When rummaging through Best Buy about a week ago, I discovered that Logitech had released both the Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover and the Solar-Powered Folio.  I had initially thought I would buy just the Solar Powered Folio, as that seemed to be the better of the two for business travel.   While I still believe that to be the case, I quickly discovered that the Folio, when outfitted with my iPad 2, was too large to fit in the smart compartment of my flight bag made for computers.  So, I purchased the Ultra-Thin Keyboard and am typing this review using it.  The Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover is only slightly larger than the Apple Smart Cover it replaced, and I am now using it as my “everyday” cover.  Using it this way means I always have access to a hardware keyboard, and I find that very handy.

Of the two devices, the Solar-Powered Folio has a better keyboard.  Its keys are slightly larger and have a slightly better feel.  This makes the Solar-Powered Folio a better choice for long projects.  The keyboard of the Ultra-Thin Keyboard, while perfectly functional, is a bit cramped and the keys are made of a harder material, so typing takes more concentration and effort.  Additionally, since the iPad sits in a slot on the Ultra-Thin Keyboard, it is most stable when using the iPad in Landscape rather than Portrait mode.    Secondly, the slot in which the iPad rides has magnets in it that help hold the iPad in place when it placed with the Home button on the right.  When using the iPad in Portrait mode, the weight of the iPad causes the entire assembly to lean back, though it is usable on a flat, stable surface.

The Ultra-Thin Keyboard comes with a very short (about 6 inches long) USB cable that attaches to the unit using a mini-USB port and is used to charge it.  Documentation accompanying the unit discusses charging the unit with a computer, which is doable but not always convenient.  Thankfully, the unit does have an “on-off” switch which helps manage the power.  As for power on the iPad, when the keyboard is attached, it does not cover the iPad’s bottom port so charging the iPad with the Ultra-Thin Keyboard attached is possible.

The keyboard is recessed enough so that when the unit is attached as a cover, the keyboard does not impact the screen in any way and, when closed, puts the attached iPad asleep just like a Smart Cover does.   This is one of my favorite things about it and why I feel a Smart Cover is no longer necessary.  The additional bulk of the Ultra-Thin Keyboard is slight though noticeable but still does not hinder storing or carrying it in any way. That said, the bulk of the overall unit is on par with that of a MacBook Air, making the Air a better choice when any serious content creation is needed.  That said, when just basic work tasking is all you need to do and the tablet’s other features are more desirable, the addition of the Ultra-Think Keyboard cover adds some welcome utility to the iPad at the expense of only a little weight and bulk.