The $50 Ionic Keyboard Tablet Leather Case is an attractive, affordable leather coverall for the iPad mini. It also happens to pack a detachable Bluetooth keyboard inside. Perhaps the best part of this accessory is that it costs about half as much as most of its competitors. Find out how much mini keyboard you get for your money.
Editor's Note: The MSRP for the Ionic Keyboard Tablet Leather Case is $50 but prices may vary depending on the retailer.
This is a beautiful, sturdy case. The Ionic Keyboard Tablet Leather Case is available in white with red accents and black with a choice of brown or orange highlights, and comes swathed in thick leather that looks dashing. The removable Bluetooth keyboard is wrapped in the same husky material, giving the accessory a thickness of 0.8 of an inch, but it's still easy enough to toss in a bag.
At 11.1 ounces (1.4 pounds with the iPad mini), the Ionic case is a hair lighter than the Zagg Mini 7, which weighs 1.5 pounds with an iPad.
When the case is open, the iPad mini slips into a leather sleeve with cutouts for buttons, ports and cameras. Like the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2, Ionic's keyboard also attaches to the case magnetically, which allows for some flexibility when typing on a desk.
When closed, a leather strap fits through a loop to secure the case. Opened, that strap sticks up, which forced us to work around it because the strap blocks the keyboard. You're better off folding the strap underneath the case.
The extendable stand on the back of the case is surprisingly strong. It's not adjustable but it certainly won't tip backward when you touch the iPad mini's screen. However, we wish it ran the length of the case, as with the Zagg Mini 7. The stand's narrow width caused the case to wobble in our lap. This case is best for desk use.
Controls for media playback, brightness and waking the iPad mini requires users to press the Function key along with the assigned number buttons. Just below the keyboard is an on/off switch as well as a Bluetooth pairing button.
The keys on the Ionic Keyboard Case offered snappy feedback, and both Shift keys are plenty large. On the other hand, the space bar is too short. Ditto for the Enter key, which is the same size as the letter buttons.
We pecked out 59 words per minute with a 98 percent accuracy rate with this keyboard--slightly behind the top-performing Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini (61 wpm, 98 percent). We typed faster with the Ionic than with the ZaggKeys Mini 7 (56 wpm, 98 percent) and the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case (54 wpm, 97 percent).
The Ionic Keyboard Tablet Leather Case gets style points for its great-looking leather exterior, plus the typing experience is pretty solid. We also appreciate that the keyboard is removable. It doesn't get much better than this for less than $50. While some keys are on the small side, overall the Ionic keyboard case is a great value.
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