E-mediate



Logitech Keyboard Review

March 2012

By Peter Hulm

The Logitech keyboard is a great addition to your iPad. It turns the gadget into a working tool you can use for any writing task.

The bluetooth hookup works beautifully. You only have to enter a code for the keyboard once. After that it is automatic. The keyboard itself keeps its power for up to a month without charging.

iPad protection

It doubles as a screen protector for the iPad, so that rather than carrying around a case or pasting on film (I don't know how these affect the sensitivity of the touch gestures), you have a compact protection for your beautiful, expensive toy.

It is almost as elegant as the iPad itself and reputedly made of space-program material. It's the first chicklet keyboard I could stand to use for long periods.

The keys are in the places you expect them from a computer keyboard.

Another clever piece of design that I only recognized when on an international flight and had to fill out a form on the plane: the back makes a great flat surface for writing on flimsy custom forms.

Speed keys

The top line enables you to cut, copy, paste, control sound, call up the onscreen keyboard and go back to the iPad home page with one key press. Neat.

Non-standard characters

Non-standard characters can be reached through the Alt key, but these are not well documented.

FYI this is what they are on the Swiss-French keyboard:

1234567890'
±“#Ç[]|{}≠¿
(capped version)
+“*ç%&/()=?`

∞”‹⁄[]\ÒÔÚ^

qwertzuiopè¨
œ∑€®†Ω°¡øπ§‘
(capped version)
QWERTZUIOPü!
ŒÁËÈÎÍÙıØ∏ÿ’

asdfghjkléà$
åß∂ƒ@ªº∆¬¢æ¶
(capped version)
ASDFGHJKLöä£
Åfifl‡‚·˜¯ˆ˘Æ•

<yxcvbnm,.-
≤¥≈©√∫~µ«…–
(capped version)
<YXCVBNM;:_
≥Ÿ™ ◊ ˙˚»÷ —

Quick summary of handy keys

If you find this list confusing, just remember that

For the coders among us:

Note that for the punctuation and accented letters you have to use the shift key rather than shift lock along with the alt key to produce their alternatives.

Touch vs type

As I complained in my review of Writing Kit 2, I wish that having committed to working with a keyboard, I could stick with that for navigation and code entering, instead of having to hop back and forth between touching the screen and tapping the keys.

Both I don't mind, but having to call up the onscreen keyboard to enter \, the default escape character, and not being sure whether the up and down arrows will work is a real drawback. If I could program Alt 1 to produce a top-level headline instead of ±, and so on, I'd be happy.

One tiny but important niggle. The sleep button is right above the backspace key. So I regularly find myself switching the iPad when I mean to delete letters.

To navigate on a paragraph basis use the Alt with up/down arrows, or Alt+left/right arrow for word by word navigation.

But: WHERE'S MY UNDO BUTTON? AND MY DELETE KEY (not BACKSPACE DELETE)?

#PH

12 November 2011