We love our iPads. They’ve freed us up from even having to carry around a laptop some of the time. But typing long-form things on them is slow and full of mistakes (and often adds in “helpful” autocorrected text). So, some of us get external keyboards. But it can be a bit clumsy to have an iPad in a case and lug around a separate pairable keyboard.
ZAGG, maker of quality goods, has two new options that are both protective case and keyboard in one: the Slim Book Pro and the Rugged Book Pro. Most of their features, including their prices, are similar. Both keyboard cases:
- Have four functional modes:
- Case mode protects against impact, scratches, and dings
- Attached keyboard mode uses a magnetic hinge to hold the keyboard to the case, similar to a laptop typing experience
- Detached keyboard mode allows the keyboard to be used wirelessly, separate from the tablet portion
- Video mode uses the built-in kickstand to allow you to watch and share videos
- Work with the iPad Pro 9.7″ and the iPad Air 2
- Have an anti-slip surface for secure typing
- Tilt to allow for multiple viewing angles
- Have island-style keys
- Include an integrated Apple Pencil holder
- Include a keyboard kickstand and a case kickstand
- Allow for Bluetooth connections with up to three devices, with toggle buttons directly on the keyboard
- Have backlit keys
- Have built-in magnets to activate the sleep/wake function, helping to save the battery
- Include a two-year battery
- Include a 1-year limited warranty
- Work well with ZAGG’s InvisibleSheild screen protector
- Include a Micro USB charging cable
- Retail for $149.99
But there are a few differences between them.
The Slim Book Pro is an ultrathin option for protecting and extending the use of your tablet. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. It weighs in at 465 grams and is made of polycarbonate and silicone with an aluminum kickstand.
The Rugged Book Pro is engineered for harsher conditions and has four layers of protection against scratches and reinforced corners to protect against impacts of up to six feet (no, I did not test this). There is a steel frame under the detachable keyboard, and the case is made of polycarbonate and TPU with an aluminum kickstand. It weighs in at 651 grams.
Both cases work exactly as expected, pair easily, and feel very nice to the touch. They don’t add so much bulk to the iPad experience as to be inconvenient. The keyboards have a pleasant soft click sound, and include audio keys as well. And now that Scrivener has come out with an app, one of these keyboard cases would be the perfect way to write your NaNoWriMo novel on your iPad. I would recommend either of the cases, depending on whether you needed slim lines or more durable protection (parents of young kids may want to opt for the Rugged model). Both keyboard cases can be bought at ZAGG’s website or at select retailers.
Note: Samples were provided for review purposes.