What is it? This is a lightweight miniature keyboard that also serves as a protective case for the iPad Mini's screen.
How does it work? The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini attaches to the bottom of the iPad Mini using a magnetic hinge that clicks the keyboard into place. Above the keyboard is a slim folding ridge that holds the iPad up for when users want to start typing.
How hard is it to use? It’s very easy to use and works much like Apple’s Smart Cover. While it’s advertised as a case, it really functions more as a screen cover, leaving the iPad Mini’s aluminum back and sides open to scratches. Powering up automatically begins the mini keyboard’s syncing process, whereby it goes into pairing mode like any other Bluetooth device. After connected, closing and opening the cover will cause it to either sleep or become active. Since the case isn’t magnetized, the cover could accidentally open if the iPad isn't securely stored while traveling. For those who leave their iPads in sleep mode while going from one place to another, this could be an issue. The last thing any user wants is a dead battery due to a slightly open case.
How well does it work? It works better than any other keyboard for the iPad Mini that’s currently on the market. The keyboard’s keys are hard plastic and have a good bounce beneath them. Those used to using a bigger keyboard will have to adjust to the cramped feeling that comes along with the Ultrathin Keyboard Mini, but that’s to be expected. The right edge features the power button, Bluetooth button and micro USB port for charging. According to Logitech, the keyboard offers a three-month battery life when used an average of two hours a day.
How do I use it in the classroom? Any teacher using iPad Minis in class could benefit from the Ultrathin Keyboard Mini. The smaller size would actually be very comfortable for younger students during typing exercises and other in-class activities that require a keyboard.
Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.
Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.