Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus with Backlit Keyboard Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Durable faux-sheepskin material; Lasts an astounding 960 hours per charge; Handy loop for storing an iPad stylus; Backlit keyboard

The Cons

Can't use in lap; Not the fastest for typing; Only comes in black; Can't lock iPad into place when open

Verdict

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus Bluetooth keyboard case has executive-class styling, a backlit keyboard and great battery life.

Want to get some work done on the plane without turning on the overhead light? The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus with Backlit Keyboard lets you type on your iPad Air in the dark, and in brighter settings, its faux-sheepskin cover will make you look the part of a professional, too. At $119, it's among the more expensive Bluetooth keyboard cases, but is it worth the premium?

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Design

The first you thing you notice about the Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus with Backlit Keyboard is that it looks like an executive model. The cover has a faux-leather finish that feels soft and durable, and would fit well in a boardroom meeting. A strap snaps onto a magnet to secure the cover keyboard in a closed position. Everything feels solid and well made.

While the iPad stays in place inside the pouch, the cover sits on magnetic rails and, like the M-Edge Keyboard Folio, it flopped back when the case was in our lap. However, you can adjust the angle for your height and viewing angle using three different rails.

A magnet holds the Kensington keyboard itself in place, and it's easy to remove. There's a handy loop for storing an iPad stylus located on the top edge.

 

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The KeyFolio weighs 21.5 ounces, the heaviest among the keyboard cases we tested, and measures 9.65 x 7.7 x 0.9 inches thick. The M-Edge Folio, by comparison, weighs just 19.4 ounces.

Performance

We managed a rate of 59 words-per-minute with a 98 percent accuracy rating when using the TapTyping test on the KeyFolio Pro Plus. That's a bit lower, on average, than both the M-Edge model (at 64 words per minute) we tested and the Belkin Slim Style (at 63 words per minute). The keys were not overly springy, but were spaced far enough apart to promote better accuracy. During our testing, the tilde key came loose and would not snap back into place. Kensington sent a second case, which didn't have the same problem.

Unlike other keyboard cases we've tested, the KeyFolio's keyboard has backlighting. You can select from colors like red and blue by pressing the button a few times (it's located near the backspace key).

The KeyFolio has a bright red light that appears when you press the Caps Lock key. That's handy on a smaller keyboard like this, because it's easier to enable Caps Lock by mistake. A bright Bluetooth button shows you the keyboard is turned on.

A wide assortment of function keys lines the top of the keyboard case. There's a large Home button, a button for accessing the Safari browser and one for Siri voice commands. There are also track and volume controls. A handy lock button dims and locks your iPad Air. None of these keys are that different from what you'll find on other cover keyboards, but they are easy to identify and use.

 

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Battery Life

Kensington says the KeyFolio Pro Plus lasts 960 hours of typing time and 180 days on standby. That's significantly longer than other cover keyboards. Like most keyboard covers, the Kensington model uses a micro USB port for charging.

Verdict

While it doesn't offer the fastest typing speeds, the backlighting and stylish looks of the $119 Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus will make it a useful keyboard case for the office or when on the go. However, the typing speed is not as fast as the M-Edge or Belkin cases, which are $20 and $40 less expensive, respectively. But those looking for a keyboard case they can use in the dark will like what the KeyFolio Pro Plus has to offer.

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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Accessories Type Bluetooth Device
Battery Type/Life
Size 9.65 x 7.7 x 0.9 inches thick
Weight 21.5 ounces
Company Website http://www.kensington.com/