Posts Tagged keyboard case

ZaggKeys Cover Keyboard Case for iPad mini Review

The best iPad mini keyboard case I've ever tried. There are still problems, but this case gets so many things right they are easy to ignore.

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Logitech has announced a new iPad accessory that’s a really bright idea – literally. The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a folio-style case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard that will work for typing on the iPad, with support for the iPad 2 and the new iPad. The internal rechargeable batteries are charged by light, whether it be the sun, or even light from indoor lamps. The battery capacity is such that Logitech claims that on a full charge, the battery will last 2 years at a rate of 2 hours daily usage. This sounds bold, but the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg can easily go months between charges as well.

The solar cells appear to be on the outer side of the folio holding the keyboard, so it appears as if charging while typing is not possible. The case is designed to hold the iPad in two ways: one for typing, and the other for media watching, where only the front row of keys which contains media keys is available. The case is expected to retail for $129.99, and can be preordered now from Logitech’s website.

Developer: Logitech
Price: $99.99
Device Reviewed With: iPad 2, new iPad

Usability Rating: ★★★★½
Protection Rating: ★★★★☆
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Ostensibly, the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG is made for the iPad 2, which is how I received it for review. When I got my new iPad, I was ready for it to almost but not quite fit. Luckily, it fits pretty darn well–perhaps even better than with the iPad 2, which some users report as having a bit of looseness to it. So, here’s the review, taking into consideration both the iPad 2 and the new iPad.

Bottom line? This keyboard is a win, making it completely feasible to use an iPad as a laptop replacement. Of course, that really depends on the user, but as a writer, email & web surfer, the addition of a keyboard that is always with the iPad yet still easily removable is the key.

The keyboard itself is solidly built, with a rugged, non-flexible feel to it. The brushed aluminum finish perfectly matches the back of the iPad, and when the iPad is snugged into the keyboard case, face-first, it’s hard not to see it as an actual laptop. It’s like a Macbook Air, in fact, only a bit smaller.

The defining feature of a keyboard is, of course, the feel and usability of the keys. I’ve used several folio-type keyboards with mushy, too-small keys. The Logitech Keyboard Case is not one of those. The keys feel solid under my fingers, with just the right amount of resistance. I’d compare it to my iMac keyboard in feel, while it’s a bit smaller than the standard bluetooth keyboard Apple makes. It only took me a few minutes to get used to the different size of and distance between keys, and I have fairly large hands and fingers.

The New iPad Fits Snugly

I really like the protection offered by the Logitech Keyboard Case, though it does add a bit of weight to the iPad. In my unofficial testing of the weight difference between my 11-inch Macbook Air and the new iPad with the keyboard case attached (read that as holding one in each hand and balancing them, schoolyard-style), I’d have to say that it’s almost as heavy as the Air, if a bit lighter. Ultimately? It’s pretty darn light and useable.

The rubber bumpers on the inside of the case protect from impact damage, and hold on to the iPad when closed in. It’s a very nice way to keep the iPad safe, though I suppose the back of the iPad and the camera can still get scratched. That’s not something that concerns me, personally, though. I’ve not had any problem with either version of the iPad falling out when snugged in tight.

All in all, the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2 is a solid investment for anyone wanting to use their iPad as more of a laptop. Our very own Carter Dotson used his iPad with the keyboard case to report from the show floor of GDC and found it very acceptable. It will snugly fit both the iPad 2 and the new iPad (sorry iPad 1 owners) well, with the advantage going to the new iPad for fit.

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