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LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad Review

I’ve been wanting to get a keyboard cover for my iPad to encourage using it more as a productivity tool (plus curb the geek temptation to get an MS Surface), and after much research I narrowed it down to either the LUVVITT or the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.  I tried out the Logitech first, but I didn’t like the fact that it had no back light, plus with the Union Devicewear shell I was using to protect the back of the iPad, it wouldn’t hold up when I placed it at a portrait angle either.  So I opted to wait for LUVVITT to restock their black ultrathin keyboard covers and give that a try instead.  I was banking on this particular keyboard having a kickstand that would make it possible for me to fit the iPad at both landscape and portrait angles, even with a shell on.  Plus, back lights!

Finally got the keyboard the other day and tried to fit the iPad on it, first at landscape angle.  Did it work?

LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad (Fitted in landscape and using a shell)Sigh.  Even with the kickstand up it keeled right over.  The protective shell was preventing the iPad from connecting solidly with the keyboard via magnets, so it looked like I was out of luck.

But wait a second, what if… I used my smart cover and placed that on top of the keyboard instead?

LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad with an iPad shell (and held up using a smart cover)Perfect!  I was able to utilize my smart cover to hold it up at nearly the exact the same angle.  The beauty of the smart cover is that I could place the iPad on top or behind the keyboard, or nearly anywhere I wanted for maximum comfort.

LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad (shown with smart cover)

From the back you can see how the smart cover holds up the iPad. I’m so shmartsie.

The big thing for me though was whether the iPad could hold up at a portrait angle.  Writing emails, blogging, etc. feels more natural in portrait than landscape, so it was my hope that the LUVVITT would be able to hold it up that way as well.  To my pleasant surprise I found it could, in fact the edges of the protective shell seems to “lock” into the groove to prevent the iPad from tipping over.  It feels like it’s not going to hold up, especially when I start jabbing at the display, but it does.

LUVVITT Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad (Portrait Angle)

So beautiful, *sniff*

Another view from the back:

LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad (Portrait as seen from the back)

You can see the kickstand appears to be doing a better job of holding it up this time.

The only thing I don’t like is that the bottom of the keyboard cover is prone to scratches and scuff marks.  In fact while experimenting with different angles I already managed to scuff it at one of the corners.  Ugh.  Fortunately there are two solutions that can address this:  One is to use the bumps provided with the keyboard to give it a better grip and raise the keyboard just enough so it’s not constantly rubbing against the surface, while the second is to utilize the smart cover (assuming you’re standing the iPad at portrait angle) and wrap that under the keyboard, like this:

LUVVITT Keyboard Cover for iPad (using smart cover to protect bottom)The smart cover tends to give it a better grip than the bumps too, and once you’re done, you can fold the smart cover back onto the iPad, then fold the keyboard on top of the smart cover.  It adds some bulk to the overall package, but still MUCH easier to carry around and break out using than my 15 inch MacBook.  I can see myself using the iPad much more often now during my travels, while relegating my MacBook to more of a workstation use when I’m back at the hotel (or settling in at a cafe somewhere).

Overall I’m very pleased with my purchase.  The keys feel solid (if not slightly more solid than the Logitech version) and the back lights actually does make it easier to type in darker settings (such as a tavern).  I thought I could live without the back lights because the iPad display itself does do a good job of lighting most of the keys, but I found I endured less typing mistakes and eye strain with back-lit keys, so it was worth it for me to splurge extra for that feature.

If you’re interested in this keyboard but have questions that wasn’t already answered in my review, let me know in the comments.

Geeking out on keyboard covers for the iPad

I’m doing this merry go round thing where I’m trying to decide between 3 different keyboard covers for my iPad to sort of give it some Surface creds, making it easier to use as a blogging tool when I’m sipping my java chip frap at Starbucks like the manly studmeister that I am.

The thing that’s making this a harder decision than it should be is that I cover my iPad with a shell (made by Devicewear), while these keyboard covers generally require a naked iPad to fit properly.

I didn’t think I’d be able to find a solution to get around that, until I came across this clever video regarding the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard which shows you how you can still combine the keyboard, smart cover AND shell for a workable solution:

Nice.  The only downside is this is the only popular keyboard cover that doesn’t have a backlight, which I kinda want, mostly because… well I’m snobby and want my backlight.  So  I’m also looking at the ZAGG ZAGGKeys Proplus (they couldn’t come up with a better name?) and the LUVVITT BACKLIT Ultrathin Keyboard.  I haven’t been able to find much evidence on whether they are still useable if you use a protective shell for the back of your iPad, so if anyone ever tried this combo, let me know how it worked out for you.

The LUVVITT does have a stand though, which theoretically might resolve the issue even if the iPad doesn’t neatly fit in the groove, but I haven’t been able to find one at Best Buy to try out yet, so for now it looks like it’ll be the Logitech for me.

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