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Since the iPad debuted a couple of years ago, people have been trying to turn it into a low-cost, lightweight replacement laptop. Adding a Bluetooth keyboard is a good start, of course, but then you’re stuck lugging around two separate items. That’s hardly an argument for being able to simplify your life with an iPad. Or is it? Logitech’s Fold-Up Keyboard turns your iPad into a Transformer, letting you use it tablet-style, or with a full-size keyboard when you need a productivity boost.
The Fold-Up Keyboard attaches to the back of your iPad 2 and two halves of the keyboard slide out from either side at the push of a button. It doesn’t offer any screen protection, but you can use it in conjunction with a Smart Cover to protect your tablet’s display. The plastic frame props up the iPad at a comfortable 45-degree angle, and it’s sturdy enough that it can be used while you sit upright at a desk (or hunched over and cross-legged in bed, as I was while writing this review). Unfortunately, the Fold-Up Keyboard only works in landscape orientation—we would have liked an option to rotate the iPad into portrait. To put the keyboard away, you simply pull the halves apart and tuck them back in place underneath your iPad.
The keyboard connects via Bluetooth and is a typical Logitech affair: comfortably spaced chicklet keys with enough room for your fingers to roam. There are numerous function keys available—including one to launch Photo Frame mode, and media controls—and the keyboard supports the iPad’s Copy and Paste functions. As an added bonus, the keyboard’s Bluetooth connection turns off when you close it up, which saves battery power.
Our only caveat with the keyboard is that it adds a full pound to your iPad. As long as you’re willing to put up with the added weight and bulk, the Fold-Up Keyboard is a great solution for those who frequently juggle a separate keyboard.
The bottom line. Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard is the iPad’s Transformer-mode—a full keyboard when you need it, that stays neatly out of the way when you don’t.
Keyboard is comfortable to type on. Bluetooth disengages when keyboard is docked. Sturdy frame.
Packs on considerable weight and bulk.