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ZAGGKeys Pro Plus Review: Backlit iPad Keyboard

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A good iPad keyboard case can transform the iPad into a productivity tool for workers that want an ultraportable computing experience without the drawbacks of a touchscreen keyboard.

The ZAGGKeys Pro Plus is a new iPad keyboard case that packs backlit keys into a slim and nice looking magnetic package.

The ZAGGKeys Pro Plus is my new favorite iPad keyboard case, offering the best mobile typing experience for the iPad.

For the protection, performance and backlit keys, the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus earns a GottaBeMobile Editor’s Choice Award.

GottaBeMobile editors choice award

Like the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard case, the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus is doubles as a case, but unlike the Logitech keyboard, this iPad keyboard case offers three levels of backlighting and seven colors ranging from white to purple, green, blue, red, yellow and darker blue.

The ZAGGKeys Pro Plus backlit iPad keyboard offers a stellar typing experience with the iPad thanks to great key placement, good key travel, backlighting and a good iPad angle.

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ZAGGKeys Pro Plus backlit iPad keyboard case.

The keys on the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus are large despite the small size of the keyboard case. The key layout mimics a standard keyboard with normal size enter, shift and delete keys. There are near full-size arrow keys in the lower right. The top row of the keyboard delivers iPad specific keyboard shortcuts including a home button, cut, copy and paste keys as well as media controls. The standard Mac keyboard shortcuts to highlight text, copy, cut and paste also make typing end editing faster on the iPad.

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The ZAGGKeys Pro Plus is also a slim, aluminum case.

There is no autocorrect, but I rely on the on screen notifications for misspelled words to fix errors. Thanks to the fast access to punctuation I don’t miss the auto correction for punctuation.

The keys offer more travel than the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard case, so I can type for longer periods in comfort. Some users will prefer the shorter travel and click-click of the Logitech keyboard, so it’s worth trying out both if you can find them in a retail location.

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ZAGGKeys Pro Plus backlit iPad keyboard, red.

ZAGG sells the ZAGGKeys Pro model without backlighting, but the backlit Pro Plus model is worth the $30 premium. Even with good key placement and sizing, I find myself looking for keys more often on an iPad size keyboard. With the various levels of backlighting and color options I type faster thanks to easily locating keys and punctuation. The various colors help with visibility in an array of lighting.

I’ll definitely be using this case in a dimly lit plane cabin on the way to CES in a few months instead of my MacBook Air. I wrote this review on the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus while watching Monday Night Football in a dimly lit room without issue thanks to the backlighting.

ZAGG delivers a sturdier case for the iPad thanks to stronger magnets and a small lip to keep the iPad in place. The Logitech Ultrathin keyboard case can slip around on the iPad while I carry it, something I don’t experience on the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus. Removing the iPad from the case is an easy pull apart motion.

The ZAGGKeys Pro Plus doesn’t use a magnet to keep the iPad in place while in typing mode, like Logitech does. This is a disappointing, as the iPad is less secure than inn the Logitech case. On one occasion the iPad slipped out of the slot while adjusting position on my lap.

Even with backlighting ZAGG promises two months of battery life, which is impressive when paired with the iPad’s 10-hour battery life. I’ve yet to charge the keyboard after several weeks of use.

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ZAGGKeys Pro Plus

With the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus I type almost as fast as on my MacBook Air, with about the same number of typos. I find that I’m more productive with an iPad keyboard case solution such as this thanks to the distraction free writing mode.

The ZAGGKeys Pro, the model without backlighting, retails for $99 and the ZAGGKeys Pro Plus retails for $129. Both models will go on sale at ZAGG in late September.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

3 Comments

  1. skim32

    10/03/2012 at 5:40 pm

    Any idea what’s holding up the release? End of september is already over. I really need a keyboard soon and can’t decide on this or the logitech ultrathin. I am hoping that the production version of the zaggkeys pro plus will have magnets in the docking mechanism. If not I think I’ll definitely go with logitech as the mechanism is pretty important to me.

  2. Corey

    10/18/2012 at 4:08 pm

    Could you please tell me what case that is on the back of your ipad in the photos with the zaggkeys pro plus? I just got my zaggkeys pro plus and the old back cover doesn’t work well with it. Thanks.

  3. Christ

    12/27/2012 at 8:01 pm

    I am also wondering which hard back case you have on your iPad. I read a review that said while using the ZaggKeys ProPlus, you can’t use it with a hardshell cover cause it won’t close properly. Is this true?

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