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Summary:

How does the thinner, lighter iPad Air lend itself to a keyboard accessory? Pretty good if you have the right keyboard. I bought a Zagg Folio case and really like the typing experience, not to mention the backlit keys with various color choices.

zagg folio

After recently buying an iPad Air, I decided to try adding a keyboard accessory for the first time. I’ve owned almost every prior iPad but never took the keyboard plunge. I looked at a few and eventually decided to purchase the $99 Zagg Folio. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

In my quick video look, you can see how the Zagg Folio really transforms the iPad Air into a laptop-like form factor. The hinge swivels from 0 to 130 degrees. The case protects the tablet. And the well-spaced keys are backlit, complete with three levels of brightness and several different colors.

I’m already doing most of my typing on the new Zagg Folio, and even when I’m not, I’ve been leaving the iPad Air in the case because it makes a great stand for watching video.

  1. Nice keyboard, but the main complaint I have with these keyboard cases is the inability to use the iPad as an ebook reader. I like being able to fold back my Smart Cover and hold the iPad in portrait mode and read…
    I’ve yet to find a keyboard cover/case that folds over and is light enough to use comfortably. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover folds back, but it doubles the weight of the iPad.

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    1. Totally valid point. Richard. For reading books, I take the iPad Air out of the Folio, which takes about one second.

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      1. The other keyboard by ZAGG that Kevin was referring to at the end of his review has a book mode. The iPad can be flipped over and inserted into the hinge, thus putting the iPad into book mode. The keyboard is called the iPad Air Cover.

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        1. Thanks for adding that John; completely forgot the other Zagg can do that! :)

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  2. Kevin, thanks for the review. I’ve owned the Zagg keyboard folio for my old ipad and love it. I wanted to see the changes for the Air. You mentioned you got it in retail store, not online. Where were you able to find it? I’ve looked everywhere. thanks

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    1. Glad to help, Steve! I walked into my local Best Buy and they had plenty of them.

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  3. Thanks for your video. Two quick questions:
    Does the whole thing end up feeling top-heavy like the Asus transformer?
    You mentioned the spacing and key size is good, what is the actual typing feel like? Obviously it’s all about personal preference, but is there enough travel without being spongy?
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks, Sam! There’s definitely more weight on the top end but it’s not too tippy, if that helps. I can, and often do, extend the screen to the full 130-degree angle. And as long as I’ve got a hand on the keyboard, it’s not going anywhere. It won’t tip on its own that way either, but it’s close; another 5-10 degrees and it might.

      As far as the actual typing, it feels pretty comfortable to me. I don’t find it spongy. My recommendation: If you can, hop over to a Best Buy where they have these in stock. The box for the Zagg Folio opens with a magnetic clasp so you can easily play with the keys and even put your iPad in the case for a few minutes without ruining the Folio or the packaging.

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  4. I totally agree with the other comment here about being able to fold the keyboard back over to use the iPad in portrait mode. Taking it out of the case is okay, except the iPads feel too slick and could easily be dropped (too expensive to want this to happen). I don’t know why Apple doesn’t do something to make them easier to grip and hold. I have a Nexus tablet that is no problem to hold with the material on the back the way it is made.

    Anyway, I purchased the ZAGG folio. I wonder how durable and long the plastic hinge will hold up over time. I also noticed they forgot to put any holes where the speakers are to let the sound come out! Seems that would have been a simple thing to do.

    The keyboard is better than the Logitech and I like the backlit keys and it works well. The weight helps counterbalance the iPad so it won’t tip over.

    Jim

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    1. Jim, there are very small sound channels that force the sound forward so I don’t mind the lack of holes near the speakers. Not sure why they opted for that design though.

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  5. Hi Kevin,
    Love most everything about the iPad air keyboard except for one major problem. If you want to charge your iPad Air with anything other than an “official” lightning cable from Apple, you can’t do it. The hole opening on the Zagg iPad air folio is too small to accomodate other cables, which have a wider plug than Apple does. I think this is a major mistake. I call the company to alert them and they said they were’nt concerned and hadn’t received any other complaints. I was surprised, and I think the complaints will grow with time, as not everyone wants to use Applr charging cables.

    Thoughts?

    Ira Bauer

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