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Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2 review: Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2

Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2

Scott Stein
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. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
3 min read

Just when you thought you'd seen every iPad keyboard case design under the sun, along comes the $129 Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2. For those who are in love with the idea of the iPad as an office desk accessory, a simple button press transforms this plastic case into a flip-up display and keyboard, so the iPad 2 becomes like a little workstation PC.

Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2

Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2

The Good

The clever <b>Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2</b> butterflies into a keyboard-stand combo with one deft motion, activating Bluetooth pairing automatically. It works with magnetic Smart Covers, too.

The Bad

The plastic keyboard feels flimsier than other Logitech iPad keyboards, and the case is thick when folded up.

The Bottom Line

Logitech's unique Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2 seems perfect for an executive desk, turning an iPad into a miniworkstation with eye-opening elegance. It's a shame the keyboard doesn't work as magnificently.

Making a good iPad keyboard case is a tricky thing. I've reviewed at least a half dozen already, and the biggest challenge is a simple one: technically, you don't need an iPad keyboard case, or even a keyboard. Typing directly on the iPad's screen will do for many. Still, for the I-want-to-write-a-novel-on-my-iPad set, the temptations of a physical set of keys will always linger. Keyboard cases often aren't comfortable to use; jamming a keyboard somewhere in there adds bulk, and the keyboards, as a result of the retrofitting, tend to be more compressed and less comfortable to use than a simple standalone Bluetooth keyboard.

I've become a fan of Logitech's clever but useful iPad keyboards. The company's simple Tablet Keyboard is an excellent alternative to Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, and includes a stand; alternatively, the Keyboard Case by Zagg doubles as a protective shell, and has small but excellent keys.

The Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2 earns the most points for its ingenious design...but not so much for its keyboard. When flat, the case holds an iPad 2 snugly but securely. Folded up, it becomes like a thick back shell for the tablet--it's chunky, but technically I could hold the case in one hand. The case works with Apple's magnetic Smart Covers, so you could take your iPad 2 around in the case with the Smart Cover attached, and even slip it into your bag. I wouldn't recommend that as a habit, though: an iPad 2 with this case on is as thick as a Netbook.

Depress a small button on the side, and the case folds upward, lifting the tablet to a perfect angle while two halves of a keyboard butterfly out underneath. The two sides lock into place and simultaneously turn on Bluetooth pairing. Your iPad 2 will still need its Bluetooth turned on and will have to be initially paired, but after that it's an easy flip-open-and-use experience. I love that the keyboard is full-size, and that it's placed in perfect proportion to the landscape-oriented screen above it.

I just don't like the keyboard itself. Shallow, hollow-feeling keys and a lot of flex made for a lot of missed key presses and double-typed keys. Because the keyboard is split in half and rejoined, the spacebar is split in two, which is a little unnerving at first. Additional functions shared with the number keys require simultaneous pressing of the Fn key, including volume control and track-skipping, which is a nuisance. In keyboard mode, that Smart Cover can still stay attached on the top edge--just flip the cover behind the iPad 2 like a cover cozy. It can be flipped back down as a screen protector when you're away from your desk.

Incidentally, I wrote this whole review on the Fold-Up Keyboard. I credit Logitech for the excellent positioning of the iPad 2 screen stand, but the keyboard's a clear compromise to make the clever folding design possible. Would I use this keyboard again? Probably not. It's more plastic-feeling than those old folding portable PalmPilot keyboards I remember, and the mushy raised keys don't simulate a laptop experience well enough.

Those who want to treat the Fold-Up Keyboard as a clever iPad 2 desk accessory for an office executive, go ahead. You could do worse. It's just not the best keyboard around, and isn't wanting a good physical keyboard the reason to consider a keyboard case in the first place?

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