ZAGGFolio Keyboard Case Is Tough, Stylish And A Delight To Use [Review]

ZAGGFolio wrapped around my iPad

If you do a lot of typing on your iPad, the ZAGGFolio keyboard case should be on your list of things to try. It’s a nice wireless keyboard and solid iPad case combined in one reasonably-priced unit. Let’s take a closer look.

What’s good

It’s slightly smaller and narrower than the standard Mac keyboard you’re used to, but doesn’t take long to get to know. The keys have a solid, ever so slightly clicky feel to them, which is comfortable for typing.

Across the top of the keyboard is a row of iPad-specific function keys. They start at top left with a Home key which behaves just like the hardware home key on your iPad. ZAGG could have left it at that, but they also provide a shortcut key to the iPad’s search box – the one you’d normally get to by pressing home from your main home screen. This comes in very useful for switching between apps without lifting your fingers from the keys.

Additional hardware keys control music playback, volume, and cut/copy/paste functions. There’s a Command key on either side of the spacebar, so many of the Command functions you’re used to using on your Mac will work here too.

The combined benefit of the hardware shortcuts and the well-designed keyboard layout make the ZAGG well suited to text professionals. Writers, coders, business types who need to get that report done for the Big Boss before tomorrow – there are a lot of people who will find the ZAGG perfect for their needs.

The carbon fiber-textured case (not actually made of carbon fiber – see comments) is chunkier than I expected. When closed, the case is about 2.5cm thick. Pick it up in your hand, and the whole ensemble (case, iPad and keyboard) feels like a small laptop or netbook (and weighs 2lbs 8oz, or about 1.1kg). The textured finish feels good in your hand, but it also feels tough as hell. This will certainly withstand a few knocks.

Thanks to the clever folding design of the outer case, the whole unit takes up very little space. In use on a table, it felt sturdy, although there is a very small amount of give in the rear support when the iPad is upright.

ZAGG keyboard naked

What’s bad

There’s not a lot that’s bad. I found the Enter key a little too small for my liking, and kept hitting backslash instead. But not for too long.

That give in the rear support means that sometimes, if you lift your fingers up to tap something on screen while working, the whole iPad will sway ever so slightly backwards and forwards. There’s little danger of it falling out of position, but the movement is a tiny bit disconcerting.

Also, the clasp that holds the two edges of the case was sometimes unexpectedly difficult to open and close. It turns out that there’s a knack to doing it, which you’ll soon get used to.

All of these are small problems. The benefits of this accessory far outweigh these little drawbacks.

Verdict

The ZAGGFolio is a lovely piece of kit, ideal for road warriors who spend a lot of time writing text on their iPad. The carbon fibre case provides plenty of protection for your precious electronics, but still looks stylish and grants access to all the iPad’s hardware buttons and ports. It’s a smart, dependable travelling companion and a more compact solution than using one of Apple’s standard wireless keyboards. If you spend a lot of time writing or sending email while out and about, the ZAGGFolio is an excellent choice.

Rating: ★★★★½

ZAGG support

ZAGG keys

ZAGG keys

The keyboard is this thick

ZAGG compared to MacBook Pro

  • James Travis Meyer

    Very similar to the casebuddy alu folio http://www.casebuddy.com.au/co

  • tiresius

    Hmmm, article states that this is “one reasonably-priced unit,” without ever offering a price.

    Reasonable enough for this reader to inquire about that little fact?

  • Mike Rathjen

    FOR THOSE INTERESTED:

    MSRP for plastic is $99
    MSRP for leather is $129

    “Carbon fiber” is one of the color choices for the plastic case. There is no actual carbon fiber version.

  • Cicero’s Cuz

    I bought one the first day it was available and have never looked back.  This is what all other keyboard cases dream of being. It is sturdy, practical, and is easy to work (yes, there is a knack to opening it).

    My original ZAGGfolio had a weak “hinge” and ZAGG quickly replaced it with a new one.  The new one feels stiffer and closes correctly and easily. Top-notch service!

    I especially like the spring-based keys on the Bluetooth keyboard.  I can touch type with not much problem at all. Much, much better than the silicone keyboards offered for $50-75. 

    Best little case under $100, bar none.

  • gilest

    Apologies, in my haste to edit the finished piece, I neatly chopped out the price. It’s about $100.

  • karahi86

    I agree. I love my keyboard. But, do you know of a way to move around on the home screen using the keyboard? I tried the search key method you mentioned in the article, but even then I couldn’t open an app without the touch screen. 

  • ApplePr0n

    Zagg makes some most impressive products. Most namely, their invisibleshields

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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