Logitech has been building iPad keyboards for years – they were among the first to recognize the value of doing so, in fact. But for all their experience, and various iterations of the concept of the keyboard case, the company may have got it most right with a remarkably simple design introduced just this past month with the new Keys-To-Go Bluetooth wireless keyboard.
The Keys-To-Go is an uncomplicated affair – it has a keyboard similar in size to those you might find built-in to its ultrathin iPad keyboard case line, but with no means of attaching itself to the actual iPad you want to use it with. Instead, it’s incredibly thin and lightweight, and has a seamless coating protecting the keyboard’s keys, while at the same time allowing each key to have some definite travel for a natural typing feel.
Included in the set of keys this thing provides are iPad-specific buttons for finding the home screen, activity spotlight search, switching languages, activating the camera, playing back media and controlling volume. It supports iOS extended set of key combination shortcuts, too, and should get around three months of on-and-off use.
In person, the Keys-To-Go reminds me of an old plastic covered binder – and despite what that sounds like, it’s actually a very good thing. The accessory feels light and durable, able to withstand spills and being casually thrown in a bag without issue. And so far, it has proven true to that impression. Plus, it doesn’t require you to commit to having a big, ungainly case on your iPad most of the time, which is what even many of the slimmer iPad keyboard cases provide you.
The Keys-To-Go doesn’t come with an included stand, and is designed to be used in tandem with something like Apple’s own smart covers and cases, which double as folding stands. That might be its greatest failing, since it’s awkward to use at all without the iPad propped up somehow. But it’s still more than balanced by the convenience of having a keyboard that takes up next to no space and can go with you pretty much anywhere.
A keyboard case assumes one thing that’s seldom true for tablet users in my experience: That they’ll be using their iPads mostly as a laptop replacement, and will want the keyboard close at hand and ready to go for almost every session. The Keys-To-Go assumes something else, and gets much closer to actual usage in doing so – it’s designed for people who will occasionally type out longer things, but who mostly won’t.
Keys when you need them, easy to put out of sight and out of mind when you don’t. That’s he concept here, and it’s a great one. The Keys-To-Go is also a pretty handy thing to have if you run a media PC, game console or something like the Nexus Player that requires occasional text entry. At $69.99, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s also much more affordable than your average keyboard case, making it a no brainer for a much wider audience of people who sometimes, but not always, want to type on the go.