Dan Moren Reviews the Logitech Combo Touch iPad Keyboard Cover/Case

Dan Moren, writing at Six Colors:

The biggest argument in favor of the Combo Touch is that it was developed in concert with Apple. That means that, unlike other third-party keyboards with trackpads, there’s a reasonable expectation that the pointer support will work pretty well — and it does! Logitech also has a history of making solid keyboards, and the Combo Touch delivers on that as well.

Where it’s less good is when you want to do other stuff with it.

iPads other than the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro just weren’t designed hand-in-hand with a modular system of peripherals in mind. The dealbreaker for me with the Combo Touch is that you can’t just connect/disconnect the iPad — you have to put the iPad in a case. I don’t know how much of this is a design concession, and how much is a feature for education buyers, who for obvious reasons prefer their iPads in protective cases.

If there’s one addition I’d like to see on this and other iPad keyboards, it’s the return of something deeply ingrained into my muscle memory: the Function key. On Mac keyboards, it’s in the bottom left corner of the keyboard, and not only allows you to access secondary functions of those F-keys, but also other useful features. For example, holding Function and using the up- and down-arrow keys allows you to page up and page down; I haven’t discovered any other keyboard shortcuts for that, though command-up-arrow and command-down-arrow do, as they long have on the Mac, double for Home and End.

It seems slightly odd to me that you can’t remap a modifier to Function in Settings → Keyboard → Hardware Keyboard. I suppose Apple’s thinking might be that Function is primarily for modifying F-keys, and Apple’s own Smart and Magic keyboards for iPad don’t have F-keys — but most third-party keyboards do, as does Apple’s own Bluetooth Magic Keyboard (which pairs nicely with an iPad with Studio Neat’s Canopy).

Option-↑ and Option-↓ do map to Page Up and Page Down, but only when you are in a read-only scrolling view. When you are editing text, Option-↑ and Option-↓ move the insertion point to the beginning/end of the current paragraph. Likewise, Command-↑ and Command-↓ only map to Home and End in read-only views; when editing text, they move the insertion point to the beginning/end of the document. That has the side effect of scrolling to the beginning/end of the document, too, but the actual Home/End keys (and Fn-↑/Fn-↓ shortcuts) only scroll the view — they don’t move the insertion point. That’s handy when you want to look at something at the beginning/end of the document but then just start typing again right where you left off.

Monday, 27 April 2020