Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio. Photo: AFP
The latest Logitech accessory brings a Surface-style protective touch cover to the iPad.
Until now, consumers that had plumped for a Microsoft Surface RT rather than an iPad could always point to their device's ingenious touch cover keypad as one cool differentiating factor that even Apple couldn't match, even if, when they moved from talking about typing to other areas such as usability, battery life and available apps, they were forced into silence.
However, the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio means that iPad users can now boast a protective keyboard cover of their own and Surface owners could be left without a stock response when challenged in a coffee shop as to why they chose a Microsoft tablet over a Samsung, Asus, Apple or even Amazon Kindle device. Finished in leather so that when closed around the tablet the device resembles a Moleskine notebook and therefore less likely to attract unwanted attention, the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio has a fabric inlay that protects the iPad from knocks and scratches while the keypad itself is pressed into the fabric's weave so that it doesn't come into contact with the display yet is surprisingly responsive when used, despite being set into what is essentially a cloth base.
This isn't Logitech's first attempt at a Surface-style keyboard-cum-cover but it is both the lightest and most aesthetically pleasing to date. Available in blue, black, red or yellow, the keyboard, complete with full-sized keys, connects to its host device via Bluetooth and also features a micro USB port for charging. The company claims that it can last for three months of daily use -- at two hours' typing every day -- on a single charge.
It is available for pre-order now, direct from Logitech for $149, with the first orders expected to be honored in May. This should give Surface RT owners long enough to think of another differentiating factor, such as its built in SD slot for memory expansion, perhaps, for the next time they encounter someone carrying an iPad. As well as the US, the cover is also expected to launch in Europe in May.