Disclaimer: The following is solely based on my experience and is not sponsored in anyway.
Apple Smart Keyboard. $159. Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. $179. Apple Magic Keyboard. $299. All of Apple’s iPad keyboards seem to be well over $100 for some reason. No doubt they’re very premium and seamless to use, but the price tag just makes my college wallet want to cry.
After using my iPad Air (3rd gen) for about 6 months (check out my perspective on the iPad Air here.), I began to wonder what the difference a keyboard would make for my overall experience with my iPad usage. With the Apple Pencil, the iPad Air was already very useful and almost an essential in a college student’s life. But, I began to realize the further capabilities with a supplemental keyboard. As with many other iPad owners, I first checked out Apple’s smart keyboards but they seemed way overpriced to me. Thus I began to check out third-party alternative keyboards; I wanted something that was renown for reliability and dependability in the tech world and had stumbled upon the Logitech keyboards while upon my quest of searching for iPad keyboards.
Logitech actually has quite a variety of keyboards ranging from case-integrated keyboards that use the iPad’s smart connector, much like Apple’s smart keyboards, to stand-alone keyboards that connect via Bluetooth. In my case, I already had a folio keyboard for my iPad and thus delved into the stand-alone Bluetooth connected keyboards. This cut down my choices to about four Logitech multi-device compatible Bluetooth keyboards. As suggested by the title, I opted for the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard. Coming in at about $30, the keyboard is actually well-built and works very well with the iPad in my opinion. Typing is alike any other keyboard and the keys are very quiet. The K380 is capable of connecting up to three different devices (yes, even your smartphone.) and switching through devices is a breeze as there are dedicated buttons.
The K380 is very compact and portable, yet I find that it is quite thick at the top. At the price point of about $30, a fraction of Apple’s keyboards, there isn’t much to complain about the keyboard; it works very well with the iPad and has no problems at all connecting or typing. It could also be used with two other devices rather than just one which expands the use and value of the keyboard at just $30. Having the addition of the K380 keyboard has expanded the usability and capability of the iPad from being able to write papers to doing calculations on spreadsheets on the fly. It essentially completes the iPad package as a whole and can replace the basic uses of a typical laptop or desktop computer. Not to mention, the K380 also has typical iOS/Mac keys included, which just adds to the near-seamless use of the K380 keyboard with the iPad.
After owning and using the K380 keyboard the main drawback I have is the thickness and convenience of the keyboard. (Had the Logitech Keys-To-Go, a keyboard meant for use with Apple products, had a lower price, I think it would be a perfect buy for its slim structure.) Sure, the K380 is easy to use and take along with your iPad, but the fact that it is not integrated with your iPad case makes things a bit less convenient in a sense. The odd tapered thickness of the keyboard also makes it a bit unwieldy to store in a stuffed backpack or bag.
Overall, the K380 keyboard is great for its value and general usage; in fact, I’ve written this entire article solely using the K380 keyboard and it has been a breeze to use with no problems or complications at all. The K380 offers a suitable alternative to Apple’s Smart keyboards at a fraction of the price. If you have a tight budget and are looking for a decent and well-worth Bluetooth keyboard, the Logitech K380 is perfect. But if you have more money you’re willing to spend, the Logitech Keys-To-Go may be a better option; and if money isn’t an object to you, then by all means go for Apple’s Smart Keyboard — they’re nice, compact, and made just for the iPad. All-in-all I haven’t had a regret purchasing the K380 keyboard for its price point, multi-device compatibility, and overall usage.
Appreciate y’all reading this far and letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Peace out, Durian