Entries in Zaggmate (2)

We Love the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2

We recently received a 'Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2' as a free gift after taking out a subscription to the NY Times. So we thought we would let you know what you can expect from this mini-bluetooth-keyboard-in-a-case when partnered with your iPad. Hopefully it will help you if you are thinking about getting one of these cases yourself.

About the Case

Described as "the perfect companion for your iPad 2", this second generation Zaggmate is now known as the 'Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG' and it features the Logitech logo prominently displayed.

Our special edition seems to be a half-way step towards the new, currently available, model. We say this because this is what ours looks like:

And this is what the latest version from Zagg looks like:

The primary difference is the iPad stand. On our version we still have the fold out bit of plastic found on the original Zaggmate which is very flimsy and, in our opinion, the weakest design feature. We nearly broke it in the first 5 minutes before learning the correct amount of force to use in folding it out. It is the only thing about this case that doesn't inspire much confidence.

The new design is quite different, using some sort of rubber track to hold the iPad in place more securely, as you can see from the demo video below. You certainly would not shake your iPad with the original design, as they do in this video:

This design update means we would recommend the newest version of the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg even more highly than the version we have as this seems a vast improvement.

You will also see that the on/off and connect button plus status lights are now behind the iPad when it is in use which we are not entirely sure is better but it certainly looks cleaner. 

The Keyboard

The keyboard is, of course, the main feature of this iPad case and it is actually a pleasant surprise. Zagg have kept the 'island keys' of the original Zaggmate and this makes for a near-laptop typing experience. The keys are springy and responsive, unlike the cheaper moulded rubber keys on the iPad folio cases that are also popular.

Although the keyboard is very much a shrunk-down version, all the keys you need are there, such as Tab, Caps Lock a large left and right Shift button a Cmd, Alt and Ctrl button plus at the bottom left a Keyboard Language select button, which may or may not be of interest.

Responsive of the keys is never an issue even over Bluetooth. Once your brain and fingers have made the adjustment in spacing, we think you will be reaching speeds equivalent to those achieved on a full size keyboard.

Special Keys

What sets this apart from your normal PC keyboard is the top row of iPad specific function keys. These are also found on most other Bluetooth keyboards so not totally original but they are still very useful.

Here you find the Home, Search, Slideshow, Display Keyboard, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo & Redo, iPod (Audio) transport controls, Volume and Lock/Unlock keys.

The iPod controls are especially useful using this keyboard case. You can be typing away and at once start playing audio, or start up the iPod app first then control tracks, skip backwards and forwards and adjust volume or mute the audio, all from the keyboard and without touching the screen or using app switching. Ideal for those writing sessions in your local coffee house with a pair of sound isolating earphones.

The Case

The casing itself is robust and made from "Aircraft-grade aluminum with a bead-blasted, anodized finish that matches the iPad 2" and it offers good protection for the screen when the iPad is stowed away. The main issue for us, as we have mentioned already, is the fragility of the plastic fold-out iPad stand.

This flip stand does support the iPad well when in the proper position but we found that using this case on our lap the iPad felt a little unsecure and top heavy, as though it could tip back, away from us. As we have said though, the new version of the case which you will receive if ordered now, seems to have solved that issue and looks like a very good improvement.

Using the case on a firm surface such as a desk or table we had no such worries. We did install the four little rubber feet on the underside of the case and these hold it very firmly in place on a table top. With the case set up like that we were able to bang away on the keys and get caught up in the writing instead.

When the iPad is stowed away in the case the whole thing is very slim. We could easily slip it into the iPad pocket of a messenger back we are currently testing and, as Zagg say on their website, it "only adds about ⅛" to the iPad 2". 

You have access to the ports and buttons when it is stowed, so you could charge your iPad without removing it from the case. Putting the iPad face down into the case also sleeps it using the magnets.

Long Lasting Battery

We have had this case for two weeks now and used it most days. We have yet to charge it! It is still running on the charge that was in the battery when we received it.

When it does become time to charge the battery the Status light starts to flash when about 20% of battery is left, but this will keep you going for a day or two more anyway, so plenty of warning.

A USB 2 cable is included with the case which you can plug into your laptop/PC or even one of the Apple wall plugs like the one that came with your iPad.

Watch Your Back

This case provides no protection at all for the back of your iPad. This may seem like a sinister ploy to sell more Zagg shields or it might just be a design choice but those of us who are concerned about scratching the back of our iPad may want to consider using some sort of skin or shield protection.

We have decided to get a custom printed Gelaskin, which was a nightmare to fit, but we will talk more about that in an upcoming post. There is just enough clearance for one of these skins to be fitted without the foam padding interfering or lifting the edge of the skin.

Final Thoughts

It is probably no surprise that we are going to highly recommend the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2.

If you don't get on with the iPad's onscreen keyboard, or find it slow to use, we think you'll love it. We would recommend it too for those who intend to do a lot of typing on their iPad, such as bloggers, writers, students, in business at meetings and anyone else with similar needs.

The portable nature of this case, combined with good shock, and great screen, protection when stowed away will be welcome if your iPad finds itself in amongst other items in a bag or rucksack. You may just want to consider protecting the back though if you do carry it this way.

You can pick the case up for $99.99 for both the iPad 2 version and the original iPad with keyboard included.

We are always keen to hear what you think. If you have one of these cases, how do you find it? Are you regretting your purchase or do you love it? If you are thinking about getting one let us know.

ZAGGmate - are you buying it?

As expected, there is now a whole bunch of Bluetooth Keyboard Folio type cases for your iPad. You may have seen the recent announcement from invisibleSHIELD makers ZAGG of their ZAGGmate case for iPad which adds a few unique features and another buying option.

The design of this case is different to the Folio type cases in that the aluminium case protects the front of your iPad only.

The ZAGGmate includes a Bluetooth keyboard built in to the case (although there is an option to have the case without a keyboard) with some dedicated keys for special functions such as Volume, Slideshow, Music and Search.

There is also an integrated hinge (stand) that pops up to hold your iPad in Landscape or Portrait format.

The keyboard however looks better than the usual Folio case type. It does not have the ZX Spectrum-like Chiclet moulded rubber keys, instead using a proper physical keyboard.

It looks like the ZAGGmate leaves the back of your iPad unprotected though, perhaps so that Zagg can sell you one of their iPad Invisible Shields, although at $99 it is pricey enough already.

We like the aluminium look and we think the keyboard seems a lot better than the Chiclet type. We are not sure about leaving the back of the iPad unprotected though.

We want to know what you think? Is this something you would go for? Let us know in the comments below.