iPad Pro 11-Inch & Logitech Folio Touch
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Thanks to my recent windfall (see related post below), I have spent more money than ever on an iPad and keyboard case. I planned to buy the latest iPad Air, until Sam’s Club reduced the price of the 11-inch Pro. That reduction made the Pro model only $100 more than the Air model with the memory I needed. I splurged.
The iPad Pro 11-inch
It is fast! The new M1 processor looks like a winner to me. Other reviewers have noted the speed difference between it and the latest iPad Air may not be noticeable to most users, so keep that in mind if you’re iPad shopping.
The screen is a good size for me. My old iPad Air 2 has a 9.7 inch screen. The Pro’s extra 1.3 inches makes it much easier to write blog posts from the iPad, which saves me from going to my downstairs office and starting my computer. The larger screen also reduces the amount of scrolling I must do within certain apps and on websites. I’ve noticed a problem with the crossword puzzle in the USA Today app, though. The last row of the grid does not display completely - only the top half of that row is visible. This is probably more of an app issue than an iPad issue.
The iPad weighs 1.03 pounds (the 12.9-inch version weighs 1.5 pounds). That’s not overly heavy to me. When installed in the case, the weight at least doubles, which makes the combination slightly heavy, but I can deal with that.
I don’t know why, but the new iPad would not connect to the old iPad for setup. Instead, I had to do a manual setup, which meant entering my WiFi network password, Apple credentials, etc. and then installing all my apps from my iCloud backup. (It took at least an hour for that to happen over my 400 Mbps Internet connection.) It also meant logging in again to several apps, but this might have been a requirement even if the connection to the old iPad had worked.
Battery life is excellent, especially noting the Folio Touch keyboard is powered by the iPad battery using the iPad Smart Connector technology.
I've not yet tested the cameras.
The audio from the built-in speakers is better than the iPad Air 2, but does not match Air Pod sound quality.
The Folio Touch Keyboard
Generally, im very pleased with the keyboard, except for the lack of Tap/Drag and Long Tap gestures. Ive also noticed a bit of erratic behavior. These short comings are discussed below.
I’m also used to using a mouse with my iPad, so I’m trying to break old habits and expectations, but still comparing trackpad functionality to mouse functionality.
The keyboard is about half the price of Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
The keyboard is fabric bound rather than rubber. I think this means it will wear better and show fewer smudges and dirty fingerprints.
It has a top row of function keys - Home, two keys for adjusting screen brightness, an onscreen keyboard key, search key, two keys for adjusting keyboard lighting brightness, media playback control keys, a mute key and two audio volume controls, and a lock key. Apple’s Magic keyboard does not have this function key row.
The letter and number key surfaces are slightly concave (rounded inward) which helps center fingers on the keys. I like the feel and travel, but there is some clicking/clacking when typing rapidly.
The Caps lock key has no indicator to let you know it is enabled. So far, this isn’t a big issue for me, because the keyboard is large enough thatI don’t accidentally hit Caps Lock when typing an “A.”
The trackpad is fairly large and is hinged somewhere near the middle. This allows you to press for a click anywhere along the edge of the trackpad closest to the body, up to about half the height of the trackpad. The hinge is not visible.
An Apple Pencil will attach magnetically to the top edge of the iPad. This is the only part of the iPad that is not protected by a rubber casing. There's also a slot for the Logitech Crayon underneath a flap on the top that magnetically closes. The flap will flip to the backside of the iPad when the iPad is in use.
The case is not exactly “lap friendly,” though it’s in my lap as I write this article. If I cross my legs in the manly way, I can prop the iPad on the calf of the crossed leg. If both feet are on the floor, then I engage the kickstand and can be somewhat comfortable.
As with most external keyboards, you may need to adjust some settings in Settings>General>Trackpad and Mouse.
Turn Natural Scrolling on or off to suit your needs. This determines if scroll direction tracks or does not track your finger movements. Also affects mouse scrolling direction.
Activate Tap to Click so you don’t have to manually depress the trackpad’s front edge to click
Activate Secondary Click (a two-finger tap) and set to your desired operation. I chose Right Click .
The trackpad supports most common gestures
Two-finger vertical and horizontal scrolling
Two-finger horizontal scrolling to go forward and back on websites.
Three-finger horizontal scrolling to switch between apps.
Three finger swipe upwards to open the screen that shows all running apps. This is great for force closing an app.
One-finger swipe downward to expose the Dock. Further one-finger swipe opens the main Home screen. This is a problem area because the gesture sometimes does not work. I’ve been unable to connect the problem to a specific set of conditions. Logitech could not identify the problem source, so I’m going to keep investigating.
One-finger Tap and Drag and one-finger Long Tap gestures are not supported. I’ve confirmed this with Logitech. I must manually depress and hold the front edge of the trackpad and then swipe with another finger to drag an icon or select text. I must manually depress and hold the front edge of the trackpad to engage a long Tap. The lack of one-finger Tap and Drag complicates playing Words with Friends. but, my mouse is close by, so I grab it when playing that game. However, if you're a gamer, this is something to consider.
The Logitech app seems somewhat useless. The only functionality I’ve found is it checks for and installs firmware updates. There is no way to customize the keyboard itself, other than those features supported on the iPad. There are several complaints about the app in the App store. The app gets a measly 2.1 stars.
The trackpad is a bit over sensitive, or I need to be more aware of my fingers. I often perform a click when I intend to perform a two-finger scroll operation. It seems I let one finger hit the trackpad slightly before the second finger touches. I always thought I am fairly dexterous for my age, but maybe not.
Despite the lack of Tap/Drag and Long Tap not working as I had hoped, I really like the case/keyboard. I’ll probably keep it.