ZAGG makes some great accessories and I was intrigued when they released a keyboard folio case for the iPad 2. I was even more intrigued when I heard that they would be releasing the ZAGGkeys Solo, the keyboard folio minus the folio since it meant you could buy a standalone iPad keyboard that has specialized shortcuts just for the iPad AND a built-in stand. When I reached out to Zagg I was told the ZAGGkeys solo would ship in a short while OR I could take a closer look at the ZAGGfolio and just focus more on the keyboard since the two keyboards are largely the same, save for some additional shortcut keys on the ZAGGkeys solo. The ZAGGfolio came a short time later and I have been using it quite a bit. Here are some details, a few images and a closer video-look I shot when the keyboard case first arrived.
A few caveats: I have read a few comments on the folio portion that complain about the case not locking closed properly. I found the same thing with the review sample but my understanding is that the case has been redesigned and defective ones addressed. I have also seen some comments that suggest that having ZAGG’s invisibleSHIELDS on the iPad have an impact on the clasp functioning properly.
In addition, while I refer to the ZAGGkeys solo shipping soon in the video the ZAGG website shows that the ZAGGkeys solo is now shipping!
Created with a stylish design and a durable microfiber lining, the ZAGGfolio is an impressively thin multi-function iPad folio case for Apple® iPad® 2, complete with a removable Bluetooth keyboard and a built-in stand system, ideal for on-the-go use.
Sleek and Stylish: Created with a stylish carbon fiber design and a durable microfiber lining, the ZAGGfolio is an impressively thin multi-function carrying case for Apple® iPad® 2.
Built-in Stand: Built-in iPad folio stand is ideal for on-the-go use.
Built-in Keyboard: Space-saving keyboard designed for fast and accurate typing, supports iPad 2 in both landscape and portrait orientation. Rechargeable built-in keyboard battery provides weeks of use between charges.
Flexibility: The removable iPad keyboard works in combination with the built-in stand to give you the most flexibility of use. Type with the keyboard in, or out of the folio. Or just use the folio alone as a stand.
Bluetooth Connection: Easy to connect and easy to use, the Bluetooth keyboard allows you to stay connected whether your keyboard is in the iPad 2 folio case or not.
iPad 2 Specific Keys: iPad 2 specific keyboard shortcuts include volume control, music control, home, search, and copy and paste.
What’s in the Box:
iPad folio with removable bluetooth wireless keyboard (battery included)
USB to micro-USB charging cable
The keyboard and case add about 19 ounces to the iPad. That isn’t a lot but it is noticeable, especially since the folio is rather bulky. (The keyboard alone is 11.5 ounces while the folio alone weighs in at 7.5 ounces.) The ZAGGfolio Bluetooth keyboard has a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery and in testing I found that it lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts.
As I noted above, I was primarily interested in the keyboard portion of the ZAGGfolio and the keyboard is, to my mind, the selling point of this. The folio is a bit too bulky for my taste and it, at least the early version I have here, doesn’t stay closed when it is shut. It DOES, however, have the automatic sleep/awake functionality. I love that.
The real benefit of the folio portion of the ZAGGfolio is that the iPad can easily be lifted into position for typing. The viewing angle the folio creates is excellent and the experience of using the iPad with it is quite good. Another important point in the folio’s favor is the fact that the way the folio, keyboard and iPad work together translates to the folio providing support for the iPad when it is in the keyboard stand and sitting at an angle. When you use the keyboard alone, whether the one from the ZAGGfolio or the ZAGGkeys solo, the entire weight of the iPad sits on the edge of the iPad that is placed into the keyboard. While I have never run into an issue I don’t love the idea of the iPad being supported entirely by one side.
The keyboard can be pulled right out of the folio and functions nicely on its own as a standalone bluetooth keyboard. Pairing is simple, reconnecting pretty much automatic and the typing experience on it is quite good despite it being a somewhat smaller layout than I am used to. With the exception of Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard this sits head and shoulders above all the other Bluetooth keyboards I have tried.
So two questions remain.
Question 1: Should you get this or the Apple Bluetooth keyboard?
Question 2: If you opt for the ZAGG offering should you get the ZAGGfolio or the ZAGGkeys solo?
We’ll answer question 1 in this video look and then get to question 2.
Okay so there’s the argument for the ZAGG offering over the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. So WHICH ZAGG offering should you choose? The ZAGGfolio is $99.99. The ZAGGkeys solo is $69.99. For my money I would go with the ZAGGfolio. Why? Simple. While you don’t HAVE to use the folio portion you CAN use it if you need the convenience of a one-piece iPad/keyboard/case combo. For the extra $30 I would personally go for the flexibility.
MSRP: ZAGGfolio $99.95; ZAGGkeys solo$69.99
What I Like:Folio- Keeps the iPad and Keyboard together in a decent package, Keyboard- Pleasant to type on; long battery life; nice shortcut kets with more on the ZAGGkeys solo; built-in stand; light
What Needs Improvement:
The folio is bulky and the current design does not stay closed; when the keyboard is used alone the iPad’s entire weight is placed on one edge