A Comfortable Keyboard at a Comfortable price
I wrote a review earlier in the year for the IVSO Keyboard, a solid and cheaper alternative to the Apple Smart folio and a few of the other more expensive alternatives.
The case had its drawbacks, but was overall not a bad cheaper entry case to using the iPad Pro as a main machine.
A few months on and I found a need for something more sturdy, a smaller footprint when extended and still allowed for being used to read on, tucked the keyboard away cleanly and allowed the Apple Pencil to be stowed easier without prying the pencil out like digging out coins in the bottom of a wallet.
I do a lot of work on the go and having a MacBook Pro is great for more serious tasks but I am always looking for ways to expand how my iPad can fill in the gaps.
One of the better keyboards for the iPad Pro
Launched earlier in the the year the Logitech Slim Folio Pro is the third generation of iPad Pro keyboard. The Create Folio (which I had for my 12.9 Inch) was a serious replacement for the Apple Folio keyboard and also covered the entire iPad. Solid protection, and an awesome keyboard with iOS specific macro buttons. The weight however made it more like a MacBookPro 13 inch rather than a thin & light iPad.
The next generation of Slim Folio and Slim Combo cases worked to improve on this design, lower the weight and allow an iteration on the iPad’s resting position, as well as offer a removable keyboard solution in some models.
The Folio Pro works to take what Logitech has created over the last few years, and slim it down into a smaller, lighter weight package
Feel, Touch and usability
The keyboard at its core on this feels way better than the MacBook Pro, but it is more on the mushier side, which can be better for comfort, but does take some getting used to. However for a mobile keyboard, it is arguably one of the better keyboards available for a tablet that resides inside of a folio.
The case, aside from the weight, as well offers benefit to the iPad Pro user. The case has 4 strong rubber edges on the side where the case mounts to to protect it from drops, but also allows the Apple Pencil to be magnetically attached to the top, and when the folio is closed, there is a magnetic latch that covers the centre of the case to keep it closed in a bag, but it also keeps the Apple Pencil, nice and snug on the top of the iPad.
Speaking of magnets, the case props the iPad up with a magnetic row on the bottom of the keyboard and the lower edges where the iPad slides in when you use it. It allows for a smooth movement of the tablet from a laptop mode using the case, to a mode feeling a lot like a Surface Pro tiled to it’s maximum tilt with its own internal kickstand.
One issue I would criticise for the unit, is that the case can be cumbersome in portrait mode, but can comfortable by used as an all in one case + productivity tool like the Apple Smart Folio, but the added weight does add heft so take that as you will.
I generally do a lot of reading in landscape mode now because of the case, and the adjustment to not using portrait mode was an adjustment, but since the way the case slides smoothly, it grows to also benefit the user. As since there is no movement of the case aside from the rising and lowering of the iPad, it means when used on a table, close spaces, or even something like an airplane tray table, your used space is minimal but still allowing maximum amount of access for he user to access the Apple Pencil, the USB-C port and all the speaker arrays.
The case is also charged through USB-C, and as you can see in the photo gallery above, I can comfortably charge the case from my iPad Pro. I have also tried it with a Satechi USB-C dongle as well and it charged the tablet with a USB drive attached as well.
Aside from the weight and the adjustment using portrait mode, the unit comes in at-least 30% cheaper than the Apple counterparts at around $179AUD, which is even cheaper than the Brydge alternatives as well which in their last generation was known for some issues with the Bluetooth quality on some devices.
Overall, the Slim Folio Pro is a definitive competitor to the more expensive offerings, giving the same, if not better, feel on keyboard quality, design and durability, with no major drawbacks or flaws. Bluetooth is solid, communicates well with iOS for the onscreen keyboard response, and you can type very comfortably on it for a prolonged period of time. If you are looking for a solid keyboard folio, and want to avoid the cheaper alternatives that have a fair few sacrifices in order to get close to usable, consider this keyboard to add to