Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad review:

A keyboard case that can take a spill

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The Good The durable-feeling Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio has a water-resistant keyboard, and automatically connects and disconnects from Bluetooth when magnetically snapped into position.

The Bad Bulkier, heavier, and more expensive than the competition.

The Bottom Line For a durable case with a very good keyboard that feels like it can take a beating, the FabricSkin is your bet. But it's a pricey accessory for a year-old iPad.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Value 6.0

How durable, and expensive, do you like your keyboard cases? If your answer to both is "very," look no further. Logitech's flagship premium keyboard case, the $150 FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, offers a tanklike build and smooth, comfortable feel and holds an iPad 2 or third- or fourth-gen Retina iPad. But its price, and size, could be deal-breakers.

Logitech already makes several keyboard cases. The Keyboard Folio is $50 less than the FabricSkin. What do you get for the extra money? An autopairing Bluetooth keyboard, and a microfiber fabric-covered semisoft keyboard that's more resistant to spills. And it even has a carrying loop for a stylus (stylus not included).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Both the cheaper Keyboard Folio and FabricSkin transform from folio case by opening into keyboarded "laptop mode" simply: the side magnetically snaps into alignment above the keyboard. No fuss. The FabricSkin automatically turns the keyboard on and pairs, as well. That's a bigger deal than you may realize; it's what I love about the Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case. It saves fiddling with a switch on the side, and can save battery life on the rechargeable keyboard, too. An included USB-to-Micro-USB cable is included, and plugs into the side of the case to charge the keyboard back up, but Logitech claims over three months of use before you'll need it.

The Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case (top) and Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio (bottom). Sarah Tew/CNET

The Belkin case costs $99 and feels slimmer, plus it has adjustable angles, although it doesn't have a spill-resistant keyboard.

Do I need a spill-resistant keyboard? I don't know, but I'm sure I'd be appreciative when the time came. I spilled some water on the keyboard and, as advertised, it beaded and rolled right off, wiping up easily with a paper towel. This could be a big deal if you have kids, or if you're a hard-partying college student, or a beach bum, or if you're just sloppy.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I typed this review on the FabricSkin, and the more I used it the more it grew on me. The soft, shallower keys have more friction and less travel, but feel great when typing quickly. It's a real keyboard underneath, unlike the all-fabric Microsoft Touch Cover, which had no key travel whatsoever. The keys are widely spaced -- how did they do it? By compressing keys, that's how.

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