Clicky

ZAGGfolio for New iPad Review: Keyboard Case with a Nice Typing Experience

By  |  23 Comments

I just picked up the ZAGGfolio keyboard case for my new iPad. I am typing this review on the keyboard using the iA Writer app.

I’ve used keyboard cases in the past with little success. Most of them had keyboards that no one would want to use for any length of time. They were either too cramped or uncomfortable.

(Read: Can an iPad Replace a Laptop?)

The ZAGGfolio case has a usable keyboard. Because of the size it’s still a bit cramped, but the keys are at least comfortable enough for longer typing sessions. I didn’t find myself wanting to throw the thing away after a few paragraphs.

Pros

  • Attractive case
  • Good Bluetooth connection
  • Decent keyboard
  • Long keyboard battery life
  • Compact for a keyboard case
Cons

  • Clasp hard to open
  • Lock key too close to delete

The new version of this case for the new iPad looks and functions exactly like the older version for the iPad 2. With the new iPad version I believe the only difference is the sticker on the box saying it works with the new model.

ZAGGfolio keyboard

The Keyboard

ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case with Bluetooth keyboard

The Bluetooth connection between the iPad and the keyboard pairs quickly and easily. Once paired, the next time you want to use it, just turn the keyboard on and it will connect with the iPad almost immediately. A couple of times I did have to turn it off and then back on again. That’s a Bluetooth issue because I have to do that with headsets and mice.

ZAGGfolio keyboard keys close up

The keyboard has plenty of useful shortcut keys and works like a standard keyboard. You get your old friend QWERTY and his brothers that come with every keyboard. In addition, the row above the numbers have functions for the following:

  • Home works like your iPad Home button
  • Spotlight used to search your iPad
  • Slideshow button that starts a slideshow of your pictures
  • Keyboard button turns on the onscreen keyboard
  • Cut, copy and paste
  • Media controls for going back, forward and pausing or playing media
  • Volume buttons for lowering or increasing volume or muting
  • Lock button that turns on/off the screen

Speaking of the lock button, it’s too close to the delete key. I find myself going for the delete key and often turning off the screen accidentally. On a keyboard this size you will have compromises like this. You have to get used to the size. Until you do, you may hit the wrong key occasionally.

ZAGGfolio keyboard

I like that you also get Mac keys like Command, Option and Control. The arrow keys on the lower right let you move around in a document. I miss these when I’m typing on the iPad onscreen keyboard.

The keys feel a bit mushy, but they’re not as bad as some iPad keyboards I’ve tested. I got used to them quickly and began typing fast within a couple of minutes of use.

ZAGGfolio keyboard outside the case

If you like, you could just remove the keyboard from the case and use it by itself. The keyboard holds the iPad in both portrait and landscape modes. I thought this would be unstable in portrait mode due to it being top-heavy, but I was surprised by how well it performed.

I bang the keys while I type. My iPad shook on occasion when I started banging away, but it never came close to falling out of the groove that holds the iPad in place. That’s because of the rubber piece that holds the iPad in place inside that grove. It has good grip and grabs the smooth surfaces on the iPad bezel.

ZAGGfolio Keyboard outside the case with iPad in Landscape

The Case

The case looks nice. The black carbon fiber cover has enough grip to help you hold on even if you have slippery fingers. The case also comes in six other polyurethane colors and three leather colors.

ZAGGfolio Keyboard case without an iPad

At first, the iPad 3 was difficult to insert and remove from the slide-in hard plastic shell. After a few times removing and inserting they iPad, the case loosens up just enough to make it easy to remove or insert. It’s not too lose that it will fall out.

The case stand holds your iPad in landscape mode while in the case. You can remove your iPad from the case use it in portrait mode because of a channel on the keyboard that will hold it up. This makes typing a longer document easier.

ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case with ipad in portrait mode

While in the case you can access all the buttons and ports. The case closes and stays shut with a plastic clasp that isn’t exactly easy to open. That’s a good thing if you don’t want it to flop open easily, but it becomes a problem when you’re trying to quickly access they iPad to type a fast email.

Compared to other keyboard cases, this one isn’t as bulky. It still adds weight and heft. Those who don’t want to add even an ounce or millimeter will hate it. Most users will see the value and appreciate it for what it is.

Recommendation

If you plan to use your iPad for typing a lot, you need a good keyboard case. The ZAGGfolio has one of the best available. It does retail for $99.99, which is more than a regular Bluetooth keyboard. If you are a hardcore writer, you might want a wider Bluetooth keyboard like the Apple keyboard at $30 less and carry it around in a sleeve with your iPad like the iPad Wallet Case from WaterField Designs. They made it for holding the iPad and an Apple keyboard. Those who don’t want all of that bulk will appreciate the ZAGGfolio. You won’t be disappointed.

ZAGGfolio keybaord buttons for power and bluetooth

You can get the ZAGGfolio for $99.99 direct from ZAGG. I got mine at Best Buy for the same price, but I haven’t seen the new iPad model at Amazon yet. Since I’m pretty sure its identical to the iPad 2 model, you can take a chance and save a few bucks by getting one at Amazon for about $95.

Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.

23 Comments

  1. Inna Volynskaya

    03/22/2012 at 2:23 pm

    The ipad 2 model and the new ipad model are not the same. The old model will block the ports and makes it really difficult to remove the ipad from the case. The new one is made to accomodate the slightly thicker ipad.

  2. Smysmy2

    03/22/2012 at 3:27 pm

    I bought one and have noticed that the magnets do not turn off the new iPad when the folio is closed. It also does not turn on when opened. If you take the iPad out of the case and hold the edge (upside down) over the front of the bottom part of the case it will turn on and off. It seems like the polarity is wrong for this nice (and advertised) feature.

  3. VWCalifornia

    03/23/2012 at 10:40 am

    I ordered the new ZAGGfolio for the new iPad and it came in a box indicating that it is for iPad2 and the inside had the instruction booklet for iPad2.  The fit is very very snug and extremely difficult to pull out.  Were all of yours in packaging without clear indication that it was for the new iPad?  I am not sure if I got the old iPad2 ZAGGfolio.  I feel it is bait and switch since I called ZAGG before ordering the new iPad ZAGGfolio that it was different from iPad2′s version, but the iPad2 version would work as well with great effort of pushing in and out, which seems to be the case for me.  BTW, I did complain to ZAGG and they send me a replacement with the same ”incorrect” packaging and I am having the same problems.  Also, for such an upper scale product and company, it is bizarre that they would ship their products with wrong boxes with no indication that it is for the actual product ordered!   

    • Tt

      04/01/2012 at 1:37 pm

      Same here. I had the zaggfolio for the ipad2 and it works fine with the new iPad. I was very disappointed that I was shipped another iPAD2 Zaggfolio being that I was sold on a Zaggfoluo just for tw new iPad. I have since asked for a refund!

    • Wayne129

      04/26/2012 at 6:48 am

      I bought one yesterday, also had packaging and paperwork for iPad 2 but my 3 fit great and magnet turned iPad off/on when I opened/closed the case.  I just wish there was a way to use the iPad touchscreen without having to take the iPad out of the case.

  4. ipad 3 keyboard

    03/26/2012 at 7:36 am

    This is a perfect review for the new Zaggfolio. Even Engadget will not have such details. Congrats.

  5. R_croteau

    03/26/2012 at 7:20 pm

    Don’t bother ordering this from Zagg,unless you don’t mind the long wait. Ordered mine on 3/7, the same day I ordered the new IPad. Got the iPad on 3/16 as promised. Still no keyboard from Zagg. Attempts to deal with customer service at Zagg is futile. Took 3 e-mails before they admitted to the back ordering. Find it local or wait a few months.

    • Toecutter

      03/30/2012 at 7:05 pm

       Still waiting for mine as well, although I haven’t had any problems with customer service per se… ordered the black leather model and I now have a ship date showing of Monday 4/2.  We shall see!

  6. Phillip B

    04/03/2012 at 10:48 pm

    Can you type with it on you lap?

  7. Sandyron

    04/05/2012 at 10:57 pm

    Just got mine today- Box says for iPad 2 and a sticker that says ‘works with iPad 2/3″, which makes me think they got this stickers before learning the new name of the new iPad . Very tight fit on the case side. I’m concerned I might smushed the iPad trying to get it out. was so anticipating this but have already taken it out of the case and using the touch screen and diction function to write this email.

  8. Kirby

    04/06/2012 at 11:05 am

    Excellent review!  Thorough, concise, useful.  Thanks.

  9. Guest

    04/12/2012 at 12:51 pm

    I ditto everyone above. Will add mine is going back.

  10. jay

    05/29/2012 at 1:45 pm

    How to make zaggfolio ipad 2 compatible with the ipad 3:

  11. James Meyer

    06/11/2012 at 3:15 pm

    I have one question that I haven’t been able to figure out. What is the key in the lower left corner, the one that looks like a globe mesh? I’m GUESSING it somehow relates to international keyboard settings, but I’ve set up intl keyboard layouts and it still doesn’t seem to have any effect. I doubt I actually need it, but it’s driving me crazy not knowing?!

    Also, one thing I do wish (more related to either ipad functionality or code implementation than this keyboard) was that the arrow keys would scroll read-only documents such as web pages.

    Other than that, loving the new zaggfolio (yes, mine also seemed to have no branding about the new ipad, it was all iPad2 branding), this comment is typed on one. My only main complaints are that it is slightly wobbly if you try to type on your lap (probably unavoidable, as the ipad size itself is a bit hard to hold on my lap without constantly squeezing my legs together to form a flatish base narrow enough to hold it, plus the slot angle which seems designed for table-height usage), and the configuration when folding it around to use it almost tablet style feels like it will damage the case, and still leaves a little angle. I have only removed my ipad from the case one time, and it was really hard, so I haven’t tried again, but hearing that it gets easier might resolve my last minor complaint.

    Overall, very happy!

  12. Jorge A. Orjuela

    06/17/2012 at 4:32 pm

    What does the cmd key and control key do

    • Shelby

      02/07/2013 at 9:28 am

      Yea, same question. The “Command,” “Control,” and “Alt/Option” keys seem to basically serve no purpose… They don’t do anything when I press them, for example, “Command + F” doesn’t do the “Find” action like it does on a Macbook, etc.
      Any input as to why they’re even present on the keyboard if they don’t do anything?

  13. JConic

    06/27/2012 at 8:15 pm

    Does anyone know how to make an email send straight from the keyboard. And the answer isn’t hit enter! Also, it would be nice to have a mouse feature on here. Or, am I missing something?

  14. article shuffler

    07/07/2012 at 4:37 pm

    I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  15. Apple King

    07/09/2012 at 9:53 pm

    This case is nice, however I feel it functions really sloppy when you don’t want to use the keyboard and just want to fold the case for casual use. Also, this case doesn’t protect th bottom of the iPad from scratches caused when putting the iPad I’m position for use with the Bluetooth keyboard.

  16. Jennifer H

    07/21/2012 at 9:28 am

    I lost the keyboard charger cable for zaggfolio ipad in the airport. Am trying to buy a new one with no success.
    ANyone able to help me find one? THANKS!!!! Jennifer

    • Ronda Hughes

      07/25/2013 at 8:25 pm

      I have the same problem & have not been able to find one. Have you found one yet?

  17. Matt

    08/05/2012 at 4:51 pm

    They make both a polyurethane and a leather version ($30 more for leather). Anyone have any thoughts/preference on the different materials?

    Thanks!!

Leave a Reply