The Logitech Slim Folio Pro for the 2018 iPad Pro is a product designed for iPad users whose workflow is primarily focused on typing. It features an excellent keyboard, along with key features like highly-tactile keys and backlighting to enhance the typing experience.
Is Logitech’s latest iPad Pro accessory right for you? Learn more in our hands-on Logitech Slim Folio Pro video review.
Synology RT2600ac: The AirPort Extreme replacement.
As its name suggests, the Slim Folio Pro is a folio-style keyboard cover that will protect the front and back of your iPad Pro while not in use. Opening and closing the Slim Folio is a relatively simple affair. There’s a magnetic latch included that locks to keep the folio closed, and attaches to the rear of the folio while it’s in use.
All of the I/O and ports on the iPad — microphones, USB-C connection, speakers, cameras, etc. — remain unobstructed. The Slim Folio was clearly designed from the ground up with the iPad Pro in mind, fitting the tablet like a glove.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro video review
The unit doesn’t take advantage of Apple’s Smart Connector, which can provide instant connectivity and power — an obvious disadvantage when compared to Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio. Instead Logitech uses Bluetooth LE pairing while sipping power from a built-in battery.
Logitech states that the Slim Folio Pro will last up to 3-months on a single charge, with 2 hours of daily usage. It smartly designed the keyboard to automatically turn on and off based on whether the keyboard is docked in typing mode, and the backlight timeout is hyper-aggressive.
Included on the side of the Logitech Slim Folio Pro, not far away from the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, is a USB-C port used for charging the keyboard. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, you can use your iPad Pro USB-C cable to recharge the Slim Folio Pro directly from your iPad Pro itself. With this considered, battery life will almost never be an issue, because recharging the Slim Folio involves nothing more than connecting the keyboard to your iPad via USB-C. Easy.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro specifications
- Available for 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018)
- Front, back, and corner protection for your iPad
- Instantly start typing when docked
- Highly tactile, backlit keyboard
- Keyboard shortcut row
- Bluetooth LE connection
- USB-C port for charging battery
- 3-months battery life
- Three modes: Type, Sketch, and Read
- Magnetic latch stores Apple Pencil and other styli
- 1-year warranty
- Price: $119.99 (11-inch) $129.99 (12.9-inch)
On the definition of “slim”
One of the most important things to consider about any iPad case or folio is how well of a job it does protecting your iPad. Whereas Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio features a minimal design that’s not really built with iPad protection in mind, Logitech’s offering clearly prioritizes protection.
Not only is the front and back of the iPad Pro protected when the case is closed, but the corners are as well. Thick rubber bumpers protect each corner of your iPad Pro, lending confidence that if the device is dropped, it will most likely survive. A downside to such thick bumpers is that they make interacting with the iPad’s Side and Volume buttons a bit difficult.
Indeed, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro, despite its somewhat misleading name, is built to withstand the day-to-day rigors of iPad usage, and then some. With that said, the unit, when closed, is significantly thicker than an iPad Pro mated with Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio, and it’s also thicker than the 2018 MacBook Air.
That’s not to say that Logitech’s folio is some unwieldy beast that’s impossible to carry around, but it’s a noticeable departure from the form-factor of the iPad Pro. If portability is at the absolute top of your list, then you’ll definitely want to stick with Apple’s first-party offering.
Typing experience with the Logitech Slim Folio Pro
Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio provides a good typing experience, but it doesn’t lend the sort of tactile typing response as the Logitech Slim Folio Pro.
Even on the somewhat cramped 11-inch iPad Pro, the typing experience was like strolling along the beach with the wind at my back, gently easing me along. In other words, typing on the Slim Folio Keyboard felt effortless. Contrast that with the typing experience found on the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio — certainly doable, but not what I would call effortless.
The keys on Logitech’s Slim Folio Pro have a good amount of key-travel, are decently spaced given what little area there is to work with on the 11-inch model, and feel sturdy to type on. To make things even better, the keys are backlit, making it a useable solution for typists in dimly-lit environments.
It’s a full size keyboard as well, meaning you have all of the QWERTY keys, number keys, and a row of shortcut keys. The shortcut keys allow you to access the Home screen, control the keyboard backlight brightness, access spotlight, hide or show the software keyboard, invoke media controls, adjust volume, lock the screen, pair with Bluetooth, and check battery status. The Logitech Slim Folio Pro also lends users the traditional inverted T-style arrow keys, something that Apple haphazardly abandoned on its MacBook keyboards.
The one big typing advantage that the Smart Keyboard Folio has over Logitech’s hardware is support for multiple viewing angles. With the Slim Folio Pro, you get a single viewing angle for your iPad while docked in typing mode. The Smart Keyboard Folio, on the other hand, features two viewing angles. For me, the single viewing angle on the Logitech folio was good, but it’s something to consider when comparing the two.
How stable is the Slim Folio Pro? I’m happy to report that lap typing is not only achievable, but it’s actually quite excellent. Thanks to an extra stable bottom surface where the keyboard rests, along with strong magnets that dock the iPad Pro to its base, the Slim Folio Pro makes for a great laptop-like typing experience.
Not only did I compose this entire post using the Logitech Slim Folio Pro, but I did so while my iPad was sitting on my lap. I can’t speak for how the 12.9-inch model performs — presumably it would be even better thanks to increased surface area — but the model designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro performs admirably.
Another thing to consider is desktop stability. Again, the Slim Folio Pro performs well. The stable base, along with the large bumper that houses the iPad, helps to dampen the impact from striking the keyboard, ensuring that the typing experience isn’t hindered by the build of the unit.
Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon
Logitech made sure to leave the area where the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil connects to the iPad Pro free to allow it to charge. There’s also a small nook inside the magnetic latch for storing other styli, such as Logitech’s own Crayon Stylus, which recently gained 2018 iPad Pro compatibility. Logitech actually recommends storing your 2nd-generation Apple Pencil here as well when not charging, lest it not get inadvertently dislodged when attached to the iPad directly.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro modes
In addition to its main typing mode, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro also has two other modes: sketch mode and reading mode. Sketch mode presents a surface for working with the Apple Pencil, resting right on top of the keyboard at a slight angle. The surface while in sketch mode is stable, allowing illustrators or note-takers to work without distraction.
Reading mode is invoked by simply orienting the keyboard behind the screen so that you can hold the device in your hand. Let’s be honest, nobody is going to hold an iPad inside the Slim Folio Pro to read for an extended period of time, unless it’s part of some exercise regimen. It’s doable, but not at all comfortable. If you want to hold the iPad while reading, I suggest removing it from the Slim Folio Pro.
If you can get past the bulky form factor — and let’s be honest, that will be a tall order for some users — there’s a whole lot to like about the Logitech Slim Folio Pro. Logitech’s hardware provides what is unquestionably a much better typing experience, but it’ll be hard for me to give up to convenient portability of the Smart Keyboard Folio.
Simply put, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro is an iPad Pro case designed primarily for typists. If typing dominates your iPad workflow, then I think it’s definitely worth considering. Otherwise, you may be better off going with an option like Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, that provides a more balance approach to portability.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro advantages
- Great protection for your iPad Pro
- Excellent keyboard with tactile feedback
- Backlit keyboard
- Dedicated shortcut keys
- Inverted T arrow keys
- Stable typing surface
- Good for lap-typing for desktop typing
- Accommodates Apple Pencil and other styli
- 3-month battery life with USB-C charging
- Priced at $120-130 vs $180-200 for the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
Logitech Slim Folio Pro disadvantages
- Bulky form factor that’s much thicker than the Smart Keyboard Folio
- Uncomfortable to hold in reading mode
- Only one viewing angle
- No Smart Connector support
- Mushy button interactions
Do you use a keyboard with your iPad Pro? Would you consider the Logitech Slim Folio Pro? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.