So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini is basically a shrunken version of the original model
- Stylish and effective design
- Long lasting battery
- Good build quality
- Cramped keyboard
- Magnet isn't very strong
- No rear iPad mini protection
Despite retaining many of the aspects that made the larger version one of the best keyboard accessories on the market, the Ultrathin Keyboard mini is just too small to comfortably type on for long periods.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad is one of the best keyboard accessories available, so it's no surprise to see that the company has produced a version to fit the smaller iPad mini. Despite retaining many of the aspects that made the larger version one of the best keyboard accessories on the market, the Ultrathin Keyboard mini is just too small to comfortably type on for long periods.
The Ultrathin Keyboard mini automatically unlocks the iPad's screen and puts it to sleep when you close it.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini is basically a shrunken version of the original model, so it's part smart cover and part physical keyboard. It has a magnetic clip on the side that attaches onto the left of the iPad mini. This allows it to be folded closed when not in use, much the same way as a hardcover book. Like Apple's own smart cover, opening the Ultrathin Keyboard mini when it's attached to the iPad mini automatically unlocks the iPad's screen and puts it to sleep when you close it.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has an aluminium design that perfectly matches the iPad mini's silver or black back, depending on the colour variant you choose. When you want to use the keyboard you simply detach the magnet from the side of the tablet and place the iPad mini into a recessed slot above the keyboard. Build quality feels excellent and the design really ties into the look and feel of the iPad mini.
The magnet on the Ultrathin Keyboard mini won't work in portrait orientation.
The recessed slot on top of the keyboard is magnetic so it holds the iPad mini in place when in landscape mode. However, the magnet isn't as strong as the larger Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad. We found it a little too easy to pull off and in one instance the keyboard was accidentally detached when we brushed our hand passed the iPad mini.
The design of the Ultrathin Keyboard mini allows the iPad mini to also be positioned in portrait mode but the magnet will not work in this orientation. The angle of the iPad mini's screen isn't adjustable in either orientation. It should suit most users, but those who want the flexibility to adjust the screen should look elsewhere.
You'll still need a case or bag if you want to fully protect your iPad mini.
When folded closed, four small rubber tips in each corner of the cover prevent the keys from coming into contact with the iPad mini's screen. However, the Ultrathin Keyboard mini provides no protection for the rear of the iPad mini, which is arguably the most scratch-prone part of the device. Taking this into account, you'll still need a case or bag if you want to fully protect your iPad mini while commuting.
Connecting the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini to your iPad mini is a very simple process. Turn it on via the switch on the right side of the case where it will automatically enter pairing mode. Then go to the Bluetooth menu on your iPad mini to connect it. The iPad mini will prompt you to enter a four digit code using the keyboard to finalise the connection.
It's very easy to accidentally bump the screen while trying to type.
The biggest issue with the Ultrathin Keyboard mini is the small size of the keys. A device as small as the iPad mini was always going to have this issue and while Logitech has done a reasonable job, typing is still a cramped experience. A particular annoyance is the tiny comma and quotation keys, along with the delete button. Further, the lack of space means it's very easy to accidentally bump the screen while trying to type.
Despite the cramped layout, the keys themselves are spring loaded and offer good feedback and tactility. Typing is also a relatively quiet experience, with none of the annoying or overly loud clicking sounds we've seen from many rival iPad keyboard accessories.
The battery will last three months on a single charge.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has a number of iOS function keys, but these are shared with the standard number keys on the top row. When pressed with the fn key in the bottom left corner, the function keys can lock and wake the screen, activate Siri, search through spotlight, hide or show the on-screen keyboard, start a photo slideshow, adjust the volume and pause or play any media content. The Fn key can also be used with the left and right arrow keys to select text to copy and paste.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini runs on a non-removable, rechargeable battery. Logitech says the battery on the Ultrathin Keyboard mini will last three months on a single charge with two hours of typing per day. While it's not as impressive as the six months provided by the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad, it's understandable given the smaller size of the built-in battery.
A small LED above the delete key denotes when the unit is powered on and also glows while charging. Logitech includes a USB to micro-USB charging cable and a cleaning cloth in the box.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini is available now for $89.95 through Apple stores, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi, Myer, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Big W and Dick Smith retail outlets.
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