iPad Air Keyboard Smackdown: Latest cases from Logitech, Belkin, and ZAGG

IMG_5242

With its wide-range of applications, touchscreen capabilities, portability, and fast processing, the iPad Air has been regarded by many users as a tablet capable of content creation. Coming from a dedicated laptop, however, the Multi-Touch keyboard is a weakness. Not because it is incapable, but because it is sometimes slower to type with, less accurate, and less comfortable.

This is why several iPad accessory makers have created solutions: keyboard attachments in the form of cases. For the past few weeks, I have been testing the latest keyboard case offerings for the iPad Air from Logitech, Belkin, and ZAGG. Below, I have put together a review and comparison of the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio, Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case, Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case, and the ZAGG Folio Keyboard:

Read more

Former Apple employee: Apple worked on Surface-style keyboard cover for iPad, could announce at ‘haven’t covered everything’ event

Apple has published multiple patent applications for keyboard covers for its iPad that sort of resemble what Microsoft did in its keyboard cover for Surface. Until now, however, Apple has relied on third-party vendors like Logitech, Zagg (who has already announced a new iPad 5 keyboard case) and Belkin to provide these covers. Logitech and Zagg have had keyboard covers for the iPad since before both the patent application above and Microsoft’s Surface announcement.

But today, Jamie Ryan, who lists Apple Developer Relations as a recent job, says that Apple has been working on a prototype of such a device and could release it at tomorrow’s event. He thinks it could be Bluetooth 4.0 to save power and was ‘told other cover like accessories are also being looked at.’

The patent shown above also includes other innovations such as solar power, big media control buttonsmulti-touch, wireless charging and even a second displayRead more

ZAGG announces huge Memorial Day sale: 20% – 50% off site wide including invisibleSHIELD, iPad keyboards & more

Zagg-Memorial-Day-Sale

From 9to5Toys.com:

Anyone familiar with Zagg, and with 9to5, knows the company offers more than a few high quality Apple accessories worth taking a look at. Not only will you get some of the best gear for iOS devices on the market, starting today you’ll also be able to get up to 50% off on select items as well as additional savings for other highly recommended accessories.

ZAGG is currently offering 20%-50% off site wide including 20% off its top of the line iPad keyboards and 50% off all invisibleSHIELDS, cases, cables, audio products, and stylus pens. 

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of Zagg products that remain high on our list of recommended iPad keyboards, charging accessories, and protective covers. Below are just a few of our reviews for Zagg products that you simply can’t go wrong with:

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 12.55.38 PM

Read more

Zagg intros backlit ZAGGkeys Cover and Folio keyboards for iPad mini

Zagg, a company that makes high quality keyboard cases for iPads that we’ve reviewed in the past, today introduced two brand new keyboard cover and folio designs for iPad mini. Zagg says both products are ultra-thin Bluetooth keyboards that take advantage of “a unique, patent-pending hinge system that enhances the iPad mini user experience with a full range of viewing angles up to 135 degrees.” Get full details on both new products below: Read more

Review: ZAGGkeys Mini 7 & Mini 9 keyboard cases for iPad mini (+50 percent off!)

ZAGG, an accessory maker that first received a lot of attention for its super-tough invisibleShield screen protector, these days also happens to be making some of the best iPad keyboards around. While ZAGG has big competition from the likes of Logitech and Belkin, its earlier folio and keyboard cover designs have been among our most recommended keyboards for iPad. ZAGG’s latest creations are not only its first dedicated to Apple’s smaller iPad mini, it’s also a new design for the company that helps set it aside from much of the competition.

The first thing that makes ZAGG’s iPad mini keyboards stand out is the company’s decision to sell two models: the ZAGGkeys Mini 7, and a slightly larger keyboard dubbed the Mini 9. ZAGG’s giving you the ability to get a keyboard only 10 percent smaller than a traditional Apple keyboard and built into a solid, good-looking iPad mini case, which something most of the other guys aren’t providing.

Unlike Logitech, Belkin, and others that have gone with the Microsoft Surface-style, magnetic, clip-on keyboard covers, the new Mini 7 and 9 go with a more traditional, folio case design.

First, a few things that are the same about the Mini 7 and Mini 9: Read more

Logitech announces Ultrathin keyboard cover for iPad mini, preorder now for $79

Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard cover for iPad has been one of our go-to recommendations for a quality tablet keyboard case that doesn’t add too much additional bulk for a while. The company might have some new, slimmer competition from Archos and Zagg, but Logitech announced it is bringing its popular Ultrathin keyboard cover to the iPad mini today.

Equipped with the same magnets, as well as auto-wake and the slim aluminum cover, Logitech’s Bluetooth EasyType keyboard with a three-month battery life and built-in stand is a essentially a scaled down version of its predecessor that we love. Logitech also said the new keyboard would maintain a traditional layout and standard key size, so you won’t have to sacrifice a smooth typing experience for the smaller form factor.

Logitech is taking preorders for the new Ultrathin Keyboard mini in black and white for $79.99 on its website and expects to make shipments this month. The previous Ultrathin model for iPad 2, 3, and 4 is available for $20 more through Amazon and other fine retailers for $99.

Another video showing off the new iPad mini model from Logitech is below:

Read more

Just a monster CES 2013 roundup [Gallery]

CES-2013-Press-Backpack

International CES 2013 is officially ending, so we decided to share some of what we saw from the show floor and surrounding events. 9to5Mac has tons of CES coverage for some of the most interesting new iOS accessories, advancements in display technology, and new Apple-related products we saw at the show right here, but below we have put together a collection of photos and video we shot while walking the many acres of CES exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Enjoy.

Read more

Belkin and Brenthaven join the list of mainstream iPad mini accessory makers

A few reputable case makers have already started creating 7.85-inch iPad cases and screen protectors in anticipation of the rumored iPad mini unveiling, including Zagg and Devicewear. The rumored Oct. 10 mailing of invites to the press came and went; however, according to The Wall Street Journal, we can still expect an unveiling of the device within weeks. Other case manufactures are also now betting on an iPad mini launch, including well-known case makers Belkin, Brenthaven, and others.

The image above shows Belkin’s Screen Guard “Anti-Fingerprint” screen protector, while we see iPad mini folios in black and white in the tweet below from Brenthaven (in stock and selling from its website). XtremeGuard is also accepting pre-orders for its iPad mini screen protector.

Other manufacturers have started selling iPad mini cases through Amazon. We see Ionic’s Hybrid Leather case cover with stand in the image below, while a case from KHOMO is on the right. Most do not provide exact measurements for the cases, but Brenthaven listed outer dimensions of its case as 7.5″ W x 4.8″ H x .75″ D. There are also a number of other lower-priced products, such as this black premium leather folio from Elsse, but some appear to just be repurposed 7-inch Android tablet cases.

Review: Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad

We recently reviewed one of our favorite keyboard solutions for the iPad, Logitech’s Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover. However, we have seen a few new competitors since then. Most notably: ZAGG’s new KeysPRO line, which we were able to get our hands on at IFA last month. The ZAGGKeys PRO caught our eye with its backlit keys, rugged build quality and battery life of up to three weeks at eight hours a day. It has potential to become the go-to iPad keyboard when it goes on sale at the end of the month (full review on the way), but one keyboard recently released already has it beat, at the very least, on battery life…

Logitech’s new Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad 2 and 3 comes with one impressive claim: the ability to type for two hours a day for two years on a full charge…even in the dark. That claim combined with a solid Logitech keyboard similar to what we’re used to from the company’s past iPad products, we essentially get solar power and a folio-style case added to the Ultrathin Keyboard cover for an extra $30.

I have had long enough since its release to put it to the test and have a couple of thoughts:

Read more

ZAGG launches super-thin backlit Bluetooth keyboard for iPad, ships Sept. for $130

ZAGG, perhaps best known for its invisibleShield screen protector, is adding two new additions to its also popular lineup of keyboards and cases tonight with the unveiling of two super-thin Bluetooth keyboards designed specifically for iPad.  The keyboards, ZAGGKeys PRO for $99 and PRO Plus for $129, feature the usual iOS specific functions such as media playback and volume controls, copy and paste keys, as well as keys for the Home button, search, etc.

Think the backlighting might drain the battery? HA! If you use the keyboard for eight hours a day, you will get up to three weeks of normal use…and remember that is the backlit model! The keyboard will come in English, French, and German models at launch.

We got our hands on the new keyboards tonight at the ShowStoppers IFA press event and were quiet impressed with the overall build quality. They do not feel cheap (the opposite), which is not too surprising given ZAGG’s reputation of building military grade screen protectors and other quality protective accessories.

The two models are identical to one another, including a magnetic closure that allows it to act as a screen protector when not in use. However, an extra $20 will upgrade you to the Pro Plus model with a backlit keyboard, which is a feature that has noticeably been missing from the go-to iPad keyboards currently on the market.

Will Zagg leapfrog our current favorite ultrathin iPad keyboard from Logitech?

Read more

Deal: Kensington KeyFolio Pro with Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad: $40

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, Amazon offers the Kensington KeyFolio Pro  Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for $39.99 with free shipping.  That’s 60% off of list and the lowest price we could find for this 4-star rated keyboard for iPad 2. It offers both landscape and portrait use.

This will likely also work with Apple’s new 3rd Generation iPad as well (though Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboards could start showing up soon)

We haven’t tested this model but we’re fans of the similar Zagg Keyfolio keyboard case, although it is over double the price.  Read more