Some call them a fad, some call them lifesavers; the Keyboard cases for iPad (and other tablets) are here to stay. It all depends on how you like to use your iPad and how you manage rest of your personal computing devices. But if you are sure you need a keyboard case for your iPad 2, ZAGGfolio is definitely worth a look. How it fares and whether it beats the competition is what we are going to see today.
ZAGGfolio for iPad 2
ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 is a folio-style keyboard case for the iPad 2. It comes with a sleek & compact Bluetooth keyboard with an integrated dock to hold the iPad 2 in either portrait or landscape mode. The folio case is made from a rubbery plastic shell which looks like carbon-fiber and has a microfiber like interior lining. The best part is that the keyboard and the case can be separated if you so desire and they can be individually used with the iPad 2.
Much like the Logitech keyboard case, connecting ZAGGfolio to the tablet is a breeze. Just switch on the keyboard (and Bluetooth on iPad 2) and hit the connect button. You will see the option for ZAGG keyboard under the Bluetooth connection list on your iPad 2. Select it and you’ll be prompted to hit a 4-digit security PIN on ZAGGfolio keyboard to finalize the setup. This is just a one-time setup. The next time you switch on the keyboard, it automatically connects with the iPad 2.
As I mentioned before, the keyboard can be used alone after taking it out from the case and it works just fine. And yes, the keyboard works well with other iOS devices like iPhone & iPod touch, but the case and the dock are designed to work with iPad 2 alone. The keyboard resembles the standard Apple keyboard on Macbook Pro and the ‘island style’ keys ensure fast and accurate typing. I’m not someone with really big fingers but it should work well for the other kind.
The ZAGGfolio keyboard comes with some special function keys like the Home button, search button, button for Photo gallery slideshow, cut/copy/paste buttons, media player keys, volume up/down buttons and sleep/wake button. The package includes a microUSB cable which can be used to charge the keyboard battery, but the good thing is the charge on battery lasts weeks before you need to charge it again.
Unlike the Logitech keyboard case which boasts of Aircraft-grade aluminum, the ZAGGfolio has a plasticky feel to it. The inside of the case has a soft, suede-like lining to ensure that the back of iPad 2 is free from any scratches. There are neat cut-outs for all the ports and buttons of the iPad and also has a hole for the camera lens.
The addition of the plastic folio case actually makes ZAGGfolio bulky by some standards. But to be fair, iPad 2 feels secure when placed inside the case, which is very important while traveling. Also, the ZAGGfolio opens and closes easily, clasping from the outside. The magnets on the edges provide auto on/off functionality like the smart cover.
For all the good things which come with the keyboard, the ZAGGfolio comes with its fair share of bad stuff. The rubbery-plastic gives a cheap feel for the case and adds quite a lot of bulk which might tick off some users. The keyboard though is amongst the best I have seen in this segment. As a package, I feel it doesn’t match up to the Logitech keyboard case which has a premium and much lighter feel to it.
Other than the carbon-fiber look (which costs $99), it also comes in variants like Basketball leather, Alligator Leather, Metallic Red etc. which costs $129. But users can choose to buy the keyboard alone ($69) or the case alone ($29). If you are someone who will be using iPad at either office or home and don’t use it while traveling, you might as well consider buying the keyboard alone.
Disclosure: The sample unit was provided by ZAGG for review.