Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told us to ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’ He also said we were entering the post-PC era with the iPad generation. He was wrong. The post-PC era is the mobile device generation.
Whatever one wants to say about ugly cell phones of the past, today’s smartphone customers want one of two things. Cheap. And beautiful. Where beautiful also means design and intelligence. iPhones are beautiful. iPads are beautiful. This one is the ugliest and it’s also the best.
Eye Of The Beholder
Many of Apple’s certified watcher crowd, yours truly included, long for the casual use of the iPad, but with the power of a Mac. Never the twain shall meet, says Apple’s famous designers and engineers. Instead, the Mac has become thinner and lighter– down to two pounds. And the iPad has become as powerful as the most popular Macs.
What I want is a one pound diminutive iPad that can replace my MacBook Pro travel companion. Here it is. The ugly iPad Pro. Ugly?
Wait. What? Ugly?
Isn’t that image just an iPad Pro with an attachable keyboard? Yeah, kinda sorta mostly. Not quite. But still ugly.
Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the 10.5-inch one pound iPad Pro is hefty hefty hefty; in weight and price. First, it’s a nearly full-sized keyboard, but that extra keyboard space beyond the older 9.7-inch Bluetooth external keyboards matters. It’s also overpriced at $159, so I started looking around for an alternative for my soon-to-be-in-my-hands iPad Pro.
What I found is the Logitech Slim Combo smart keyboard. It has more features, costs less, does more, uses the iPad Pro’s built-in smart connectors, and is as ugly as sin.
I’m not wrong, you know. It’s ugly. Like a Volkswagen Beetle. Or, the goose neck iMac.
The Slim Combo is an attachable keyboard and a cover for the iPad Pro itself; both 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, respectively. Pop the iPad Pro into the cover. Then attach the covered iPad Pro to the keyboard.
Ipso facto and alakazam. A miniature Mac in iPad Pro clothing. Less money, more apps, more mobility (because we all love the Mac’s power, but it’s not really a laptop the same way an iPad Pro can be a laptop, notebook, and tablet; amirite?).
Did I mention that an iPad Pro with the Logitech Slim Combo keyboard does more? It does.
First, unlike the Smart Keyboard from Apple, Slim Combo is two pieces– the iPad Pro tablet portion can detach from the keyboard with ease. It also stands the iPad up vertically for easier viewing and browsing.
And, there’s a Pencil holder. Yeah, I know. It’s not beautiful, goes beyond utilitarian, gets into ugly territory very fast, but OMG, just look at how easy it is to use the way you have always wanted an iPad to be.
Can you say kickstand?
Like the Lunar Lander of the last century, that little beast that could, and did, get astronauts to the moon and back, Slim Combo is so ugly it’s beautiful.
Yeah, I know. Beauty rests in the eye of the beholder, so that’s where I’ll put my view of Slim Combo to rest. It’s $30 less than Apple’s Smart Keyboard, still full-sized, does more, too. More? I almost forgot.
Slim Combo has a backlit keyboard. And because it’s a smart keyboard and uses the iPad Pro’s built-in smart connector, it doesn’t need a battery. Oh, and add the keyboard to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and you get a whole package that weighs about the same as the entry-level MacBook, but in a smaller package with a better screen, better graphics, long battery life, and more apps to choose from than a Mac.
Of course, you can’t do everything a Mac can do on an iPad Pro, even with iOS 11’s coming drag and drop and files access app, but not everyone needs a device that runs macOS, Windows, Linux (all at the same time, if you want), or runs Adobe’s Creative Cloud with Photoshop and Lightroom and whatever else you’ll pay for monthly for the rest of your life.
Without question, at least in the eye of this beholder, Logitech’s Slim Combo makes the beautifully designed iPad Pro look closer to ugly than a Motorola brick phone of yesteryear, but functionality is what it’s all about and this gets us closer to the best iPad ever. With iOS 11. You can see and buy the 10.5-inch iPad Pro now, but the Slim Combo smart keyboard isn’t available. Yet.