I’ve never been a fan of reviews where they have the product for a few hours or days and then write a review praising the product or saying how terrible it is. They really haven’t taken the time to experience it in daily use day in and day out. I do my reviews after owning the product for a lengthy time and this is no exception.
This is a 12 month review of the Logitech Creative Keyboard for the iPad Pro 12.9 inch model.
What’s in the Box
Literally the box contains just the case with the built in keyboard for the iPad Pro. It is rather bulky and has serious heft. I mean, literally this case makes the combined weight with the iPad Pro in place as heavy or heavier than a MacBook Air.
There is the holder for the iPad and the other side contains the keyboard with a locating ridge with the connection pins or nipples for connecting the keyboard to the iPad. It uses Magnets to secure it in position and for the better part it stays connected.
The looks of the keyboard is similar to that of any Mac Keyboard though has modified keys to adapt it for use with the iPad. For example the FN button is replaced with a Keyboard emblem that brings up the on-screen keyboard so that you can use emoji and the Eject button on the top right is replaced with a Lock Emblem which locks the iPad. The ESC key is similarly modified to operate as a Home button, though in practice I’ve found that a bluetooth keyboard also adopts these two buttons in the same manner and modifies them equally so.
The keyboard is backlit and if that takes your fancy which at the time it did mine then this is controlled using the adapted function buttons which are replaced with functionality based features including the ability to change the brightness of the keyboard backlighting as well as all the usual features.
At the time that I purchased my Creative keyboard there was just two color options, Black and Blue and only the Black was available for shipment so that’s what I got.
Installation and set up
This is fairly easy to do, push the iPad Pro into the hollow section just like any other case, don’t worry that it doesn’t look like it fits, it seems to hold it secure and I never had a problem with it just falling out, at first anyway, and it has points to allow the pushing of the power button and the volume buttons.
When closed it looks just like a cheap plastic cased laptop (sorry but it does), the actual keyboard has the styling of a MacBook keyboard. To activate it you flip up the top with the iPad on and locate it on the black line (a shallow ridge) and it locates it in the correct position. The three little metal contacts position against the three connectors on the side of the iPad Pro and this is how it communicates with the iPad and receives power, it doesn’t use bluetooth.
For the better part the keyboard is easy to type on, they keys are pretty comfortable to type on. Where it falls down is that the “Lock” button is too close to the “Delete” button and many times I have meant to tap the delete button only to suddenly be presented with a locking sound and having to unlock the iPad again. If it happened occasionally then I would be fine with this but it is consistently an issue and it’s enough to pull your hair out.
If you are sitting using it like a laptop you are limited to the angle that you can work with the screen at, you are restricted to a single position. It doesn’t allow for other positions and this is frustrating.
In fact if you are using it for an extended time on your lap expect to feel it getting hot. YES, even though the iPad is not on your lap you can feel the keyboard get hot, not just warm but hot enough to be felt through clothing and for it to become uncomfortable.
Another issue that I have found is that keys get stuck on the left side of the keyboard, visually you cannot tell they have jammed under the faux-aluminum framing but you will find that you suddenly have issues with strange things happening. This was not an issue that appeared after weeks or months of use but literally happened from the day it was installed.
Similarly we have noticed that the keyboard build quality is really awful. There are two panels down the side that secure the keyboard in position against the iPad when it is closed and keep the design lines so it looks pretty. These tend to pop out and when this happens the keys start to seriously jam.
Another issue that we have found is that it will randomly just stop working, you will be typing a document and suddenly notice that you are typing but nothing is going on at the screen. You look down and the keyboard is dark and nothing is working. The only fix is to lift the iPad off the connections and sit it back onto them.
I’ve probably typed well over 300,000 words using the keyboard over the year in various documents and there is nothing worse than having your train of thought disrupted by the keyboard suddenly not working after you have typed 50 words on a non-responsive keyboard.
Most other issues that it has suffered from are niggling flaws, The Rubber buffer on the top edge of the case that holds the iPad a fraction of a millimeter away from the keyboard to protect it managed to adhere itself to the keyboard and popped out requiring it to be reseated several times before I finally re-glued it into place. The volume control buttons have white inserts to identify the Plus and Minus buttons for the control, the ‘plus’ insert came out at some time while it was being carried in a bag and I didn’t bother looking for it. It’s purely cosmetic and the buttons aren’t really used when the keyboard is in use anyway since those features can be managed from the keyboard itself.
I also found that the keyboard sucks power even with the backlight on low or off, and even on full not all the keys are lit enough to see the lettering on the keys.
For a keyboard and case combination that costs $150 excluding Tax (and from some vendors shipping too) the problems with the keyboard outweighs the usefulness of the keyboard. I finally gave up using it a couple of days ago purely because of the issues making it stressful to use.
I’ve found that I may as well use the built in touchscreen keyboard for many projects and have less problems or use a separate Bluetooth iMac Keyboard and the Apple cover and get the same results at a desk or if I’m careful on my lap and not suffer the sensation of having my lap cooked and not have any issues with the keyboard suddenly not working or jamming.
If you really need the backlit keyboard and you don’t mind the quirks and lousy design then I’d say this is perfect but there are many other alternatives out there these days and the Apple equivalent is available for a little bit more and at least it has the ability to have the screen at two different viewing angles if you so wished and would most definitely be lighter.
In fact there are many cases that use bluetooth to connect the keyboard and this seems to be, in my experience, a little more reliable even if the styling is not quite as wonderful as the Logitech Creative keyboard for the 12.9″ iPad Pro. Many of these keyboards are also cheaper too.
So I give it, a bleh! rating. If I had to purchase another keyboard for an iPad I would never buy a Logitech Creative whether it is for the 12.9 inch iPad Pro or it’s smaller cousin for the other iPad models, I’d buy the cheaper keyboard and just buy the batteries which last for months anyway and even carrying a pack of batteries and the iPad and the case is a fraction of the weight in comparison.