This article is part of a series on going iPad-only.
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I recently treated myself to a much-recommended Logitech Create keyboard case for my 9.7” iPad Pro. My usual setup is a separate leather case/stand, and an Apple Magic Keyboard, but there’s one issue there: it’s not really a viable in-lap typing solution. I wanted an all-in-one option that’s stable in my lap, with good keyboard action. The Create seems to be it.
It’s worth noting that there’s also a Create for the 12.9” iPad Pro, but it’s completely different. Metal case, lip around the keys, different design. I’ve seen Amazon reviews about the larger version leaving a line on the iPad’s screen, which isn’t good. That doesn’t apply to the smaller one. Here’s what mine looks like.
Here’s why I like it:
- The underside of the keyboard, which touches whatever filthy surface you put the thing on, is always the outside of the case. It never comes into contact with the screen — unlike Apple’s own Smart Keyboard. When closed, the keyboard also doesn’t actually touch the screen either. That’s a big comfort.
- The keys are large, and have a very positive, laptop-like clicky action (it’s very quiet though). They’re also optionally backlit, if you’re into that, which I’m not at all (you can choose off, dim, or bright; in the latter two cases, the backlight automatically goes off after five seconds of inactivity). There’s a host of iOS shortcut keys along the top too. Plus, the UK version has a proper inverse-L Return key!
- It has a Smart Connector, so you never need to pair it with the iPad, or charge it. It just draws power from the iPad itself, and is instantly connected when the iPad is resting on the connector. It has strong magnets that grab the iPad and pull it into place, keeping it there.
- It’s grippy. The outside is a kind of tough, fibre mesh, not plastic. It’s very tactile.
- It holds an Apple Pencil, both when open and closed. When open, it’s behind the iPad, in the triangular gap that the case makes. It’s clever.
- It’s pretty light. Less than 280g, apparently.
- You can lift the iPad forward to sit on top of the keys for drawing. It’s an officially supported position.
- It’s great for typing on your lap. The underside of the keyboard (and the part above it for the Pencil) is rigid, so it’s stable enough. There’s always going to be a little bounce with something so light, but it’s very minor, even when hammering away. I’m writing this piece with it in my lap.
- All four speakers are exposed, as are the headphone and Lightning ports. The Power and volume buttons are covered with clicky switches, which work fine.
Comparing Amazon prices, it’s also 50% cheaper than the Smart Keyboard right now. Here are a few potential downsides, depending on your preferences.
- There’s only one typing angle for the iPad. Just like almost every other keyboard case or stand made for iPads. It’s a good typing angle, whether it’s in your lap or on a table or desk.
- The right arrow/cursor key has no backlight. Just that one key. Weird. It’s well documented in Amazon reviews. Since I never use backlit keys, this isn’t an issue for me. I bet you can work out where the right-arrow is.
- If you’re coming from a MacBook, you’ll have a day or two of fun as you adjust to (1) the key where the Fn key usually is toggles the on-screen keyboard; (2) the top-leftmost key is Home, not Escape; and (3) the top-rightmost key is Lock, not… whatever function key is usually up there. It’s not a big deal. You’ll get used to all of those. It’s great having a dedicated Lock key.
It’s a really nice piece of kit. I’m a fan of Logitech’s various keyboard products, and this one continues the trend. If you’re looking for a keyboard case for the 9.7” iPad Pro — and it will only work with the Pro, because it has a Smart Connector — I can certainly recommend this one.
In closing, here’s a video of me opening the case (check out the definitive CHONK when the magnets grab the iPad and pull it onto the Smart Connector, then the backlight goes on briefly to acknowledge the connection), and here’s a video of me closing it too (again, magnets clunk the case closed, and also auto-lock the iPad).