A lot of reviews have said the Logitech Combo Touch keyboard is the ultimate keyboard for the iPad, and it’s not surprising that people would be looking for an alternative to Apple’s premium yet very expensive Magic Keyboard.

After using the Combo Touch with my 12.9″ iPad Pro for a few weeks, I will agree that it does several things really well even if it comes with its own drawbacks versus the Magic Keyboard.

First…

The Combo Touch leans into the iPad’s versatility.

Probably the biggest thing the iPad brings to the table versus a laptop is versatility. With a keyboard like this it can be a capable document and email tool, great for taking notes in meetings and updating social media channels throughout the day.

The Combo Touch allows for seamless removal from the keyboard, and something it adds that is probably the Magic Keyboard’s greatest weakness is the ability to have a rubberized case around your iPad even when it’s not attached to the keyboard.

(It does this by utilizing the smart connector on the back of the iPad similar to how the Magic Keyboard does, which means no having to remember to charge the keyboard.)

This way, it can transition readily from being in laptop mode to being just a tablet and come with you wherever your day takes you, from desk to couch. As a keyboard case goes, that’s a plus.

Logitech Combo Touch case on a 12.9" iPad Pro, hand held in portrait mode

By providing protection for the iPad as simply a tablet, the Combo Touch arguably does a better job of preserving what an iPad does best. The Magic Keyboard, comparatively, gives you the option of having a nice folding case when mounted to the keyboard, but absolutely no protection when used as a tablet.

That, I think, is a real flaw of the Magic Keyboard, because it always made me want to keep it in the case and then it ended up being more of a laptop than an iPad.

Good typing, backlit keys, and a function key row. +

I find the typing experience pretty consistent between the Combo Touch and Apple’s Magic Keyboard. Neither are quite as good as my MX Keys Mini (also by Logitech), but they are on par with the MacBook’s keyboard, which I would say is above average.

Having an actual row of function keys for volume, play/pause/previous/next, keyboard and screen brightness, search, and home is pretty killer.

The touchpad is responsive and on par with the Magic Keyboard’s.

Where the Combo Touch falls short…

My experience has been that there are two glaring issues with the Combo Touch that prevent me from agreeing with other reviews that this is the ultimate iPad keyboard.

  1. The kickstand is useful for a desk or for standing the iPad up (in tablet mode) for content consumption. BUT, it’s not so great used on your lap, which for me is a good portion of where I’d want a keyboard on the iPad. Comparatively, the Magic Keyboard is a far better lap typing experience.
  2. In order to make the keyboard large enough to fully cover the 12.9″ screen when closed, the keyboard has about a 1.5-inch gap between the top row of keys and where it attaches to the iPad, which puts the iPad further away from your face than the Magic Keyboard. It may not sound like much difference, but I was surprised how much better being 1-2 inches closer felt.

Frankly, I wish Logitech had used a larger trackpad to utilize the extra space so the actual keys butted much closer up to the iPad’s screen. It’s a seemingly small ask that would’ve made for a better experience.

But the poor lap typing experience is probably the biggest disappointment for me. I’ve found putting a pillow behind the iPad screen to prop it up works better than the kickstand, and then I can use the keyboard on my lap the way it’s comfortable.

That’s not a bad typing experience, but needing a pillow isn’t ideal and this is another area where the Magic Keyboard shines in comparison.

The Magic Keyboard’s additional charging port (USB-C) is a great addition, something you probably didn’t know you wanted but love to have once it’s there. With a tablet that only has one USB port, not having to tie it up for charging so you can still use external drives or other peripherals is great.

The Logitech Combo Touch keyboard doesn’t offer that, so you’ll have to decide how important that is to you.

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