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One of the things that has fascinated me about the gadget revolution is how over time, functions have increasingly begun overlapping. I currently have three devices I regularly use on which I can read my Kindle books—and I can seamlessly move between them. I can spend an hour reading on the couch on my Kindle Touch, move to the iPad while I’m out working at the library and pick up the book where I left off, then come home and tuck into bed with the iPod Touch, which can be read even in total darkness if my partner falls asleep before I do.

In the old days, I had a laptop and nothing else, so deciding what to pack in my bag for the day was an easy choice. But now? Now, I have all sorts of options and the device I pack for the day depends on what I plan to do while I’m out. If all I want to do is read, I’m happy to take something light, like the Kindle. But what if I want to read and also get a bit of work done too? In the past, that would mean ‘laptop plus something.’ But my new Logitech Keyboard Case has rocked my world. It turns my iPad into a mini-laptop and makes it a viable option for situations where I want to read, but work too.

I first become aware of this delightful product when visiting my aunt. A lawyer who travels often, she had this setup on her own iPad. I took advantage of a recent shopping mall gift card to get one for myself, and I couldn’t be happier. This is one slick and well-designed little product. The keyboard itself is light and responsive. It connects to the iPad via Bluetooth, and has a groove at the top where you can prop the iPad in either portrait or landscape mode. When in use, it really does look like a laptop!

And the coolest part is, when you’re done writing, you can turn the iPad around and gently snap it on top of the keyboard, turning it into a sleek little hardshell case that protects the iPad for traveling. How handy! I’ve been using it for two days and couldn’t be happier.

I still have the old-school hard drive-based Macbook, and it’s a fine and sturdy machine for keeping my iTunes and Calibre libraries organized, and for doing Powerpoint presentations or e-pub editing. But it had some limitations for traveling—namely its weight and bulk.

The iPad—even with the snap-on keyboard attached—is a fraction of the weight, and the battery lasts many times longer. I left the house this morning with the iPad at about a 70 percent charge, worked steadily on it at the library for about two hours, and just dropped below 50 percent now, after coming home and spending an hour surfing the web before picking it up again. And the keyboard itself shows no signs of slowing down, either. I got two days out of it right out of the box, never got a battery warning, and finally plugged it in last night just to be on the safe side. My aunt tells me she has never seen a battery warning on her device, but charges it once a week as a matter of routine.

I love that the clever design of this keyboard allows me to carry everything I need in one package: I don’t have to pack a keyboard separately, or get a sleeve with a compartment, or anything. The keyboard is the sleeve. And compared to similar products I’ve seen, like the leather portfolios with the keyboard on the inside, this is both more flexible (since the iPad can be in portrait mode, too) and much, much lighter. It really is the product I was looking for to extend the functionality of my iPad that much further. I love that I can touch type again at my usual speed, and not have to fiddle with the slow and error-prone onscreen keypad.

The keyboard may not make my iPad more useful as a reading device per se. But it does make it more likely that I’ll choose the iPad over something else when I want to read, but also have the option to do other things. I’m very happy with this purchase, and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who’s looking to make their iPad a true road warrior.

 
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