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Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air review: Air-ified keyboard done well

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The Good The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air has an excellent, uncompromising keyboard and solid build quality, and it packs flat.

The Bad Lacks advanced case features like automatic Bluetooth pairing or multiple viewing angles; doesn't protect back of your iPad.

The Bottom Line The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air isn't quite as ultrathin-feeling as the original iPad cover, but it's still an excellent -- if feature-minimal -- Bluetooth keyboard accessory.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 9

My favorite keyboard accessory has always been, and still is, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. The only problem: it doesn't fit an iPad Air. Thanks to the Air's reduction in overall size and footprint, the old cover's too wide, and an Air will perch awkwardly in the original's prop-up groove.

The new Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad Air solves that problem: it's shaved down in overall footprint, but has mostly the same feel. And best of all, the keys are as good as ever, and the layout hasn't changed. Neither has the price: it's $99.99.

But that doesn't mean there aren't drawbacks. When the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover first debuted, it was the thinnest keyboard around, had a unique magnetic side clasp to attach like a Smart Cover, and had few competitors. Now many manufacturers make similar thin keyboards. And, this Ultrathin cover doesn't seem quite so thin anymore: not only is it a bit thicker than the previous design, but the iPad Air's thinner than the previous iPad, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Instead of feeling like a wafer-thin add-on, this keyboard cover nearly doubles the thickness of the iPad. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover weighs 0.74 pound, less than the 0.94 and 0.92 of the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio and Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for the Air, respectively. The cover has additional magnets to autolock the iPad Air when the cover's closed, but rests a little off the iPad with cushioned bumpers. It feels a little weird, but at least it feels solid when closed flat.

The Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case (left) and Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio (center) have features that the Ultrathin Cover (right) lacks. Sarah Tew/CNET

There are other downsides...or rather, features that no longer seem impressive when compared with the competition. First off, this cover doesn't autopair when connected, a wonderful magic-trick-style perk I look for in accessories. The Belkin case and Logitech folio both have this feature. Here, you have to switch on the keyboard via a small tab on the side, and remember to switch it off when done or it'll still work -- even when separated from the Air by several feet.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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