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Logitech Create for iPad Pro (9.7 inch) review: Logitech's new iPad Pro keyboard comes close to nailing it

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The Good The Logitech Create has backlit keys, a Pencil-holding loop, connects via the iPad Pro's Smart Connector so it doesn't need recharging, and costs less than Apple's Smart Keyboard.

The Bad The case feels a little bulky. There's only one keyboard angle. The case works well when typing, but feels awkward as an everyday case for reading or movie-watching.

The Bottom Line The Logitech Create might be the best way to get productive on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but only consider this case if you're ready to use your iPad in laptop mode most of the time.

7.9 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

The iPad has always been a few steps away from being something like a laptop replacement for me. That gap seems to hover like a carrot on a short stick.

It's not a fault of the hardware, the iPad Pro, especially the 9.7-inch version, is fantastically built. Its accessories are pretty nice, too. Logitech's new Create keyboard case aims to make a streamlined backlit keyboard-plus-case that works with the side Smart Connector and works well enough to be an everyday tool.

I like Apple's own Smart Keyboard for its small size, but it's super-expensive, a bit floppy, and only covers the front of the iPad. The Create costs less ($130, £109, AU$200), has a better keyboard (but with little gaps where dust could sneak under the keys, unlike the one-piece Apple keyboard), and even has a little Pencil-holding loop in the back. Typing on it feels pretty great...but I like typing on Apple's, too.

logitech-create-12.jpg
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Typing on the keyboard feels great, and it's backlit.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech's keyboard has an extra row of shortcuts keys, something Apple's lacks. The backlight automatically turns on when I start typing, but doesn't stay on for more than a handful of seconds. The key layout feels a little more cramped than an 11-inch laptop, but it's better than the similarly-sized one on the Chromebook Flip. It's easy to type fast on it.

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