X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air review: A keyboard case made to survive a spill

Sturdy and cleanly designed, Logitech's top-end iPad Air case looks the part, but it's lacking something in the typing comfort department.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
Scott_Stein.jpg

Scott Stein

Editor at Large

I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets.

See full bio
3 min read

Carrying a keyboard case with your iPad has suddenly gotten a lot easier: when it comes to the lighter iPad Air, inserting an accessory no longer feels like quite such a hassle.

Logitech_Fabricskin_Keyboard_Folio_35833144_01.jpg
7.3

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air

The Good

The <b>Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air</b> has a spill-resistant keyboard, offers some padding in its case design, and autoconnects via magnets.

The Bad

It's expensive, has a keyboard layout that compresses some keys, and doesn't offer a ton of side protection.

The Bottom Line

The top-of-the-line FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is a sturdy spill-resistant case companion that's thinner than the previous version for iPad, but it's not the best keyboard accessory we've seen.

The Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is one early beneficiary. When I reviewed a Logitech FabricSkin for the fourth-gen iPad, I found the case excellent but the construction pretty bulky. A lot's changed: the Air version is significantly slimmed down, and feels more minimal, while the keyboard is just as good. The design, because it's so minimal, may not appeal to everybody. In fact, the keyboard may not either. Or the price: $149.99 is expensive compared with the competition.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The FabricSkin seems to be sheathed in a rubbery, siliconelike material; on the outside, the smooth surface feels soft, while on the inside the rubberized fabric has a little more friction. Because that rubberized texture covers the keyboard as well, the keys have a totally different feel than most keyboards: keys are responsive, but feel flat and oddly spaced. I found it harder to rapidly type on the keyboard, maybe because I didn't know where my fingers were going. The requisite iOS-specific media controls and command shortcuts are there, but the layout's all just a bit unfamiliar.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The modified key layout matches the previous FabricSkin: the A key shares its space with Caps Lock, the Tab and Q keys are combined, and colon/semicolon and other punctuation keys are compressed. It's weird, because the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover doesn't do this at all. I got used to it over time, and the build quality's still great, but it could annoy a lot of people. Live with it for a week, and you'll be fine, but if you use any other keyboard (like a PC, for instance), you'll keep noticing the layout change.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is Logitech's top-end keyboard case, and it does have premium features: it automatically pairs with the iPad after snapping into position against a magnet above the keyboard. This saves battery life and means that the case, when folded open into tablet-viewing mode, deactivates the keyboard. Keys underneath won't work if accidentally pressed by the case's top edge.

The FabricSkin recharges via Micro-USB, and comes with a cable. A full charge should last at least three months, according to Logitech; I haven't spent anywhere near that time with the case, so I can't vouch for that battery life.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There's not a lot holding the iPad Air in this case: just two thin corner guards that you slide it into to position the iPad into place. It's nearly naked otherwise, sandwiched between the keyboard and top half. That mean the iPad is a little less protected, but with the case closed it feels ready to buffer against impact. It still weighs 0.94 pound, however, nearly as much as the iPad Air itself. You're doubling your travel weight, but adding a case and a keyboard.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This case is for someone who loves having a splash- and spill-resistant keyboard. Maybe someone with kids. It's a good case, but for this price it's not great. And better alternatives exist. More than anything, I just wish Logitech hadn't messed with its already-great keyboard formula.

Logitech_Fabricskin_Keyboard_Folio_35833144_01.jpg
7.3

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7
Shopping laptop image
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping