I have never been a huge fan of keyboard cases for the iPad. All too often the size of the keyboard required too many sacrifices and the case portion weighed down an otherwise thin and light tablet. The iPad Air has me looking with new eyes and the $99.99 ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard is making me a believer.
When closed the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air looks like any other synthetic folio case for the iPad Air. It is solid, feels good in the hand and offers excellent protection to the pricey tablet. From a numbers perspective the keyboard case is 6.82″ by 9.55″ by 0.697″ when closed with the iPad inside. The keyboard alone is just 0.299″. The keyboard case adds a total of 18.87 oz. That’s not bad when compared to folio cases that don’t include keyboards. Some weigh even more than this and don’t offer the added functionality.
The case portion simply grabs the iPad and, once seated properly inside, the iPad is rather secure. I like this design since it allows me to also use the iPad with a protective film on the back and sides. (I currently am using a competitor’s skin but ZAGG’s offerings are also excellent.) I should note that the iPad holder had a bit of give to it that had required me to reseat my iPad inside a few times. This hasn’t been an issue and at no time was I concerned about the iPad falling out but it is something about which I took note.
The Bluetooth keyboard has a 950 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery that should “last several months of normal use without charging”. I have yet to charge the keyboard and have used it quite a bit. I’m impressed.
Features of the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air include:
- Patent pending design provides additional protection for your iPad.
- A unique hinge design offers over 135° of viewing angles.
- The Bluetooth® keyboard feature island-style keys and 30% more typing space than the competition.
- At only 7.6mm, or barely more than a quarter of an inch, it’s one of the thinnest keyboards available.
- A powerful battery offers up to three months of use between charges.
- Backlit keys in interchangeable colors make typing in low light areas a breeze.
- Special function keys help you get more done from the convenience of your keyboard.
As ZAGG explains, the thin size and light design of the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air…
makes it one of the thinnest keyboards available. But while it is smaller and easier to carry, it actually offers 30% more typing room than the competition. In addition, it features a pivoting hinge that allows you to place your iPad at virtually any viewing angle, just like a laptop screen. Open it up, set it to your preferred angle, and off you go typing in comfort.
Here’s a look at it on camera.
As I noted at the beginning of this review I have never been a huge fan of keyboard cases for use with tablets and have always opted to use a separate Bluetooth keyboard instead. That is changing with the iPad Air and this is one of the keyboard cases that has prompted me to reassess. The keyboard/case combo is thin and light and I feel comfortable carrying the iPad around in it much the same way I would were I using a folio-only case. The hinge between the keyboard and iPad portions is solid and holds its position no matter what angle I choose. This means it is great for typing but that the keyboard case is also great as a tablet holder when viewing media. I have, in fact, used it numerous times simply as the handsfree way to watch a movie. Yes, as a folio-stand the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air excels.
And here’s the good news! As a keyboard the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air ALSO excels. The keys are large enough that they required no period of adjustment when moving from a laptop keyboard to the ZAGGkeys Folio keyboard. The island keys are easy to strike, offer decent play and are surprisingly quiet. That’s a good thing since my multi-finger hunt-and-peck approach often has me striking keys rather forcefully. The backlighting works well and has let me type without the lights on more than once. Add in the fact that there is a dedicated key for turning the backlight on and off and you have one excellent keyboard for anyone trying to use their iPad as a productivity tool. Yes, the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air is a key step toward making the iPad Air a 99% laptop replacement.
I’m a huge fan of the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air and highly recommend it. There are other keyboard cases we are currently reviewing that are also excellent. That’s a great thing except for the fact that by the time Mike and I get done sharing our reviews of all the iPad Air keyboard cases we are reviewing the challenge of making a decision will be more difficult than ever. That noted, you can’t go wrong with the ZAGGkeys Folio with Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air and, at under $100 it is well worth the money! Learn more here.
What I Like: Thin; Light; Highly protective; Fantastic mobile keyboard!; Great backlighting; Resistance hinge lets you position the iPad at any angle you choose; A keyboard case you can use all the time
What Needs Improvement: Nothing of note!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample