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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.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.9 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

Review Sections

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

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.

There have been plenty of keyboard cases for iPads: my favorite was the Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2. That one snaps onto the iPad Pro too, but connects via Bluetooth. Logitech's has a better keyboard and uses the Smart Connector to avoid charging (and holds the Pencil), but Belkin's has features that Logitech's lacks. That Ultimate Pro splits apart into two pieces, so you can use it without the keyboard. It lies flatter and connects at two different angles.

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