Logitech’s Combo Contact is the Magic Keyboard for every person else

Add a keyboard and trackpad to an iPad or iPad Air

The $149 Logitech Combo Contact is the case I’ve spent years looking ahead to — well, now not this exact case, however the premise of a mixture keyboard and touchpad that would flip my iPad into a computer computer replacement. For of us that’ve been intrigued by Apple’s fresh Magic Keyboard for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Expert but hold a definite iPad mannequin, Logitech is here for you.

Logitech sells two versions of the Combo Contact: one fitting the noxious 10.2-inch iPad and one other for the 1/three-abilities (2019) Air and 10.5-inch (2017) Expert. I’ve been the employ of the version for the iPad Expert for this overview.

The first factor I spotted about this case is its size: it’s thick. The general footprint of the iPad doesn’t exchange worthy with the case on, but all the factor when closed is Zero.85 inches (or Zero.89 inches for the 10.2-inch version), which is thicker than a closed MacBook Expert. It moreover appears to be like a miniature juvenile, love a case you’d procure on a snappy of faculty room iPads versus one thing designed for my iPad Expert.

Logitech managed to encourage the burden slightly down at 1.34 kilos for the case (2.37 kilos along with my iPad Expert). For reference, the fresh MacBook Air weighs 2.Eight kilos.

Removing the iPad from the case is now not too principal, but this would presumably well merely require a miniature force to pull it out of the heavy rubber corners. It’s effective the intention is supposed for you to pass away it in the case on a current foundation and correct form out the added bulk on the iPad, with the serve of getting some drop protection.

The case is wrapped in a textured gray assemble with thick rubber bezels that surround the iPad. There are broad cutouts for the Lightning port, microphones, and headphone jack, plus cutouts for the 2 extra speakers on the Expert. The quantity and strength buttons are lined by the rubber surrounding and require a correct amount of force to register a click on. Sooner or later, there’s a loop on the side that holds the Apple Pencil snugly in space. Logitech says its Crayon stylus will match there to boot.

For of us that eradicate the keyboard, the iPad lays flat on a desk, which is enormous in the event you draw or handwrite notes. It doesn’t in actuality feel clumsy to make employ of with out the keyboard hooked up, and the hinge is silent accessible to glimpse movies or video chat. The left side of the iPad shall be exposed, however the rubber bezels are thick sufficient to encourage the side lifted off the flooring. Sadly, there’s nowhere to connect the keyboard when it’s now not in employ. It doesn’t fold backward or magnetically join to the help of the iPad. It’s now not an expansive region, but it no doubt appears to be like unfamiliar to have the keyboard correct laying round in the event you’d like to make employ of the iPad love an iPad.

For of us that waste employ the keyboard, it magnetically snaps into space and begins working trusty now. There’s no Bluetooth pairing, strength buttons, or charging. It correct works, due to Logitech’s employ of the Tidy Connector built into the side of the iPad. The Microsoft Ground-vogue kickstand affords a Forty-stage vary (120 to 100 and sixty levels) of tilt, which is bigger than I’d ever want. The hinge is free-flowing, too; there are no now not easy stopping aspects. There’s some dash in the hinge in the event you alter it, but it no doubt never sagged or moved on its hold.

Same to the Microsoft Ground, the case has a prolonged footprint when the hinge and keyboard are in employ. I measured about 12 inches for a “long-established” viewing angle. Even supposing I haven’t been ready to test this specifically, the employ of the keyboard on a airplane’s tray desk or itsy-bitsy flooring is now not going to work conveniently.

Typing on the keyboard is enormous. It’s backlit with keys which might presumably well be well spaced and have 1mm of trail. It even has a row of feature keys for adjusting brightness, quantity, and so on, one thing Apple doesn’t provide on its hold keyboards. The structure is smaller than a mature keyboard, with each key a miniature reduced in size down, but after just a few minutes of typing, I used to be ready to alter. There’s a accomplice app for controlling the period and recede of the keyboard backlighting, which is clumsy, but now not mandatory to make employ of in the event you don’t care about adjusting those things.

Your arms rest on the same gray enviornment fabric that surrounds the case. While it appears to be like in finding it irresistible has a soft assemble, it feels more love woven nylon. I didn’t procure it miserable, even after just a few hours of typing, and I’d quiz this enviornment fabric to lengthen well over time. The perimeters round the keyboard are tapered, which leads to slightly sharp edges. For of us that’ve larger arms, that you just would be in a position to procure those sharp edges round the keyboard a miniature nerve-racking.

The keyboard deck is extremely sturdy, which makes the Combo Contact surprisingly easy to make employ of to your lap. The keyboard lays flat, now not just like the Ground keyboard, which is lifted just a few levels and snaps to the entrance of the tablet. There’s sufficient play in the enviornment fabric between the connector and the keyboard deck to encourage the keyboard from disconnecting in the event you dash it too now not easy. It works magnificent, but it no doubt silent feels love a balancing act. You would merely have a worthy greater time the employ of this on a desk or desk.

It’s unheard of. Each and every pass, gesture, and click on is correct savory. No longer just like the Brydge case, all of the multifinger navigation gestures Apple launched in iPadOS thirteen.4 work as they want to silent on the Combo Contact. That’s likely due to Logitech working carefully with Apple to break this product.

My one exact gripe about the trackpad is the clicking mechanism. Love most Windows laptops, ultimate the backside 1/2 clicks, and it tapers off toward the high. There is an possibility to make employ of faucet to click on, but I don’t decide to make employ of that because I’d decide to in fact press the trackpad and steer effective of accidental taps. I mostly acquired mature to it, but I’m silent each now and then jamming my thumb into the high of the trackpad making an strive to click on.

Moral now, there are ultimate a handful of cases love the Combo Contact in the marketplace. The $199-and-up Brydge Expert Plus presents you the closest bodily resemblance to a computer computer, while sacrificing a entire lot of the fresh iPadOS gestures. Apple’s hold $299-and-up Magic Keyboard forgoes a feature row but floats the iPad above your fingers. The greatest mission with both of these cases is they ultimate make stronger the 2018 and 2020 iPad Expert.

For of us that’ve an older iPad or one in all the decrease-value objects, the Combo Contact is most steadily the worthy sport in town. Fortunately, it’s very competent, with ultimate a handful of drawbacks. At $150, it’s now not cheap, especially in the event you’re pairing it with the noxious $329 iPad. But in the event you’re having a request to make employ of your iPad as a computer computer, it gets the job performed.

Photography by Phil Esposito / The Verge

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