ZAGG (http://www.ZAGG.com) has updated its US$99.99 ZAGGfolio keyboard accessory for Apple’s new iPad. It’s now available in color, but its functionality is the same as before — and that’s a good thing.
The ZAGGfolio is a thin, multi-function carrying case with a removable Bluetooth keyboard. It provides a built-in stand to hold the new iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation. The ZAGGfolio sports a folio cover and island-style keys that provide shortcuts to access special features with a push of a button.
For me, the iPad can’t replace a full-fledged laptop. However, the ability to use an external keyboard makes it more laptop-like — and a more-than-suitable netbook replacement. That’s where the ZAGGfolio comes in.
You can buy cases and you can buy Bluetooth keyboards for use with the Apple tablet. The ZAGG solution offers both in one. There are other such combos, but none do the job better than the ZAGGfolio, specially with its iPad-specific “Quick Keys.” Said keys include specific keyboard shortcuts for volume control, music control, home, search, and copy and paste.
The ZAGGfolio offers durable protection for the Apple tablet on both the inside and outside (and looks good while doing so). It’s made of an ABS hard-shell case wrapped in leather or stylish polyurethane and a durable microfiber interior lining.
When you need to type, prop your iPad on the movable stand and sync it via Bluetooth with the enclosed keyboard. It’s that easy to use. Once paired, the keyboard automatically reconnects whenever you turn it on. An on/off switch lets you turn off the keyboard when you’re not using the ZAGGfolio.
I don’t recommend using the ZAGGfolio/iPad combo for typing on your lap. It’s footprint is so small that the combo tends to be top heavy, making it a bit wobbly. It’s best used on a desk or table. If you plan on use it on your lap, get a laptop stand designed for use while sitting in bed. That will cost you another 20 bucks or more, but it will be worth it you plan on typing with the ZAGGfolio from the couch or bed — both of which are natural environments for its use.
The ZAGGfolio keyboard keys aren’t the firmest I’ve used, but they’re not too mushy. Using them takes a bit of adjusting as they’re smaller than any Apple laptop keys so you’re likely to find yourself striking the wrong keys during your learning curve.
The ZAGGfolio uses a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery that will purportedly last several months of normal use without charging. I’ve used it regularly for over two weeks, and it’s still going strong.
So should you get a ZAGGfolio? If you frequently type on your iPad, it’s a greate investment. If you type on the tablet all the time, why don’t you just get a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?
Rating: 8 out of 10
— Dennis Sellers