Convenient Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard and Pebble i345 Mouse – Improved Productivity for Cheap Apple iPad Owners

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Since I primarily use Chromebooks to get the job done, an iPad has not been an essential device in my arsenal. A couple of new Logitech products significantly increase the capacity of my Apple iPad from under $ 300 2019 and may have a more prominent role in my mobile toolset.

Jason Cipriani of ZDNet recently released his review of the new $ 299 / $ 350 Apple Magic Keyboard that is now available for iPad Pro models. The new Logitech Combo Touch keyboard is available for $ 149.99 in two configurations. The one I tested is for the 7th generation Apple iPad and another is available for the 10.5-inch iPad Air or 3rd generation iPad Pro tablet.

Also: Review of the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro: more productivity, but at a price

Logitech also shipped its Pebble i345 mouse designed specifically for all iPad models. It's a $ 29.99 mouse with an 18-month battery life.

Combination touch hardware

The Logitech Combo Touch keyboard is a two-piece solution for the Apple iPad. The upper part consists of a protective shell that covers all four corners and all three sides with a soft TPU bumper material. Openings are present for the Lightning port, speaker, headphone jack, and microphone. Both parts of the case are wrapped in woven fabric and the wrist rests on both sides of the touchpad have the same material.

There is an Apple Pencil case on top that also works with Logitech Crayon. This is a feature that Apple cannot address with its standard Smart Cover.

On the back we see a reinforced opening of the camera that does not affect its ability to take photos. The bottom 2/3 of the back works similarly to a Surface Pro as a sturdy stand. The bottom of the kickstand extends about 135 degrees, so you get a full range of viewing angles for video viewing or sketch mode. There are no difficult stops for the kickstand, so you can find the angle that's best for you.

The bottom (left side in portrait orientation) is unprotected as this is where the keyboard part of the solution meets.

The bottom piece of the Logitech Combo Touch is the keyboard and front display cover. The keyboard connects via Apple's smart connector, which is wonderful because there is no Bluetooth pairing to manage and the connector provides power to the keyboard so you never have to worry about charging the keyboard.

Six rows of keys are provided on the Combo Touch keyboard with large space and keyboard offset (1mm). The top row consists of 14 functions, including screen brightness controls, keyboard backlight controls, playback controls, volume controls, and more.

While the well-designed keys and decent 5-level backlight are almost perfect for this size accessory, the game-changing highlight for iPad owners is the trackpad. The 5.5mm x 9.5mm trackpad lets you navigate the iPad and even use multi-finger gestures to swipe, scroll, change windows, and pinch.

Also: Apple iPad review (2019): Apple's entry-level tablet is powered by iPadOS, business improvements

Pebble i345 mouse

While the trackpad offers the ability to navigate the screen, I find it even more useful for gestures. The Logitech Pebble i345 Wireless Mouse for Apple iPad is an incredible choice for cursor control.

It is a lightweight mouse (100 grams) that is very comfortable in the hand. It is available in graphite and white colors with a three button design. The middle button also serves as a scroll wheel, making navigating long lists seem like a minor matter.

The left and right mouse buttons work perfectly on iPadOS 13.4. The clicks are also very quiet on the mouse and with the included AA battery you can see that its battery lasts up to 18 months.

iPadOS 13.4 support

The latest version of the iPad OS with improved trackpad support was released. While Apple iPad Pro owners use them with the new Apple Magic Keyboard, Logitech worked with Apple to include support for the Combo Touch keyboard.

Three-finger swipe works wonders for switching apps or returning to the home screen. Swipe up and hold with three fingers to go to the multitasking view.

Two-finger scrolling works to scroll through the entire beat, even in the Today view widget if you have it on your home screen. You can also use two fingers to pinch to zoom in or out.

Be sure to visit Settings> General> Touchpad to customize the tracking speed, scrolling behavior, and options for the touchpad. I have disabled the Tap to Click feature, so I have to press the trackpad (it has a satisfactory response with quite silent action) to select things. Right-clicking with two fingers is a good option to enable as it serves as a right click or long press. On the home screen, using this secondary two-finger click makes it easy to access a host of contextual options.

If you want a little bit of keyboard adjustment control, you can download the Logitech Control app from the App Store. The app allows you to update the keyboard firmware, control the duration of the backlight, and control the speed at which the lights go out.

Daily use experiences.

The Logitech Combo Touch keyboard is not an inexpensive accessory, especially if you paid just double this price for the iPad. However, if you want to use your iPad for optimal productivity and efficiency, then the keyboard pays off. It has dramatically changed the way I use my iPad in just a couple of weeks.

This two-piece keyboard solution is not a minimalist solution as it adds 610 grams with a depth of 26.5 mm to your iPad package. The 7th generation Apple iPad (WiFi model) weighs just 483 grams with a thickness of 7.5 mm. However, you do get Apple Pencil support, a useful keyboard, and a trackpad to make the low-cost iPad a competitor to the computer.

The only thing that disappoints me about the design of the Logitech Combo Touch is the weakness of the magnets that hold the bottom of the keyboard to the top cover. Almost every time I pick up the iPad with the keyboard in the typing position, it falls off the top and hits the desk or the floor. The setup isn't optimal for lap use either, but it works perfectly as a mobile laptop solution on a desk or table.

It's fantastic FINALLY I have a trackpad on an iPad and I have to honestly say that I didn't expect it to be that great either. Apple and Logitech finally have a decent solution for iPad users looking to make their device more useful to get the job done.

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