Protective, durable design; Attractive backlight in multiple colors; Dedicated row of iPad commands; Durable hinge with wide viewing angles; Good key travel
Small Shift, Enter and Tab keys; Pricier than some competing iPad mini keyboards;
Zaggkeys Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Mini offers a backlit keyboard, a laptop-like hinge and more protection than the competition, but some of the keys are tiny.
Who says the iPad Mini is too small to use as a work device? Zaggkeys' Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Mini makes your small-sized Apple slate look like a clamshell notebook. Unlike competing keyboard cases, the Folio offers an attractive, multi-color backlight, making it easy to type in dim conditions. Zagg also encases your iPad Mini in a soft rubber shell, offering more protection than some alternatives. The $99 price is nothing to sneeze at, but overall this accessory delivers.
Zagg's approach differs from other iPad Mini Bluetooth keyboards such as the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini and the Luvvitt Backlit Ultrathin Keyboard, which both come with a slot to secure the tablet and folds over to protect the screen when not in use, leaving the aluminum back exposed.
MORE: 25 Best iPad Apps
The Zaggkeys Folio Keyboard unfolds, to open just like a book, with one side offering a full keyboard and the other acting as a holster for your iPad Mini. Our 7.9-inch Apple tablet snapped into this holster with ease. The tight hinge allows for viewing angles of up to 135 degrees without requiring a kickstand like the ZaggKeys Mini 7. The hinge felt strong and secure, keeping our 0.69-pound iPad Mini stable at all times.
The Zagg Folio Keyboard for the iPad Mini is currently available only in black and white through Best Buy, but will be available in additional colors this fall. At 8 x 5.5 x 0.27-inches thin, the Zagg Folio keyboard is slightly slimmer than the 7.6 x 6.6 x 0.3-inch Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini, but slightly larger than the 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.2-inch Luvvitt Backlit Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.
With the Folio case, our iPad Mini weighed 1.39 pounds, which is heavier than the 1.1-pound iPad Mini when coupled with Logitech's Backlit Ultrathin Keyboard and 1.2-pound iPad Mini/Luvvitt keyboard combo.
Features and Layout
Other keyboard cases, such as the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini and Luvvitt Backlit Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, combine these functions with the number row.
The Zaggkeys Folio's comma key is situated right next to the letter M key on the same button as the open bracket symbol -- just like you would find on a standard keyboard. Notably, the elongated space bar is larger than you'd find on other competing iPad Mini keyboards.
This keyboard does involve some trade-offs. The Q and tilde keys are combined into one, which feels slightly awkward when typing. The Shift and Enter buttons are also quite small, and Zaggkeys crammed the Caps Lock and Tab commands into one tiny key, even smaller than the Shift button.
It could be much worse. For example, the Ionic Keyboard Tablet Leather Case places the comma on the letter J key and requires users to press the Function key.
A long press on the down directional key will turn off the backlight, while holding Function and tapping it multiple times will adjust the brightness. To cycle through colors, just press the right arrow key while holding Function. You can't, unfortunately, cycle backwards through color options while holding the left key.
Overall, we had no problem zipping through the Zaggkeys Folio's 183 square centimeter (72 inches), 70-key deck. However, we did find that we made more errors when typing on the left side of the keyboard, largely due to the small size of the Shift key. The keyboard's travel is a little short, but the soft-touch keys were extremely responsive.
We appreciated the ability to bend the Folio's hinge back 135 degrees, which made it easier to see the iPad Mini's small screen when it was on our lap. Bending the hinge back all the way makes the device a little more top-heavy, though.
Zagg rates the battery on the Folio Keyboard Case for up to three months of normal use, which consists of approximately two to three hours per day without the backlight on. Using the backlight will obviously use more power.
At $99.99, the Zaggkeys Folio keyboard is about $20 more expensive than the $79.99 Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini and costs $10 more than the Zaggkeys Mini 7. The extra cash gets you dedicated protection for your iPad Mini and the ability to type in the dark. Plus, having a tight, laptop-like hinge means you can worry less about your tablet flopping backwards. We just wish Zagg found room for larger Shift, Enter and Caps Lock buttons.
- Best Tablets 2013
- Tablet Buyers' Guide 2013: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy
- 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life
|Accessories Type||Bluetooth Device|
|Accessories Type||Apple Accessories|
|Size||8 x 5.5 x 0.27-inches|
|Weight||11.3 ounces, 1.39 pounds (with iPad Mini)|