Turn your iPad mini 4 into a perfect pint-size netbook [Reviews]

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Zagg Slim Book turns the iPad mini into a tiny netbook.
Zagg Slim Book turns the iPad mini into a tiny netbook.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Best List: Zagg Slim Book case

Long before the original iPad debuted, I dreamed of the day that Apple made the ultimate portable netbook that wouldn’t destroy my bank account and could be carried around everywhere.

Apple wisely never got into the short-lived netbook trend, but you can get pretty much the next best thing by combining the iPad mini 4 with Zagg’s new Slim Book case that adds a great detachable keyboard to the world’s best tiny tablet.

The Zagg Slim Book is perfect for anyone who wants to carry the least amount of tech, while also being able to bust out a bit of work on the fly, no matter where you are.

I took the Slim Book with me to CES this year despite never having used it before to blog. Not only did it save my body by cutting a couple pounds from my pack as I roamed the miles of conference floor — goodbye MacBook, with all your dongles and power cable — it was also surprisingly easy to get used to typing on. The backlit keyboard is nowhere near full-size, but I found myself typing without a problem after using it for an hour or so.

Instead of staying permanently attached to your iPad, the Slim Book’s keyboard attaches via a magnetic hinge that links up with the separate iPad case. When you don’t want a keyboard you simply pull it off and are left with a very minimalist case that doesn’t spoil the iPad mini 4’s slim profile.

The Bluetooth keyboard comes with a monstrous battery that should last for two years. When it finally dies you can recharge it via USB. My only complaint might be that it has so much battery it makes the case weigh about as much as the iPad mini 4.

I wouldn’t choose to use the Ultra Book keyboard for extended periods of everyday work. However, it’s great to be able to grab it before heading out the door and busting out a bit of typing at a bar, riding the light-rail, or tiny press table crowded with cables and laptops that look bizarrely gigantic next to the iPad netbook.

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Zagg provided Cult of Mac with a free review unit for this article. Cult of Mac’s Best List is a roundup of products for those who like to party. Learn about more lust-worthy products.