Zagg iPad Mini Folio: A tablet keyboard with a few new angles

Jul 18 2013, 10:33 IST
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SummaryThe Zagg iPad Mini Folio, a keyboard cover, makes an iPad Mini seem more like a laptop

Connecting a keyboard to a tablet goes a long way toward making the tablet more like a laptop. But one keyboard, the Zagg iPad Mini Folio, takes it a step further with one small refinement: a hinge that allows you to set the screen to any angle, just as you would with a laptop.

Most keyboard covers, which close over the screen when the tablet is not in use, have a way to stand the tablet at a single angle. Those keyboard covers including some by Zagg usually have one advantage over the new Folio, however. Those with single position slots let you stand the tablet up horizontally or vertically, while the Zagg Folio has only a horizontal orientation.

Outside of that, the Folio makes the iPad Mini so much like a laptop that I kept fumbling for the touchpad control (there isnt one, of course), rather than immediately reaching for the touch screen.

The Folio adds only a little bit to the outside edges of the tablet. It is roughly a quarter of an inch thick, and when closed, the entire contraption is about two-thirds of an inch thick.

The keyboard is larger than the one on the iPad screen, although it will still seem a little cramped for people used to a fuller-size tablet or laptop keyboard. Setup was easy enough, with a push button to start the Bluetooth pairing of keyboard and tablet.

A neat aesthetic feature of the keyboard is the ability to backlight the keys with a variety of colours. It drains the keyboards battery faster, but it does look good. The company says the lithium battery will last three months with two hours of use a day without recharging. It is charged by USB but is not replaceable.

My only real quibble with the keyboard is that even with the faux leather finish, the polycarbonate feels a little cheap. But at a list price of $100, the street price may not be much more than that for a high-quality case without a keyboard.

NYT

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