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iPad Keyboard Case Shootout Part 2 – ZAGGfolio and Logitech Fold-up Keyboard

In Part 1, I covered three different iPad Keyboard cases, and all were good for various reasons, but none gave me everything I was looking for. I wanted a decent keyboard, good build quality and a reasonable weight.

Feeling a little bit like a tech-Goldilocks not finding quite the right fit, I pressed on. The next two have been well-reviewed and generally liked by the critics. But how well did they hold up in actual use? Read on to find out.

Continued from part 1, iPad Keyboard Case Shootout Part 1: Clamcase, Rocketfish Capsule, Adonit Writer (Reviews)

 

ZAGGfolio for iPad 2

$99.99, available here

PROS: Pieces can be separated and removed for more flexible usage scenarios (including portrait mode), easy to remove the iPad and keyboard from the folio, excellent sub-standard sized island keyboard, lightweight, attractive carbon fiber folio

CONS: Pieces can be separated while in use (which can be risky for clumsy iPadders), closing lid doesn’t sleep the keyboard (it auto-sleeps when not in use for a while), single viewing angle

While it seems the ZAGGfolio is slightly heavier than the Adonit Writer, that’s only by a smidge. That, however, takes nothing away from the fact that it’s still an amazingly lightweight accessory that offers a lot of flexibility — perhaps too much. When I first started using the ZAGGfolio, I immediately loved that the iPad was easy to remove from the case, as was the keyboard, a fact that allows users to situate the device (into the rubberized slot) in portrait mode. The only issue with this, however, is that clumsy iPad typers have the risk of knocking the tablet out of the slot. Indeed, this risk is still there even with the folio case on, since there’s nothing holding the tablet in place other than gravity and the grippyness of the rubberized slot. I found this out on a couple of occasions when I reached for it a bit too hastily, grabbing the device right out of the keyboard.

To be honest, though, these are fairly minor quibbles in light of the main aspect — those spectacular keys. Seriously, island keys are the way to go. There’s a clear separation between them, making touch typing easy. And it even performs magic — although these keys are smaller than regular keyboards, just like the others, I barely noticed it here. Each key has great travel, the quality and spring action are nothing but topnotch. What might be the best part about is this: If you graduate to a future iPad or another tablet or big smartphone, you can still use this product (just without the case). If it wasn’t for the next product (below), this would be my favorite iPad case/keyboard combo to date.

Purchase from Amazon

Logitech Fold-up Keyboard

$129.99, available here

PROS: Full-size chiclet/island keys, split keyboard elicits awe and admiration from onlookers (kidding – but no, seriously, it does), extremely sturdy stand, skins and screen protectors fit fine, Apple Smart Covers can still be used with this

CONS: Slightly flimsy on the sides, movable interlocking hardware means there could be a greater risk of malfunction over time, single orientation, single angle viewing, a little weighty, no escape key, space bar is split

After all this testing, I have fallen in love. There’s just nothing like a decent, full-size keyboard, although Logitech had to make a few compromises to make this happen. First off, the space bar is split in half, and occasionally my finger would fall into the crevasse. Second, there are no dedicated iPad-only buttons, though the functions are shared with the number keys (via a “fn” button). The sides of the keyboard are also a little flimsy, though it’s not really noticeable too much when you’re actively typing.

While nowhere near as light as the Adonit Writer 2 or the ZAGGfolio, it’s also not as heavy as the Clamcase or Rocketfish Capsule, putting it firmly in the medium-weight class of keyboard cases. But none of the negatives I found could take away from the spectacular feeling of typing on a roomy keyboard that can fold up so compactly. Hands down, among all the products I tested here, this is the one I keep coming back to. I know that $130 price tag might seem like a chunk of change (though it’s not as much as the Clamcase). Every once in a while, though, you come across a product that’s worth every penny. For me, this is one of them.

 

Purchase from Amazon

Results: Adriana’s Rankings

Keyboard

  1. Logitech Fold-up Keyboard
  2. ZAGGfolio for iPad 2
  3. Rocketfish iPad 2 Keyboard Capsule
  4. Adonit Writer 2
  5. Clamcase

 

Portability/Weight:

  1. Adonit Writer 2
  2. ZAGGfolio for iPad 2
  3. Logitech Fold-up Keyboard
  4. Clamcase
  5. Rocketfish iPad 2 Keyboard Capsule

 

Overall:

  1. Logitech Fold-up Keyboard
  2. ZAGGfolio for iPad 2
  3. Adonit Writer 2
  4. Rocketfish
  5. Clamcase

 

Do you own one of these keyboards? Weigh in with your experience. Or if you know of another worthy contender that belongs on this list, share your observations below!


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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