What you need to know
- Logitech announced a keyboard case for the new iPad Pro called the Combo Touch.
- The Combo Touch adds a kickstand and detachable keyboard to the 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions of the iPad Pro.
- You can preorder the Combo Touch now starting at $200.
Apple just announced a new iPad Pro with the M1 processor inside. The new iPad Pro has an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU, which bring massive jumps in performance and speed. Across the board, the new iPad Pro has impressive specs, including a mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display, faster storage up to 2TB, USB-C Thunderbolt 4 support, and support for 5G. While those specs are nice, they don't mean much if you don't like the form factor of the device.
In comes Logitech, which just announced the Combo Touch for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions of the iPad Pro. The Combo Touch is a keyboard case with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. If that sounds familiar, you've probably seen a Surface Pro before. The Combo Touch takes a different approach than Apple's Magic Keyboard and converts the iPad Pro into a device that's much more like Microsoft's Surface Pro lineup. Logitech also has older Combo Touch keyboards for the 10.2-inch and 10.5-inch iPads.
The Combo Touch could be the best alternative to Apple's Magic Keyboard. It lets you use the iPad Pro in type, sketch, view, and read modes. It has Logitech's largest trackpad ever on a keyboard case as well. It's also a click-anywhere trackpad, which should deliver a better experience than previous Logitech keyboard cases.
The keyboard of the Combo Touch has 16 levels of brightness for its backlit keys and features a full row of shortcut keys. The keyboard attaches through the iPad's Smart Connector, so you don't have to deal with Bluetooth connectivity. You also never need to charge the keyboard since it draws power from the iPad Pro.
While any case adds some thickness to a device, Logitech made the Combo Touch case fairly thin. The case has an open section on top for attaching an Apple Pencil.
You can preorder the Combo Touch for the iPad Pro 11-inch from Logitech's website for $200. The Combo Touch is listed as coming soon for the iPad Pro 12.9 and will cost $230.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
As someone eyeing a new tablet, an iPad Pro with this seems very tempting compared to a Surface Pro X. Luckily I prefer Windows' flexibility, but Microsoft should be concerned with how quickly Apple is pivoting iPadOS to function as a full 2-in-1. They already brought iOS apps to Mac, and theoretically there's nothing stopping them from bringing Mac apps to iOS. If Apple executes the tablet-desktop unification before Microsoft I'm going to be disappointed.
It's not that simple. The ergonomics of the device and of the software it runs matter a lot. There is a big gap between a tablet-first device and a desktop-first device. It's cliché at this point, but it is certainly the case that one is for productivity and one is for consumption. Moving in one direction makes you give up something of the other.
Another point is that you already can run desktop apps on a desktop OS on an iPad. Citrix and Teams Viewer has been doing this for years, and recent iPad hardware is fast enough for a smooth experience. Are people flocking to their iPads to get work done that way? Not that I can tell, not even during the pandemic. In the pandemic, people's iPad Pros have become expensive Teams devices. If you want to get work done, you need a MacBook or another laptop.
No doubt, though those options are expensive and enterprise focused. I'm talking about the average consumer. If you want a 2-in-1 and you'll be primarily consuming rather than creating, the iPad Pro offers a much better value proposition than the Surface or other Windows device. Especially in the US where iOS has almost 50% of the mobile marketshare and upwards of 80% in the high end market. I don't think many professionals that want a work focused device are going to be picking up an iPad over a Surface. Windows may not be pretty or cohesive (at least until Sun Valley) but it destroys iPadOS in functionality. The problem is that most people don't need or want that functionality on a routine basis.
In typical Apple fashion, it's also more expensive. At least it compensates for the design flaw of the camera that makes the entire device wobble when "flat" on a surface.
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