Logitech iPad Pro Combo Touch impressions: more for less

This Magic Keyboard alternative offers more flexibility in most use cases, here’s why it’s worth getting


Logitech’s Combo Touch for the new iPad Pro is the company’s more refined such accessory yet, offering an alternative that’s actually superior to Apple’s Magic Keyboard in some respects. (Image: Logitech)


It’s no secret that Apple’s latest M4-based iPad Pro is an exceedingly powerful tablet, one that the company would like to be considered a true personal computer despite the limitations imposed by iPadOS. Being impressively thin and light does help this particular model become something very close to a laptop when combined with Apple’s Magic Keyboard accessory, but this costs a rather steep $299-$349, pushing the cost of owning a new iPad Pro along with that keyboard to more than what the latest (and largest!) MacBook Air is currently going for.

Fortunately, M4 iPad Pro owners have another option at their disposal coming from Logitech: it’s called the Combo Touch and it’s even better than the Magic Keyboard in some respects while costing a bit less.

Yours truly has been using a Logitech iPad Pro Combo Touch with his new 13-inch model and – having already used Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, as well as Logitech’s previous such case for the M1 iPad Pro 12.9 – he’s found a number of things worth mentioning, given that its price is a more affordable but still considerable $259. There are a few important differences between the new Combo Touch and the Magic Keyboard that make the former a better choice for certain users, as well as a few notable upgrades compared to the previous Logitech keyboard/case combo the company has been offering.

High-quality materials, thoughtful changes and a sizable trackpad

First things first: if the Magic Keyboard strives to turn the new iPad Pro into a laptop device, the Combo Touch strives to turn it into a desktop one. Consumers cannot slip the iPad Pro into a Combo Touch’s case and just put it on their lap while sitting on a chair or upright in bed. Logitech’s accessory is designed to work on a flat surface, its kickstand behind its case supporting the iPad Pro at an angle. That is a conscious choice which, to be honest, yours truly actually prefers – it’s just that consumers need to know that the Combo Touch will be primarily used on a desk or table. It’s possible to use it on a lap, yes, but it does not feel natural to do so as the kickstand does not work as intended and ergonomics are affected as a result.

The Combo Touch used with an M4 iPad Pro 13 (left) next to Logitech’s previous model used with an M1 iPad Pro 12.9 (right). Smudges aside – nothing that can’t be easily wiped down – the new model is a notable improvement over its predecessor. (Image: The Point Online)


That was true for Logitech’s previous model too, compared to which the Combo Touch is notably lighter and less bulky without sacrificing anything in terms of functionality or device protection. In fact, it is thinner yet sturdier than its predecessor while offering… well, more of everything: there are more kickstand angles available (ranging from 100 to 600 degrees), the keys seem to offer a bit more travel, while several changes in the keyboard layout have brought it more in line with what people expect when typing on a laptop. In this particular case (huh), that’s a good thing.

The Combo Touch’s black or grey monochromatic design and finish is also more streamlined and “pro looking” than the lifestyle, high-quality but somewhat weirdly textured “cloth” finish of the previous one. Best of all: the touchpad is significantly larger, making it easy to use even three-finger gestures on iPadOS while multitasking. That sleek, highly responsive touchpad is, in fact, way larger than the one offered by Apple’s own Magic Keyboard – a big plus when it comes to productivity use. Coupled with the excellent feel of the Combo Touch’s keyboard, this touchpad can make a difference between getting things done quickly on the iPad Pro and just getting needlessly annoyed when wrestling with the limitations of iPadOS for simple stuff such as e.g. file management.

A different, more flexible, more affordable approach

There are two obvious advantages the Combo Touch has over any other keyboard accessory for the new iPad Pro currently available: it actually protects Apple’s expensive, top-of-the-line tablet as a proper case (it’s extremely well built for that without adding too much bulk to the device itself) and, at the same time, it offers more flexibility in different usage scenarios (by keeping the tablet itself easily detachable while retaining the kickstand at all times). The Magic Keyboard or ESR’s Rebound Magnetic Keyboard work differently, dictating how the iPad Pro is ultimately used: the former does not protect the tablet at all (so outdoors use is kind of risky) while the latter does but without offering a kickstand (so it proves to be impractical in a number of use cases).

The Combo Touch case protects the iPad Pro while it’s being used without the included keyboard and its kickstand is available at all times, helping with other usage scenarios. No other such product offers so many options right now. (Image: Logitech)


There’s a specific advantage the Magic Keyboard does have over the Combo Touch and ESR’s solution alike: the additional USB-C port at its base allows for charging the iPad Pro and the keyboard while leaving the USB-C port on the tablet itself available for connecting external storage or other peripherals. It’s a nice option to have, but not all consumers interested in using the latest iPad Pro with an external keyboard will actually need that second port, so its value pretty much depends on everyone’s individual requirements. People who are most likely to be making regular use of both USB-C ports at the same time already know as much, though, so…

After having spent enough time using the Combo Touch on the M4 iPad Pro 13 one can’t easily justify the 90- or 70-dollar price difference between Logitech’s product and Apple’s Magic Keyboard (for the 13-inch and 11-inch model respectively). They are both very well-designed and well-built, they both successfully transform the iPad Pro into a kind of laptop replacement, they feel pretty much the same in most use cases. One is better than the other in different usage scenarios – that’s probably why Apple itself is actually selling the Combo Touch on its official website – and it all comes down to each consumer taking that fact into account, deciding which use cases matter to him/her the most and choosing accordingly.

Having said that, the $70-$90 price difference between the Combo Touch and the Magic Keyboard could always be put towards an Apple Pencil Pro ($129), which is an amazing product and a worthy addition to the new iPad Pro.

Apple loyalists might still go for the Magic Keyboard, but the rest of us have the option to spend less and actually get more with the Combo Touch. It’s no coincidence that Apple itself is selling Logitech’s accessory on its official website. (Image: Apple)


Yours truly has thoroughly enjoyed using the Combo Touch and plans to keep his iPad Pro 13 in this case regardless of how often he happens to take advantage of the excellent keyboard and trackpad. Did Logitech’s product change his mind regarding the iPadOS not being an operating system fit for actual, day-to-day productive work? No. Is this Logitech’s fault? Also no: the company really did deliver an overall better product at a lower price than the competition after all. Apple loyalists may still go for the Magic Keyboard, sure, but the rest of us have no reason (excluding that second USB-C port) to pick that over a Combo Touch. Now, could we please get a true Apple Pencil Pro alternative too, Logitech? That would really seal the deal!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

LATEST STORIES

OTHERS ARE READING

THE POINT NEWSLETTER

Let us keep you up to date with the latest in tech and entertainment