Logitech is making headline news again with their new FabricSkin Folio. This attractive keyboard case for the iPad is both functional, and fashionable. You can protect every corner of your tablet while making a statement that tells the world you are ready to be seen.
We spent a couple of weeks with the FabricSkin and, after working the case as hard as possible, we have a hands-on review to help you decide whether you should buy the FabricSkin or the Logitech Keyboard Folio for iPad.
Company Name: Logitech
Product Name: FabricSkin Folio
Compatibility: iPad 2, third and fourth-generation iPad
Logitech recently launched a new line of keyboard folios for the iPad that are rich in color and offer full-featured keyboards to help you make the most out of your Apple tablet. The FabricSkin Folio was specially designed to appeal to a wide variety of iPad users. Instead of one design with one fabric that all colors must adhere to, this line was made with different fabrics for different colors to create a case that fits you more directly.
The FabricSkin Folio lets you show the world what you are all about with your iPad. Whether you use the eye-catching Mars Orange with strong, durable textured fabric or the classic synthetic Matte Leather Black, your iPad can express you more fully with Logitech’s new FabricSkin line.
What’s in the Box
Just like the Logitech Keyboard Folio for iPad, the FabricSkin Folio comes in a sturdy folio box. Flip over the magnetic top to reveal the case inside. The Folio comes fully charged and ready for use.
Inside the box, you’ll find a USB-to-micro USB charger so you can plug your Folio into you computer when the keyboard runs out of battery life, which won’t be for quite some time, so don’t forget about it.
There is also a setup guide, which you probably won’t need because the setup is so simple.
Open the FabricSkin Folio and snap your iPad into place in the plastic casing. Unlike other folio cases from Logitech, these have external button covers, so be sure you’ve got it positioned properly. I suggest angling the iPad, volume button-side first, so that you don’t have to try to manipulate the frame over the buttons after the other side is already in place.
Once the iPad is in its frame, pair it with the keyboard by turning on Bluetooth in the iPad’s Settings app. The keyboard will already be in discovery mode so your iPad will find it once it ready.
I received the synthetic matte leather black case for review. This design is perfect for the businessperson or working professional. The fabric literally feels like a manta ray. Yes, I’ve touched one and I’m not exaggerating. If you poured water all over the case the resemblance would be uncanny. Of course, I don’t recommend pouring water on your brand new FabricSkin Folio. But, if you did, it probably wouldn’t affect the case because the whole thing is water resistant. Both the interior and exterior, including the keyboard, feature a liquid-repellant coating.
When I first took the case out of the box I noticed that it is significantly lighter and thinner than the Keyboard Folio for iPad. It is only slightly heavier than the Solar Keyboard Folio, which I’ve been using for almost a year. In comparing to the Solar Folio Keyboard, it is about the same thickness. Whereas, it is quite a bit thinner than the Keyboard Folio for iPad.
The frame that houses the iPad has covered buttons instead of open ports. This is an interesting change from Logitech’s other keyboards, which usually leave the buttons exposed. The frame itself is made from a very hard rubber. While the material is pliable, it is a little to stiff. I take my iPad out of my case every night so I can connect it to my nightstand speaker/charger (also from Logitech) and I found myself reluctant to put the iPad into the case each morning because I didn’t like how difficult it was to remove it.
The material on the inside is very similar to the outside. However, it is not exactly the same. The keys, for example, do not feel like a manta ray. The interior material is very nice, but a little rougher than the exterior.
The iPad is displayed at a convenient typing angle from the keyboard. It connects to the case using magnets. Just like the Keyboard Folio for iPad, this mechanism is great for keeping the iPad upright. I held my tablet on my lap while I typed, swiped, and poked at the device. It held itself firmly in place and didn’t tip over at all. Plus, you can grasp the iPad from the top of the frame and carry your open case from one place to another without the keyboard falling away from its magnetic connection.
This keyboard is ultra thin. It is similar to the design of the Keyboard Folio for iPad. The keys are approximately one-half inch squared and have a nice spread between them so you have more room to fit your chubby fingers. It also features the same compromises on certain action keys in order to fit the screen properly. The “Caps Lock” and “Tab” keys can only be accessed if you hold down the “Function” key first.
In order to decrease the size and weight of the case, Logitech made this keyboard flat. Instead of the Chiclets style keys, they are more flush with the case. The keys themselves are only about a centimeter raised from the surface.
Even though they are so flat, the keys are very responsive to touch. You don’t have to press hard to activate them. So, even though it feels a lot different than a typical keyboard, it reacts just the same as one.
That’s not to say it doesn’t take a bit of getting used to. For those used to touch-typing, these keys feel very unfamiliar. I found myself making a lot of mistakes until was more familiar with the design. It is obvious that the Keyboard Folio for iPad focused more on touch-type capabilities, while the FabricSkin Folio focuses more on looks and portability.
This folio is significantly lighter and thinner than the Keyboard Folio for iPad. The design is smooth and classic, while still offering a fresh new look. I love the way the iPad connects to the keyboard magnetically so that it stands upright without tipping or flopping over when jostled around.
The covered buttons add an unexpectedly fun element to the overall look while offering better protection for the sensitive areas of the iPad.
What’s Not Hot
The sturdy hard rubber frame the hold the iPad is actually a bit too sturdy. I used this case every day for two weeks, taking it out and putting it back into the frame every time, and the rubber never softened up. I suppose that is a good thing, but for users who like to remove their iPads from the case a lot, this can be a cumbersome situation.
If you read our review of the Logitech Keyboard Folio for iPad and decided not to buy because of the added weight and size, this is the model for you. It looks great, although not as stunning as the Keyboard Folio, and is very lightweight. It only adds about a quarter of an inch to the thickness, so you can have a great looking case that will turn heads. If you are more concerned with a fully-functioning and comfortable keyboard and don’t mind the added weight and size, the Keyboard Folio for iPad is the better match for you.