The slow march of computer accessories maker Logitech across solar gadget land continued today as it unveiled what it calls a “book-style” case and keyboard for newer iPads that is powered by the sun. Known as the Solar Keyboard Folio, it prices for around $130.
Logitech has already strapped small solar panels on some wireless keyboards, include a Mac-specific model we reviewed last year. The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio, with its focus on the second and third generation iPad, brings what looks to be a nice eco-friendly option to those tired of pecking out letters on the Apple tablet’s virtual keyboard.
Similar to the keyboards, this new Logitech offering has what the company says are “onboard solar cells that charge the built-in Bluetooth keyboard in any light, whether indoors or outdoors.” When fully charged, the battery reportedly lasts for up to two years, even in complete darkness. This is based on a average use of two hours per day.
The Folio has two stand positions for different viewing angles of the iPad’s screen. In one position, Logitech says, typing is the favored activity given the iPad’s angle. The other position turns the wireless keyboard’s first row into what is described as one-touch media playback and volume controls, so one “can play, pause and change volume instantly” while viewing a movie on the iPad’s screen.
For saving power, there’s also an instant on/off feature, which wakes up the iPad when you open the folio. Logitech said this function also puts the iPad in standby when you close the case.
The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio looks like it will be available sometime this month in the U.S. as well as Europe. It does not look to be compatible with the original iPad.