Designed to slip easily into smaller bags and purses, the iPad mini is going to take some abuse as it rubs up against keys and anything else you might have in your bag. The ZaggKeys Mini 7 wraps the iPad mini in a durable rubber case complete with a Bluetooth keyboard. Available for as little as $44.99 at Zagg's -- half its original $89 price -- this iPad mini keyboard case is a true bargain.
Editors' Note: The reduced $44.99 price for the ZaggKeys Mini 7 is expected to remain in effect while supplies last.
Click to EnlargeThanks to its jet-black, beefy rubber exterior, the ZaggKeys Mini 7 is the toughest iPad mini keyboard we tested. No doubt it will protect against some drops and scrapes, but don't expect it to hold up in rainy or dusty environments. The cut-uts for ports, buttons,and the camera aren't covered.
The rubber padding makes the Mini 7 heavier than other cases, but its 0.8-inch profile isn't much thicker than the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case's 0.6-inch depth. The Mini 7 weighs 1.5 pounds with the iPad mini tucked inside while the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 weighs a slightly lighter 1.39 pounds.
When open, a sliver-thin keyboard with a microUSB slot for charging sits on the bottom. A slip-proof texture on the bottom of the keyboard case helps keep it from sliding on surfaces.
We liked the way the Mini 7's thin, flip-out kickstand runs the length of case; it made the iPad mini more stable in our lap than the Ionic Keyboard Tablet Case's narrower support. Sadly, the Mini 7's stand is locked at a fixed angle, and you can only view the iPad mini in landscape mode.
Features and layout
Click to EnlargeA very welcome feature on the ZaggKeys Mini 7 is a dedicated row of iOS controls above the number row; many other iPad mini keyboard cases require you to use a FN-combination. Controls include search, on-screen keyboard, cut and paste, media controls, and a Home button that let us multitask with a double-tap or launch Siri with a long press.
We typed at a rate of 56 words per minute and 98- percent accuracy on the ZaggKeys Mini 7. That's a higher rate than most keyboard cases we tested, including the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case (54 wpm, 97 percent accuracy) but not as high as the 61 wpm and 98 percent accuracy we logged on the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini.
Click to EnlargeThough you'll find plenty of space between its keys, the Zagg's buttons don't offer much vertical travel, and feedback felt sluggish. The Enter key is smaller than we'd like, and the Tab key is just a quarter of the size of the large, easy-to-target Shift buttons.
Unlike the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case, the Zagg's space bar is refreshingly large, and we easily located the period and comma keys.
If you're looking for an inexpensive, durable iPad mini case with a dependable Bluetooth keyboard, the ZaggKeys Mini 7 is a fantastic value. Pick one up while you can at the reduced $44.99 price; it's a great partner for your iPad mini.