By Jason Snell
May 9, 2016 2:44 PM PT
Review: Logitech Base
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
Logitech’s $100 Base is the first product to use the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector that isn’t an Apple Smart Keyboard or the Logitech Create keyboard. Compatible with both sizes of iPad Pro, it’s an aluminum stand with integrated charging via the Smart Connector.
I like the construction of the Base, which is solid aluminum that looks and feels like an Apple-caliber accessory. The iPad connects magnetically to the base, aligning automatically to the Smart Connector pins on the left side of the iPad’s case. The Base bends around to provide support for the iPad a bit higher up on the case. A Lightning connector on the back of the Base provides the power for charging.
When attached to the Base, the iPad is only slightly reclined. In my kitchen I’ve got a wooden iPad stand from Chef Sleeve that I use a lot; it’s got two angles, and I use both based on how far below my eyeline my iPad is sitting. The Base’s angle matches the taller of those two orientations, meaning that when I’m writing on the bar in my kitchen with the iPad in the Base, I can’t stand—I need to sit on a barstool in order to get a comfortable viewing angle. It’s also a bit too upright to do much typing on the software keyboard—this is an angle suited more for watching video than anything else.
The Base isn’t adjustable, so if the angle doesn’t work for you, you’re out of luck. It strikes me as being a better angle for video viewing than for using with a Bluetooth keyboard, but your mileage will vary.
I was impressed with how solid the iPad feels when it’s docked in the Base. There’s no wiggle or sense of instability. My biggest complaint about the usability of the device is actually related to its unique asset: You can’t attach the iPad to the stand without peeling off the iPad’s Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard, both of which also attach on the left side of the iPad.
The Logitech Base is solidly made and does what it says on the box. This is a product that’s been designed for someone who wants an attractive stand and doesn’t want to fuss with plugging and unplugging Lightning cables to charge their iPads, and is willing to pay for the privilege. On this, the Logitech Base delivers.
The question is really about its limited utility. For $99, you get a very nice aluminum iPad stand that charges via Lightning. You can probably get a simpler stand for a lot cheaper and just plug the same Lightning cable into your iPad rather than the back of the Base stand. For most people, that’s a better—and cheaper—option, unless you’re wowed by the novelty of charging via the Smart Connector.
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