Electronics accessories manufacturer Logitech has launched the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini today, a slim protective keyboard and cover built for Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.

It follows in the footsteps of the original Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard, which we reviewed in June last year for the original iPad. It’s essentially a super portable keyboard for those who prefer a traditional typing experience, with the added bonus of doubling up as a pretty protective tablet cover.

It’s a concept being pushed by Microsoft on its new Surface tablets, and makes sense for those looking to use the iPad as both a mobile device and a high-powered notebook.

The difference here though is that the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has a solid base, meaning that unlike the Surface, it’s very easy to use it both on a desk and your lap.

keyboardpostcrop 730x547 Logitech launches its Ultrathin Keyboard Case for the iPad mini

The cover is built from aluminium, keeping it slim and light, but also durable. It fits onto the iPad mini using a series of integrated magnets, and can be switched on simply by flipping it around to reveal its “Bluetooth EasyType” keyboard.

The keyboard itself uses a traditional typing layout, with sensible space allocated for each key. As with the previous iteration, shortcut buttons can be accessed using the Fn button and a corresponding number key found at the top of the keyboard. As an example, Fn+1 will start a Spotlight search, while Fn+2 opens the Safari Internet browser.

The new cover is available in black and white, and offers a three-month battery life over a bluetooth range of up to 10 meters.

Logitech says it expects the Ultrathin Keyboard mini to be available in the U.S. and Europe from this month, with a suggested retail price of $79.99. There’s no word on a release date for any other regions yet, however.