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Have you ever looked at your iPad and wondered what it would look like with a keyboard setup similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3? Neither have I, but here’s the answer: Logitech’s Blok Keyboard Case. The Blok is part keyboard, part protective case. The keyboard offers Logitech’s typical keyboard responsiveness and layout, while the case offers a box design aimed at protecting your iPad from drops of up to two metres. Almost all of the keyboards I’ve tested for the iPad offer some sort of channel for the tablet to rest in. The Blok, however, offers a stand-alone keyboard that attaches to a stand-alone case via a magnetic hinge. In order to hold the iPad up, Logitech includes a kickstand on the back of the case. It offers viewing angles ranging from 20 to 70 degrees, whether or not the keyboard is attached to the case. The kickstand held its position even after accidental bumps or over extended periods of time. I enjoyed propping up my iPad to watch a movie without having a distracting keyboard sitting in front of it. Logitech decided to forgo including a rechargeable battery altogether – a battery that usually netted a year’s worth of battery life according to the company. Instead, the company is now using two CR2032 batteries. I wasn’t able to fully test the estimated four-year battery life of the Blok Keyboard, and I’ll probably never have to. The keyboard itself uses the typical layout of most iPad keyboards. The top row is made up of shortcut keys to common iOS actions such as activating Siri, media

controls and a lock button. Just below it sits a traditional keyboard layout, with numerical and character keys of ample size. The keys are responsive and somewhat forgiving. Actually, I’d put this keyboard in the same category as Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard – it’s one of the best iPad keyboards available. I was able to power on the keyboard and begin typing just after connecting it to my iPad. Furthermore, I enjoyed not being forced to leave the keyboard attached to its counterpart. I do wish the keyboard offered backlit keys, however. There’s no getting around the fact the case is pretty ugly. It’s akin to a slab of wood a butcher would cut meat on. It’s rather large and heavy, adding nearly 680g in weight, and 2.5cm of thickness to your iPad when the case and keyboard are present. Logitech offers three different colour combinations of the case: black, blue and teal, or red and violet. The latter two provide some much needed appeal to the boring black case. At the end of the day, the Blok’s keyboard design is one that’s a pleasure to use. I’m not sold on the bulkiness of the Blok case, but I do wish Logitech would bring the keyboard’s battery setup to something smaller and lighter. A batterypowered keyboard with enough juice to get me through multiple iPad upgrade cycles? I’m in. Logitech / $149.95 / – BY JASON CIPRIANI

Macworld australia october 2015[glodls]  
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