Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 iPad case turns Apple’s 2018 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil into an absolute monstrosity.
That’s okay though, because this case isn’t designed with every-day adult users in mind. Instead, Logitech created the Rugged Combo 2 specifically for the education market.
In fact, even if you wanted to buy the Rugged Combo 2 and Logitech’s companion ‘Crayon’ Apple Pen replacement, you wouldn’t be able to since Logitech is exclusively selling the accessories to educational institutions.
The Rugged Combo 2 surrounds the 9.7-inch iPad in a massive plastic box that to some extent almost feels like too much protection, as well as little like the first-generation Surface Pro.
While I still contend that the 9.7-inch (2018) iPad is a pricey proposition for any Canadian public educational institution — especially if the school aims to outfit every student with the $429 tablet — putting one in a case is definitely a necessity with just how rough children can be with fragile, expensive electronic devices.
What makes the Rugged Combo 2 more interesting when compared to a standard iPad Bluetooth keyboard is that it’s connected to the iPad through the tablet’s Lightning port, along with the fact that it can be magnetically detached.
What Logitech has effectively done is create its own version of Apple’s iPad Pro Smart Connector, but rather than a permanent, built-in hardware aspect, the connection is facilitated through the case. Hopefully a regular consumer version of this case is released at some point.
While Bluetooth has come a long way over the years, you still need to manually connect most Bluetooth devices in some way — with Apple’s AirPods being the exception, when they work as advertised.
Apple says that this is something teachers asked for to make the process of distributing the tablet to students easier.
If you think about it, this strategy makes sense. A teacher spending a significant portion of a 90 minute class troubleshooting Bluetooth keyboard issues with even just a few students would quickly eat up time.
The Rugged Combo 2 case is difficult to put on and take off, though this is a good thing given its education focus. The case also features a pass-through lightning connector, as well as a clear window under its surprisingly adjustable kickstand.
Logitech specifically says that the case protects the iPad from a four-foot drop, though given how heavy duty the plastic enclosure is, it’s likely that it could handle an even higher fall.
Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 9.7-inch 2018 iPad case is priced at $129 CAD, while the accessory manufacturer’s Crayon comes in at $64.95 CAD.