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Review Logitech Combo Touch and Crayon for Apple iPad (10th generation)


Apple iPad 10th generation is a bit of a mystery, a mix of newer design and technology with older features and limitations. Nowhere is this more evident than with the accessories situation, where the 10th-generation iPad uses Apple’s older Pencil instead of the style used with the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro, as well as the limited Magic Folio Keyboard. sophisticated and expensive.

Fortunately, where there were disappointments, there were opportunities, and Logitech jumped in to embrace them. The company has released a Crayon and Combo Touch Keyboard Case for the 10th generation iPad manages to do a better job than Apple devices while costing significantly less to boot.

Logitech Crayon vs Apple Pencil (first generation)

Logitech Crayon next to the 1st generation Apple Pencil on a wooden table, top view.

The Logitech Crayon has a flat design that’s easier to hold and doesn’t roll off the table as easily as the round and smooth Apple Pencil.

Get started with a stylus, Logitech’s $69.99 Colored Pencils costs $30 less than the Apple Pencil and avoids the awkward charging and pairing situation that Apple has cornered itself on. Although the first-generation Apple Pencil has a lightning connector, it requires the use of a silly $9 adapter For pairing and charging with the 10th Gen iPad, Crayon has a built-in USB-C port, making it easy to connect to the tablet using the included cable. You can also charge it with any standard USB-C cable. Additionally, there’s a power switch and battery meter right on the stylus, neither of which are found on the Pencil.

Crayon’s flat, carpentry pencil-like design keeps it from rolling off the table, which the round Apple Pencil is easy to do, and its matte aluminum finish is much less slippery than the glossy white plastic on the Pencil. The unorthodox shape takes some getting used to, but between the matte finish and the wider barrel, it feels more comfortable to hold than the Pencil once I get used to it.

Writing in Crayon is as smooth and lag-free as the Pencil, although it lacks the pressure sensitivity found on Apple’s stylus. (It does support tilt for different line widths, though.) Pressure sensitivity really matters only to serious artists—I had no trouble using Crayon for notes. I do my handwriting in Apple Notes, though I usually use a second pen—Gen Pencil with the iPad Pro—and if you’re a multi-stylus user who wants to create digital artwork, the 10th Gen iPad has may not be the iPad for you. (Get one that supports the second-generation Apple Pencil – you’ll be much happier.) For those just experimenting with the waters of digital art, the Crayon is more than capable.

Close-up shot of the power switch and battery meter of Logitech Crayon.

The Crayon has a power switch and battery meter, so you can easily turn it off when not in use and see how much charge it has left.

Close-up shot of Logitech Crayon's USB-C port and first-generation Apple Pencil's lightning connector.

Unlike the first-generation Apple Pencil which required an adapter to pair and charge from the 10th-generation iPad, the Crayon has a USB-C port built right in.

There are a few things I want Logitech to go further. Neither the first-generation Apple Pencil nor the Crayon offer an easy way to switch between writing and erasing, like the second-generation Apple Pencil’s double-tap gesture. There’s also no way to store the Crayon with the iPad without additional accessories, a problem the first-generation Pencil also had. But Logitech solved this problem with the Combo Touch keyboard case, while Apple completely ignored it. The Crayon’s writing tip is as stiff and plastic as the Apple Pencil, and can feel slippery on the iPad’s glass. The matte screen protector improves the writing feel of both styluses as there is no softer nib option for either.

Ultimately, I can’t think of a good reason to buy the first-generation Apple Pencil over the Logitech Crayon if you have a 10th-gen iPad. It’s easier to hold, easier to pair and charge, and cheaper in while delivering a very similar writing experience.

Logitech Combo Touch vs Apple Magic Keyboard Folio

Apple iPad 10th generation in a Logitech Combo Touch box on a wooden table, top view.

Combo Touch offers a place to store the stylus, much wider angle range, and more protection than Apple’s Magic Keyboard Folio.

In a similar way, Logitech’s $159.99 Touch Combination The keyboard folio beats Apple’s Magic Keyboard Folio in a couple of key ways at a lower price of $90. Both cases use a two-piece design, with a detachable tablet stand and keyboard that you can remove whenever you don’t want to use it. But Logitech’s keyboard has nicer features, its case offers much better protection than Apple’s, and the stand offers a much wider range of usage angles. As a bonus, the Combo Touch has a built-in loop to hold Logitech’s Crayon stylus or Apple’s Pencil. The Magic Keyboard Folio offers no such feature, leaving you to store the stylus separate from your tablet.

The most obvious difference between the Logitech and Apple products, aside from the price, is that the case that attaches to the iPad has a rubberized frame that wraps around all sides of the tablet, with a small piece cut out for access. to the Touch ID sensor on the inside. power button. This offers much better impact protection than Apple’s case, which is magnetically attached to the back of the iPad and doesn’t protect the edges at all. While the Magic Keyboard Folio is easier to put on and take off, which may appeal to those who switch cases frequently, for most people the Combo Touch’s added protection is an option. better.

While it has more protection than Apple’s option, the Combo Touch is only slightly thicker when closed all the way than the Magic Keyboard Folio, which you won’t notice in everyday use. It’s also a bit lighter than the Magic Keyboard Folio, whether you have a keyboard attached or not. Logitech’s kickstand design offers a much wider range of motion than Apple’s, allowing you to prop it up at lower angles to write or draw. Apple’s case is only white, with a soft finish that attracts dirt like a magnet. The Logitech has a gray, fabric-like texture that’s easier to hold and much easier to clean than Apple’s.

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Combo Touch has a comfortable keyboard and responsive trackpad.

Combo Touch’s keyboard is very similar to Apple’s in size and layout, with a well-spaced keyboard and responsive trackpad. The keys have good feedback and travel, and are backlit, which is not available on the Magic Keyboard Folio. Logitech’s function key row is slightly different from Apple’s, changing the lock button to a screenshot key and swapping the Do Not Disturb key and the App Gallery for backlight control. No Change is a deal breaker, and I’d love to have a one-key screenshot button instead of a Do Not Disturb key, which I’ll never use.

The keyboard is attached to the bottom of the Combo Touch using pogo pins, just like Apple’s, and doesn’t require any pairing or charging. One trick the Magic Keyboard Folio does that Combo Touch can’t is allows you to fold the keyboard behind the tablet when not in use — you actually have to remove the keyboard completely when you want to use your iPad as a computer. tablet if you have Combo Touch. But on the plus side, Combo Touch is much more secure and solid when closing the keyboard and doesn’t slide around like Apple’s keyboard. It’s generally just a much better case for the iPad.

It’s a bit of a surprise to see third-party accessories outperform Apple’s first-party options, but in the case of the 10th-generation iPad, that’s exactly what happened. Logitech’s keyboard and stylus case is better designed, has more features, and is priced lower than comparable Apple products. That’s a no-brainer recommendation.

Photography by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Correction, December 20, 11:45 AM ET: An earlier version of this article stated that the Logitech Crayon lacked support for both pressure and tilt — in fact, it supported tilting the tip of the pen to change the width of the line. We are very sorry.

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