Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad review: Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Solar Keyboard Folio charges using everyday light, has an excellent keyboard, and can automatically turn on and off and pair when the iPad's in range.

The Bad The outer case material feels flimsier then you'd expect for a $130 product, and the case feels too floppy to use for comfortable non-keyboarded iPad use.

The Bottom Line Logitech's clever Solar Keyboard Folio hooks iPad users up with a quality typing experience on the go, no USB charger required: it really does work as advertised.

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There's genius in Logitech's Solar Keyboard Folio for the iPad: no one wants another gadget to charge. So, why not use the power of the sun to charge it instead? The gadget in this case is a keyboard case, designed to fit around an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad like a book cover. The iPad has tons of keyboard case solutions , but this is the first solar-powered one I've ever reviewed.

The keyboard has no AC charger, and no hole for an adapter. Bonded to the inside of the Keyboard Folio's cover-flap, the keyboard is comfortably wide, made of plastic, and has taller keys with more travel than accessories like the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover . I actually preferred the typing experience on shallower Keyboard Cover's keys, but it's still very good here.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The other genius idea in this case is its automatic pairing process: insert an iPad into the hard rubberized shell bonded to the thinly upholstered Folio, bend it into keyboard position by slotting two jutting feet onto the end into slots above the keys, and the keyboard turns on and starts pairing. It happens seemingly by magic.

Those who find the idea of no backup USB charging option might start panicking, but Logitech promises that a fully charged Folio will last for two years when typing two hours a day. Charging takes up to six hours in dim light but "much faster" in brighter light. In our office-use tests, the Folio seemed good to go after a few hours. There's no charge-status indicator, so it's a bit of a leap of faith.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There are two positions the Keyboard Folio can sit in: keyboard mode, and a more reclined media-viewing mode, about 45 degrees. The iPad covers all the keyboard keys except the bottom row, and -- clever, again -- the keys switch function to media-control buttons. The arrow keys now control volume and fast-forward/rewind, and the space bar plays and pauses. Lift the Folio up off the notches that the feet rest in, and the keys revert back to normal function by themselves.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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Where to Buy See All

Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad

Part Number: 920-003907 Released: May. 15, 2012
MSRP: $129.00 Low Price: $49.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 15, 2012
  • Compatibility Mac
About The Author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.