad’s dimensions, while offering scratch protection, the texture of actual leather, and the convenience of a few built-in stands. The magnets hidden in the front of the SurfacePad act just like a Smart Cover for sleep/wake action, and the kickstand and magnets hidden along the rear panel help prop the iPad up in two viewing angles, and one typing angle. I also like how TwelveSouth made the cover rigid, allowing you to fold it behind the iPad and hold it easily. That addresses one of my pet peeves with the Apple Smart Cover: the fact that the three (or four) panel design can often hang limply underneath the iPad during use.
I previously reviewed the SurfacePad for iPhone and was quite pleased with it, so I’m glad that TwelveSouth decided to adapt the idea for the iPad. In fact, I think the overall design is a much better fit for the tablet, as the cover will likely be heavy enough to stay closed at all times (instead of occasionally swinging open, as it did on the iPhone 4S). Having several viewing and typing angles is fairly standard in the iPad accessory field, but what’s impressive about the SurfacePad is that it does all of this while keeping a very low profile.
TwelveSouth released the $70 iPad mini edition first, but I do plan on reviewing the version for the Air when it comes out in a few weeks. In the mean time, do take a look at TwelveSouth’s terribly slick product page.
Pad & Quill are having a Back to School sale this weekend, with free domestic shipping on all their products from today through Sunday – and reduced shipping for international orders.
The folks at Pad & Quill have also been kind enough to provide a 10% off coupon code for iPad Insight readers. Pad & Quill are the makers of lovely handmade (in the USA) cases for the iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air and more cool devices.
I reviewed their Graduate Edition case for the new iPad last month and found it to be an excellent case all round. I’ve got a few other Pad & Quill cases I’ve been trying out and they’re all equally impressive.
If you’re after an elegant and effective new case for your iPad or one of your other Apple devices, you may want to give the P&Q sale a look. It has already started – and here’s the coupon code to use for 10% off:
Happy case shopping.
If you’re a fan of the Apple Smart Cover for the iPad 2, or cases that support the smart cover’s automatic sleep/wake function, then you may be interested in one of two new cases on offer from Marware.
The Marware MicroShell Folio iPad 2 Case is a replacement for the smart cover that offers a very similar approach to the front cover but in a full case that also provides protection for the back of the iPad.
The Marware MicroShell iPad 2 Case is a shell for the back of the iPad 2 only, intended to work in tandem with the Apple smart cover.
Both of them look good, and I’ve had nothing but positive results with Marware cases for both the original iPad and the iPad 2 – see my recent reviews of their C.E.O. Hybrid iPad 2 Case and Eco-Flip iPad 2 Case for my thoughts on two of the better iPad 2 cases I’ve seen thus far.
[click to continue reading…]