I’m on the record as loving Logitech’s Apple accessories, having been a very early champion of the K811 Easy-Switch Keyboard, and fan of its cleanly-designed Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac. The company also thrilled a lot of people with its Ultrathin series of iPad keyboards, which weren’t cheap or perfect, but worked well while looking and feeling nice. And many of Logitech’s Ultimate Ears speakers have nailed the rare combination of great looks, great sound, and great pricing.
So what the heck happened with the Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro ($150)?
I wanted to like Create. In all honesty, I wanted to love Create, because it’s obvious that the large, heavy iPad Pro desperately needs a great keyboard case to simultaneously function as a stand, a great typing surface, and an insurance policy against damage. But rather than borrowing the best elements from Logitech’s prior keyboard cases, Create uses some design touches that really don’t work with the larger tablet. Consequently, while it’s an okay first day option, it falls short in a number of important ways that are worth considering in light of the iPad Pro’s release this week…
In form and execution, the Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro treads on very familiar territory. Measuring roughly 12.2″ by 9″ by 0.75″ — a little larger than a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro — it is a fabric-covered folio, opening to reveal a keyboard on the left side and an iPad-holding partial frame on the right. The exterior material is ballistic nylon in your choice of black, red, or purple, with soft plastic button covers and a hard plastic C-shaped frame to grip the iPad Pro’s right side. I normally love the resilience of ballistic nylon when it’s used in bags, but as a taut covering for a heavy computer, it feels unsettling — one step less weird in the hand than a laptop coated in fur. Carrying it around made me realize how much I appreciate a smooth texture when I’m holding something large, and with Create on, the iPad Pro feels as bulky as a MacBook Pro.
Create’s most problematic element is the C-shaped iPad frame, which makes insertion or removal of the substantial-feeling Pro simultaneously feel uncertain and uncomfortable. The frame uses physical pressure to clamp your iPad in place, focusing your fingers on the feel of somewhat sharp-edged plastic against Apple’s expensive and large metal Pro chassis. Once the iPad’s inserted and confirmed to be in exactly the right place, it feels steady inside the frame. But it’s not easy to get alignment perfect, and the flush-mounted volume button covers don’t work properly if the iPad’s not snug against the frame’s edge. Since people will frequently want to pull the tablet out for non-keyboard use, a better insertion/release mechanism is seriously needed.
As a stand, Create has one nice feature iPad keyboard case users now take for granted: it attaches the iPad Pro magnetically to a bar right above the typing surface, activating the keyboard as soon as the physical connection is made. Although the packaging notes that Create supports two angles for typing and viewing, only the typing recline is rigidly supported magnetically, while the steeper angle is more passive and subject to slippage when the iPad’s not being used on a flat surface. Strong support for more viewing angles would go a long way towards making the iPad Pro feel more like a laptop, so keyboard case makers should be thinking of ways to accomplish this.
If there’s any bright spot in Create’s design, that would be the keyboard itself, which is typically excellent in the way so many Logitech keyboards have been. Like the K811, the keys aren’t exactly like an Apple keyboard’s; this time, they use a cool Futura or a Futura-like font, and are almost slippery-smooth in texture. But they’re so close in feel and functionality that there’s zero learning curve before you start typing like a… well, Pro. I was able to type far more accurately and quickly on Create than with the iPad Pro’s new landscape or portrait keyboards, each of which I’ve found less comfortable to type on than the iPad mini’s and Air’s virtual keyboards.
The key array mimics Apple’s, including iOS-specific function keys while adding keyboard brightness controls; as with Apple’s iOS keyboards, there’s no Escape key to be found. Key travel is slightly greater than on Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, and slightly less than on its past Wireless Keyboard, a compromise that’s easy to like. Oddly for a premium-priced Logitech design, the keyboard has a somewhat cheap-looking top housing, which is primarily either space gray, silver, or gold metal, but with awkward-looking plastic wings on the left and right sides.
There haven’t been many battery-less iPad keyboards — few companies released Lightning keyboards or Dock Connector keyboards — but that looks set to change with the iPad Pro. Bluetooth has so dominated the iPad keyboard category that I’ve gotten accustomed to opening a box and finding the same two items inside: the keyboard and a USB charging cable. Here, thanks to Logitech’s inclusion of the iPad Pro’s new Smart Connector, Create doesn’t ship with or need a charging cable: it is powered exclusively by the iPad Pro itself, which is a non-trivial accomplishment given that it’s not just a keyboard, but a backlit one. Although there are only three brightness settings — off, dimly lit, or brightly lit — they work as expected, with a bit of light escaping from the edges of some keys at the top and bottom. All but the most nitpicky keyboard users will appreciate Logitech’s inclusion of the backlighting feature, which differentiates Create from Apple’s iPad Pro Smart Keyboard.
It should be noted that batteries and charging generally aren’t issues for iPad keyboards. Many Bluetooth keyboards now promise 3, 6, or 12 months of run time on a single charge, numbers that are cut by 50% or more if backlighting is on, and Bluetooth pairing has become both effortless and power-efficient. So while the decision to run off iPad power rather than Bluetooth might matter if you save money or gain convenience in the process, neither really applies with Create. The $150 price is actually higher than a comparable Logitech iPad Air keyboard case with a long-lived battery and Bluetooth chip inside, and you’re just swapping the instant-on of a Bluetooth connection for the instant-on of a Smart Connector connection.
As noted at the beginning of this review, I would have been very happy to both have Create and recommend it as an ideal iPad Pro keyboard case — many iPad Pro users are going to find that they need something like it pretty quickly after buying Apple’s huge tablet. But between its size, weight, external texture, internal frame, and modest viewing angle adjustability, Create is hard to even like; even worse, it’s only compatible with a single iPad model, and expensive. You could buy a brand new 32GB Apple TV for the same price.
If you need something to use with your new iPad Pro, Create is a serviceable option, but most users will be much better off spending fewer dollars buying a great multi-device keyboard such as the K811 and their choice of inexpensive iPad Pro cases. I hope that Logitech and other companies learn from this early keyboard case’s mistakes, and quickly, because a lot of people will be looking for great iPad Pro keyboard cases in the very near future.
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I am interested to see what Belkin comes out with for the iPad Pro. I have an iPad Air 2 and the Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case and I love it. Belkin’s keyboard for the iPad Air 2 may cost more but you get a better quality (at least in my opinion) and it looks more professional.
Why does this say that I made this post “7 hours ago”? It is 10:15 AM ET time. 7 hours ago I was was asleep and this article was written about 50/55 minutes ago according to under the title.
It’s an issue with the comments or maybe with the content blocker if you have this on. The time zone is off-set by 7 hours, not that the OP wrote 7 hours ago.
By putting your Ipad into one of these keyboards, it doubles the weight of the Ipad. The second disadvantage is that you can’t rotate the Ipad into a Portrait angle, it can only be used in Landscape mode. For just plain reading and viewing, being forced to have this keyboard makes it very awkward.
So I have settled on a Targus case, which is very, very light and rotates the pad to both landscape and portrait.
Now for the keyboard, I have and will continue using my logitech solar keyboard. I have owned it for a year now (the Logitech 760 which was discontinued) and it’s a light keyboard, it’s got great feel and frankly just by a case to put the Ipad, keyboard and charger in. It’s easy and light to carry and if you only want to bring the Ipad, it’s easy to just throw the 12 inch into your briefcase.
So forget these very, very expensive keyboards. Even thought the Logitech 760 is not being made, it’s still got a couple of them on Amazon. So the combination of keyboard ($54) and the Targus case ($79) makes this cheaper than the $150 option and the $169 Apple Keyboard/case.
One of the reasons why I got the Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro for my iPad Air 2 is because it can be used (1) in portrait mode, (2) in landscape mode, and (3) without the keyboard while in my hands or lying down on a flat surface. The bluetooth connection is automatically established each time the magnets in the iPad Air 2 or the Belkin case make contact with the Belkin keyboard. The portrait and landscape mode operation won’t be possible with the iPad Pro because of the new Apple Smart Connector.
I hope you’ll review Zagg’s Slim Book and other keyboard cases for the iPad Pro, and compare them to the Create keyboard.
Huge thanks for reviewing this. I wanted to buy this because it looks like the best case right now but it looked so bulky and i know the story of buying new products for a first-gen hardware, it is always best to wait a few months to let the companies learn from their rushing to produce the hardware and from listening to user’s feedback.
Please keep doing these reviews, I’m still waiting for the best keyboard for iPad Pro. I have Apple’s keyboard on order that’s out of stock for a month and are itching to cancel it for the better one. The only reason to get Apple is for the weight, it’s the thinnest one that works right now.
I had several of the Logitech solar keyboards for my desktop — the reason I had several is that Logitech kept replacing them when the numbers on the left side of the keyboard kept wearing off. I didn’t WANT a new keyboard — I wanted new keys, or better yet a redesign where the keys weren’t so prone to wear. People who want solar powered keyboards also don’t like to see them go in the landfill, therefore I found that to be a fatal design flaw.
That’s the reason I won’t give their iPad Pro keyboard case a try (even though I’d use it much less and likely not wear it out). Guess I’ll go for the Apple branded one. I bought the new rechargeable Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 and they are stellar.
I have used my solar powered keyboard for almost two years now without a stitch of problems. Trust me when I say it’s been great, it’s been beat up and looks terrible with scratchs and bumps, but has been perfect everytime I use it. Guess some folks are lucky and others aren’t. As for the landfill, solar powered keyboards are problably safer than some of the other keyboards that have batteries involved with them.
I bought the Logitech rather than the Apple keyboard primarily for the back-lit keys. In the past I used a laptop computer, but for the past few years I have been enamored with a 27-inch iMac. I really enjoy doing post-processing of photos with “A/B” (before/after) large images on a calibrated screen. You just can’t do that on a laptop. But for 90+ percent of the other things that I do, the iPad Pro will be sufficient when I am away from home. A somewhat common situation for me is the lack of lighting and the back-lit keyboard of the Logitech solves that. I don’t have a problem with the weight or the texture of the fabric used. It reminds of a notebook with a paper tablet that I used in my pre-computer days.
I’m excited for the Zagg Slim Book. I like how you can detach the case from the keyboard when you want. I love Zaggs products, the last two iPad keyboards I bought were from them and they have performed very well. I just wish the Slim Book would use the Smart Connector instead of Bluetooth.
Got the IPad Pro yesterday and love it. Started using it with this keyboard and worked fine for almost a day but now I’m getting an error saying that this accessory is not supported. Tried to reset setting on the iPad, disconnected it and reconnected it several times and rebooted the iPad. Unfortunately still not working. I’m very disappointed to see a product from Logitech at this price fail so quickly. I checked the apple forum and have found other people facing the same issue. I really like the keyboard but if it still doesn’t work after exchanging at the Apple Store Logitech will have left a sour taste with an all too hasty product and cash grab. I had held Logitech as being much more reputable company with higher quality products but now I’m not so sure.
There is a bright yellow paper in the box which explains how to put your iPad in your CREATE and how to take it out. If you follow this instructions it goes very easy. If you ignore this hints, it will be as the above text complains.
I got the Apple Smart keyboard and find it difficult to type accurately on, additionally it is impossible to type in the dark, that’s why this Logitech Create keyboard seems a good idea with its backlit keyboard capabilities (plus I’ve heard/read it’s easier to type accurately on). And if I can have the backlight on only when I need it I might be able to control battery life and – well gee – the Apple Smart doesn’t even have it. Additionally I think I’d like the function keys at the top of the Logitech, again, something the Apple keyboard doesn’t even have. If it’s a bit heavier making my iPad Pro + keyboard almost as heavy as a MacBook Pro seems a small issue if the idea is to replace the Mac anyway. The authors states the Logitech keyboard “… Is only with a single iPad model” well, so was the keyboard for my first iPad and when I went to Air I had to purchase an new Logitech keyboard for it. Additionally it’s no more expensive than the Apple Smart keyboard. But when then the author states, (because of the expense) “you could buy a brand new 32 gig Apple TV for the same price,” his credibility went down pretty hard. We’re talking keyboards here. I could get a lot of gas for my car for the same price too, or maybe groceries,… Geez!
I read all about the issues with the Logitech keyboard on iOS 9.2 so I ordered the Smart Keyboard. However, I think the Pro really needs a keyboard so I figured I’d get one now and return it when the Smart Keyboard comes in mid-January. I was going to get the Zagg model but then I just read about a workaround for the 9.2 issues (Settings > General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard > English > US International – PC) and got the Logitech.
First off, with the International – PC change, I haven’t experienced many issues. I think I type faster than the words are appearing on the screen but I think that’ll be fixed with the next iOS update since people are stating that it ran perfectly under 9.1. I just slowed down my typing a little and it’s perfect now.
On to the good stuff…I am LOVING this keyboard. It does add weight…but what keyboard doesn’t? I think the total thickness is about 5/8″or about as thick as my Retina MacBook Pro 15. Keys are backlit which is HUGE! I’m coming from an iPad Air 2 and had the BrydgeAir keyboard for that and it had backlit keys. You don’t have to be in complete dark to enjoy that…dim rooms benefit as well. Shortcut keys are AWESOME! All along the top row…home button, keyboard lighting, sound up/down, emoji keyboard button, search button and lock button. There’s a key in the lower left corner of the keyboard to launch the software keyboard on the screen as well. The keyboard includes shortcuts too…CMD+Shift+H to go to the home screen (or you can press the home button on the keyboard). There is an app switcher using CMD+Tab!!!!!!!! And you can operate it all from the keyboard…no app cards to swipe through. While holding the CMD button, just keep hitting tab to go through the apps and then let go on the one you want. You don’t have to physically reach your hand up to the iPad’s home button…much more efficient this way. You can view the shortcuts by holding CMD for a few seconds and they’ll appear on the creek. The shortcuts are different for different apps. Just 3 shortcuts while at the home screen but 8 shortcuts in Safari. And CMD+Spacebar launches the Spotlight search. If you use a Mac, that’s a normal item to launch so it’s great to see it here as well. Keys are VERY quiet and feel great when typing. I’m typing just as fast as I do on my MacBook Pro.
Putting the iPad in the case was easy. Put the upper right corner of the iPad in first and then just snap in the lower right side. It comes out easy too. I didn’t have any issues working that at all. The exterior of the case feels like a stiff nylon or something like a thick denim (but it’s not denim). Seems like it’ll be durable. And having the iPad snap to the Smart Connector is perfect every time. Pretty cool feature. When you close the keyboard case, it puts the iPad to sleep too. I’ve had multiple keyboard cases in the past that are supposed to do that…but don’t.
So all in all, I’ve canceled my Smart Keyboard order with Apple. I did type on it while I was at the Apple Store and it felt pretty good. But the key features of this Logitech keyboard that sold it to me are: backlit keys, physical shortcut keys & keyboard shortcuts, and full iPad protection. The Smart Keyboard doesn’t have shortcut keys, backlighting or protection for the back of the iPad. I’ll take a little more thickness (that’s what she said) for full iPad protection. The Smart Keyboard also has the fold up type of thing like the Smart Cover. I have the grey Smart Cover and hate it. It’s not that the iPad is heavy, but it’s got a lot of surface area. When I have it standing up and I’m pressing on the screen, sometime the Smart Cover triangle will collapse. It’s happened 3 times already and that’s 3 times too many. I’m wondering if the Smart Keyboard will be the same. That type of cover worked very well on my iPad Air 2…but the Pro is massive and I think it’s too large for that design.
With some of the kinks worked out of the Logitech Create keyboard case, I think THIS is the one to have. The only competitor that could give it a run for the money is the BrydgePro when that comes out in April. That’s a solid keyboard but if it follows the same design as the BrydgeAir, it’ll leave the backside of the iPad open. It think I’m going to stick with this case for the long haul!
Also remember that the shortcuts are contextual. For example, when a cell is selected in a spreadsheet, there are commands available to add a row above/below or column left/right, etc. And the directional keys allow you to move from cell to cell. In addition, I like to use the Pencil for selecting items or text. It’s easier and more exact than my finger. So the combo of the iPad Pro and Create keyboard gives me a good alternative for a computer away from my desktop at home. Oh, and I almost forgot, the 10-hour battery. Need I say more?
This review seems out to lunch and trivial. Points are observant but trite. I bought the pro for its size and screen space waiting to get one to read music on since the free hand went they way of the dinosaurs 5 years ago.
This logistic case vs the iPad.. Front cover 50 pulses back cover 80 pulse case don’t know how much another 100 was just more and apple didn’t bother to show how the all fit together on their site.. So this was the next best option and nearly a 100 less.
Yes it’s bulky but textured nylon a complaint? Geez that’s not why you get a case.. Just protect it. This thing feels sturdy.. Displays at the right angle.. Yes the keyboard is comfortable and who cares about the side wings.. They have to provide space for the keys in the typing well so that the keys don’t’ hit the keyboard. Sounds like this reviewer has never worked on a shop floor where durability and function demand a bit of finesse.
It’s only been a week of use with the iPad pro.. And I certainly have more complaints about the way siri try’s to interrupt my work or iBooks doesn’t have any configurable reading options than I do about the create keyboard and case.
Plus all I had to do was buy on case from Logitech and I got a front, back and keyboard. I I bought it from Apple. I had three purchases.
Does anyone know where the pen is going go when it finally arrives.. Funny Apple didn’t even have one for sale in their New Haven store when I bought the iPad. Oh well
We’ll see if I still like it in six months.. I think so .. Unless something breaks. I’m expecting at least three years unless I spill a beer or two on it.
Ps. I would like a track pad on it so that I didn’t have to touch the screen when typing..
I just bought an iPod Pro with a Logitech Create keyboard for this.
I am not really satisfied because the keyboard falls continue out and have to wait 7 seconds it’s connecting again.
While typing this message the keyboard falls 12 times out.
Serious thinking to buy a bluetooth keyboard.
My Logitech Fabricskin was excellent for my Ipad 4.
Bluetooth still the best connection I think.
Make sure the iPad is seated correctly in the shell and making good connection with the Smart Connector. I had a skin on my Pro that was making for intermittent connections so I took it off. But 7 seconds? It shouldn’t take that long to connect. When I set my Pro in place, the keyboard lights up within 1 second. And check Settings > General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard to see which version you’re on. There was an option to use the International PC keyboard but I think that issue has been fixed. It’s a great keyboard and I do love that it’s not a Bluetooth connection. When I fold the case back to use it handheld, I don’t have to worry about hitting keys since it’s not connected to the Smart Connector.
I have had 2, both have broken with only light office use. Where the IPad snaps in the plastic is of very poor quality. Classic case of good design followed by poor manufacturing processes. I would not reccomend this product.
As an Owner of the Logitech Create , I agree with most of your comments ,
One thing that convinced me to buy :
I need an addition language beside english , So the local Logitech importer manage to arrange “like original” additional keyboard fonts to use .
How can I easily open the iPad Pro’s keyboard ?
It seems that the keyboard close so well and it’s hard to open it few times a day,,,,