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Apr 15

ZAGGkeys Cover Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Air (Black) Reviews

ZAGG Cover Case with Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air-Black

  • The Cover's patent pending design lets you place your iPad in a convenient reading mode
  • One-of-a-kind hinge design allows for virtually any viewing angle - just like a laptop
  • The Bluetooth Keyboard features island-style keys and 30% more typing space than the competition
  • At only 6.3mm thin, less than a quarter of an inch, the Cover is 14% smaller than competitor keyboards
  • A powerful battery offers up to three months of use between charges
  • Backlit keys in interchangeable colors make typing in low light areas a breeze
  • Special function keys help you get more done from the convenience of your keyboard
ZAGG Cover Case with Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air-Black ZAGG Cover is a versatile Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad Air.
View larger Get More from Your iPad Air The ZAGG Cover is one of the most versatile Bluetooth keyboards on the market. It features a unique hinge design that lets you position your screen at virtually any viewing angle. A clever design feature lets you reverse your screen, converting the Cover into a convenient, one-piece reader or movie screen. When you’re

List Price: $ 99.99 Price: $ 57.25

Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Landscape works great, portrait mode a problem, January 7, 2014
By 
B. Wright (SF Bay Area) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ZAGG Cover Case with Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air-Black (Personal Computers)
This is, at least for me, the best keyboard cover I've used so far. As I've said on my other keyboard cover reviews, the keyboard cover needs to function as both a keyboard and a cover equally well. Though, it's not the perfect cover and doesn't support portrait mode easily, it's about as good as it's going to get for now. So far I've tried the Kensington KeyCover Plus, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and now this ZAGGkeys Cover.

This keyboard cover has a micro USB port for charging, an on/off switch, a pairing button, the case hinge and, of course, the keyboard itself. The keyboard is lighted LED. It is about the same thickness as the iPad, but tapering to be slightly thinner at the spacebar edge. When together, the weight feels about double that of the iPad.

The Cover

The exterior is a shade of gunmetal grey painted in a similar way as the iPad, but the color is not an exact match (it's slightly brighter and the flakes are bigger). The surface is a little more textured as a result of this paint job. But, it matches closely enough from a distance. The hinge has some rubber strips to keep from sliding on a table, but there are no feet on the bottom. To use this cover, it takes a little elbow grease. You need to take the iPad and push it down into the hinge. The hinge grips the iPad tightly. Once the iPad is in there, though, it's not something you want to pull out often. Hence, the problem with Portrait mode. So, this makes it somewhat inconvenient to hold the iPad in portrait mode. It's quite clear, this cover was primarily designed to hold the iPad in landscape mode. You can pull the iPad out of the hinge, but after doing this a couple of times and having to readjust the iPad to sit properly when closed, it really discourages you from doing it often.

On the other hand, the hinge mechanism is perfect for landscape mode. It flexes from closed to 135 degrees open. It looks and feels like a small notebook. The hinge movement itself is tight (like a notebook) so it holds the display in any angle without closing. It works amazingly well for landscape mode.

When the cover is closed, the magnet actives that iPad lock mechanism perfectly. When open, it also turns right on. Unfortunately, while it does activate the iPad's locking mechanism well, the keyboard itself does not have its own locking mechanism. So, if you close the iPad and the keyboard light is on, it stays on. The keyboard itself does not shut off when closed. You have to manually do this with the on/off switch.

The Keyboard

This keyboard paired on the first attempt with no difficulties, unlike the Kensington. The one thing I noticed while pairing is that the keyboard did not prompt for a password. So, it appears Zagg did not build any security into the bluetooth stack for this keyboard. I don't know that that's a problem for everyone, but it could be for some who are wanting that extra security layer. For example, if you accidentally press the pairing button, someone could pair your keyboard without typing in anything on the keyboard. Note, I don't often see keyboard products that hit the market that don't require a passcode. So, this is a bit unusual and you may want to ask Zagg some questions about this.

The lighted keyboard works quite well, is sufficiently bright to cover most instances and turns off after about 30 seconds of inactivity. The light comes right back on when you start typing. You can easily change the color of the lights.

As for placement of keys, if you have used any Zagg keyboard products, the key placement is pretty standard for Zagg. However, I would still like to have an ESC key which is still absent on this keyboard. You can create an ESC by ctrl-[, but I'd prefer using an actual key. In the position where the ESC key usually sits is the home (square) key. In fact, there's no real need to have this key on the keyboard when you can reach up and press the home button. Or, it could be placed onto a function key button. I rarely, if ever, push that button. It would be far more useful to have the ESC key there. Better, make that key programmable.

Reading Mode

I thought I should discuss this a bit. The iPad slips into the tightly gripping groove inside the hinge. It is shaped identically to the iPad case edge so it fits like a glove. However, it's so tight as to make it inconvenient to pull the iPad out often. As a result, it's not easy to pull it out to hold the iPad in portrait mode. Additionally, the hinge maxes out open into a 135 degree position. If you want to use the advertised 'Reading Mode', you have to... Read more
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By far one the best keyboard available for the iPad, February 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ZAGG Cover Case with Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air-Black (Personal Computers)
This is one of the best keyboard I have come across for any tablet, not just the iPad. Even compared to older models made for other/ older versions of the iPad, this one pales in comparison to them all.

Pros:

-Backlit keyboard with varying brightness
-Ability to change color of backlight (not exactly necessary but still pretty cool)
-First time pairing with a device is nearly foolproof and almost instantaneous
-After turning off the keyboard and then turning it back on it automatically pairs with the device -as long as it is within range and Bluetooth is turned on in the device
-Row of hotkeys along the top very similar to that of Apple keyboards (play/ pause, volume control, etc.)
-Sturdy connection to the iPad itself; never feels as if it is about to fall out/ come loose but not so tight that it is impossible to remove
-Wide range of viewing angles very similar to a laptop
-Similar to Smart Cover and laptops in that when it is closed it puts the iPad into sleep mode
-Typing surface is large enough to feel like a normal keyboard. I have extremely large hands and I find that even with the keyboard in my lap I feel as if I am typing on a laptop and don't need to make a special effort to type. Note that I am not a secretary or a person who types for a living. Those types of people may notice a slight difference in the way they type due to the smaller size of the keyboard.

Cons
-Advertised "Portrait Mode" requires you to actually remove the keyboard from the iPad and insert the iPad into to slot backwards. This is not a sturdy connection at all and I don't ever really plan on using the keyboard in this mode. It is just as easy to remove the iPad from the keyboard and use it in portrait mode that way and put the keyboard somewhere else. This is the main reason I removed a star from its rating.
NOTE: Other reviewers have complained that removing the keyboard is not something that you may want to do frequently due to the fact that the connection is rather tight and not doing so may damage your iPad. The slot that the iPad goes into on the keyboard is padded with rubber and definitely designed for removal and I have had no such damage to the iPad.
- When keyboard is closed and automatically puts the iPad into sleep mode, keyboard itself does not go into sleep mode. However, after about 1 minute of inactivity the keyboard will go into sleep mode on its own.
- Some keys stick and register twice instead of once when you press them. This does not happen too frequently but often enough to become a slight nuisance.
Overall this product is one of the best accessories I have purchased for my iPad. ZAGG has created another quality product that lives up to near all of my expectations.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light, Incredibly thin and beautifully designed. Is it the best iPad keyboard for you?, May 10, 2014
This review is from: ZAGG Cover Case with Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air-Black (Personal Computers)
OK - so firstly I have to admit I absolutely love the iPad, but while I love the touchscreen input, I also value the ability to touch-type at full speed. I took ages looking for a keyboard, and previously bought the Logitec Ultra Thin, then the Zagg Folio, and finally giving up in favour of this one.†

Read on for a comparative review.

Basically there are two types of keyboard. Folio keyboards use a "laptop" style, turning your iPad into a MacBook Air, and the "cover" style keyboards give very little protection, but with the advantage of being very light.

This Zagg keyboard is a "cover" style which means when closed it covers just the screen, with the advantage that (compared to the "Zagg Folio"), it doesn't cover the beautiful aluminium design of the iPad with black plastic.

In this case (ie. the Zagg Cover), the iPad Air slots into a hinge along the long edge of the keyboard, where it can be adjusted for the correct viewing angle. †It moves back to about 130 degrees, to put this context 90 degrees is vertical - so pretty good.

Where this really shines through, is the keyboard. Despite the small physical space, the keyboard quality is excellent, with island style keys with a natural feel. Unlike some cheaper keyboards, the keys are relatively large (Zagg claim up to 30% larger), and I can comfortably touch-type at speed.

As said, I previously owned a Logitec Ultra Thin keyboard, but where the Zagg keyboards (both Folio and Cover style) really win, is the keyboard is in the middle of the area which most of the physical space available. This means it doesn't feel quite so cramped as other keyboards where the keys are jammed into a tiny space at the front. The keys are all close to full size, and there's even a set of iPad specific function keys, for example for undo and redo, or increase/reduce the sound volume - a great bonus.

As I sit here in bed with the light off (so the wife can sleep peacefully), I find the backlit keyboard a huge bonus. You can control the brightness (3 settings) directly using a specific key, and (although a bit of a gimmick), you can change the back-light colour. My research shows (as of May 2014), this is the only iPad keyboard with this feature (back-lit keyboard) - one I personally really appreciate.

In common with nearly all these iPad keyboards, it works wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection, and the battery life is excellent. Expect not to have to re-charge the battery around once every few months (although expect the back-lit keyboard to reduce this a bit). Oh, and you also key a special key which when pressed, indicates the remaining keyboard battery life.

After about 4 months use on the Folio, despite using the back-lit keyboard daily, I think I've charged it about 3 times - so about once every 6 weeks - very impressive.

What's great about it

* In common with all "cover" style keyboards, it doesn't cover up the beautiful aluminimum iPad design.
* Unlike the Logitec Ultrathin, the iPad is "permanently" (ie. until you pull it out), attached to the keyboard. †The Ultrathin simply slots into the keyboard, and feels like it could easily falll out - for example if positioned on your lap.
* The hinge provides a huge range of angles (unlike the Ultrathin - stuck in one position)
* Layout, size, spacing and "travel" on the keyboard are excellent - top marks
* Back-lit keyboard in five colours and three brightness settings is a great bonus
* Keyboard sports full size number keys, and dedicated function keys
* Comes in both black and white - although I've only seen the white one on Amazon so far.

What's not to like

* Well it does add a tiny bit of weight to the iPad Air - but it's still lighter than a Mac Book Air.
* Unlike the "Folio" style keyboard, it still exposes the back to potenial scratches.

What else is available?

* Zagg iPad Air Folio. (535g). Complete keyboard cover, very laptop style with backlit keys. Much larger keyboard
* Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Grey (313g). Beautiful aluminium finish. Incredibly light, but no protection, also the iPad sits in a groove on the keyboard, and feels like it could easily fall off. †Worth a look though.
* Belkin QODE Ultimate Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad Air - Black. (413g). Complete cover with aluminium finish and 3 screen positions. Good quality, but similar cramped keyboard.
* Logitec Fabric Skin. (425g). Wipe clean, water resistant keyboard but keys a bit "spongy"

Personally I considered the options above, finally narrowing it down to the "Logitec... Read more
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3 comments

  1. B. Wright
    56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Landscape works great, portrait mode a problem, January 7, 2014
    By 
    B. Wright (SF Bay Area) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: ZAGGkeys Cover Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Air (Black) (Personal Computers)

    This is, at least for me, the best keyboard cover I’ve used so far. As I’ve said on my other keyboard cover reviews, the keyboard cover needs to function as both a keyboard and a cover equally well. Though, it’s not the perfect cover and doesn’t support portrait mode easily, it’s about as good as it’s going to get for now. So far I’ve tried the Kensington KeyCover Plus, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and now this ZAGGkeys Cover.

    This keyboard cover has a micro USB port for charging, an on/off switch, a pairing button, the case hinge and, of course, the keyboard itself. The keyboard is lighted LED. It is about the same thickness as the iPad, but tapering to be slightly thinner at the spacebar edge. When together, the weight feels about double that of the iPad.

    The Cover

    The exterior is a shade of gunmetal grey painted in a similar way as the iPad, but the color is not an exact match (it’s slightly brighter and the flakes are bigger). The surface is a little more textured as a result of this paint job. But, it matches closely enough from a distance. The hinge has some rubber strips to keep from sliding on a table, but there are no feet on the bottom. To use this cover, it takes a little elbow grease. You need to take the iPad and push it down into the hinge. The hinge grips the iPad tightly. Once the iPad is in there, though, it’s not something you want to pull out often. Hence, the problem with Portrait mode. So, this makes it somewhat inconvenient to hold the iPad in portrait mode. It’s quite clear, this cover was primarily designed to hold the iPad in landscape mode. You can pull the iPad out of the hinge, but after doing this a couple of times and having to readjust the iPad to sit properly when closed, it really discourages you from doing it often.

    On the other hand, the hinge mechanism is perfect for landscape mode. It flexes from closed to 135 degrees open. It looks and feels like a small notebook. The hinge movement itself is tight (like a notebook) so it holds the display in any angle without closing. It works amazingly well for landscape mode.

    When the cover is closed, the magnet actives that iPad lock mechanism perfectly. When open, it also turns right on. Unfortunately, while it does activate the iPad’s locking mechanism well, the keyboard itself does not have its own locking mechanism. So, if you close the iPad and the keyboard light is on, it stays on. The keyboard itself does not shut off when closed. You have to manually do this with the on/off switch.

    The Keyboard

    This keyboard paired on the first attempt with no difficulties, unlike the Kensington. The one thing I noticed while pairing is that the keyboard did not prompt for a password. So, it appears Zagg did not build any security into the bluetooth stack for this keyboard. I don’t know that that’s a problem for everyone, but it could be for some who are wanting that extra security layer. For example, if you accidentally press the pairing button, someone could pair your keyboard without typing in anything on the keyboard. Note, I don’t often see keyboard products that hit the market that don’t require a passcode. So, this is a bit unusual and you may want to ask Zagg some questions about this.

    The lighted keyboard works quite well, is sufficiently bright to cover most instances and turns off after about 30 seconds of inactivity. The light comes right back on when you start typing. You can easily change the color of the lights.

    As for placement of keys, if you have used any Zagg keyboard products, the key placement is pretty standard for Zagg. However, I would still like to have an ESC key which is still absent on this keyboard. You can create an ESC by ctrl-[, but I’d prefer using an actual key. In the position where the ESC key usually sits is the home (square) key. In fact, there’s no real need to have this key on the keyboard when you can reach up and press the home button. Or, it could be placed onto a function key button. I rarely, if ever, push that button. It would be far more useful to have the ESC key there. Better, make that key programmable.

    Reading Mode

    I thought I should discuss this a bit. The iPad slips into the tightly gripping groove inside the hinge. It is shaped identically to the iPad case edge so it fits like a glove. However, it’s so tight as to make it inconvenient to pull the iPad out often. As a result, it’s not easy to pull it out to hold the iPad in portrait mode. Additionally, the hinge maxes out open into a 135 degree position. If you want to use the advertised ‘Reading Mode’, you have to…

    Read more

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  2. Lakefarm
    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The best you can get right now, January 12, 2014
    By 

    This review is from: ZAGGkeys Cover Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Air (Black) (Personal Computers)
    This is probably the best keyboard cover for the iPad Air that is available at this point in time. It is sleek, has an aluminum cover that almost matches the color of the “space grey” iPad, is backlit, and works seamlessly. I also like the fact that it does not move the colon key from its natural like the Belkin keyboards do, which is a big deal if you use a language other than English for typing.

    A few notes I can make after using this cover for a few days:

    - It takes considerable force to remove the iPad from this cover. Be sure to exercise caution orelse the iPad or the keyboard may fly out of your hands as you’re pulling hard.

    - The iPad’s voice recognition (not Siri, but the dictation buttion in the virtual keyboard next to the space bar) disappears when the iPad is paired to the keyboard. The Siri buttion on the cover only activates Siri, not voice recognition typing. This can be bad news if you rely on voice dictation, but I found a fix for it: Press the virtual keyboard buttion on the Zagg, showing the virtual keyboard on the iPad screen, then change the language using the “globe” language switch next to the left arrow key, then switch back to English and the voice recognition button will magically reappear. It’s a glitch that either Zagg or Apple will need to work on.

    - When flipping the iPad into tablet mode, you cannot change its angle. It will need to stay flat on top of the keyboard.It would have been nice if the iPad’s angle could be changed in tablet mode.

    - The cover does not turn itself off when disconneted, but it goes to sleep after a few minutes of disuse, which saves battery life. This is nice for saving battery life but can be interesting if you forget to turn the cover off after you remove the iPad.

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  3. Jonathan Chittenden
    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    By far one the best keyboard available for the iPad, February 4, 2014
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: ZAGGkeys Cover Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Air (Black) (Personal Computers)
    This is one of the best keyboard I have come across for any tablet, not just the iPad. Even compared to older models made for other/ older versions of the iPad, this one pales in comparison to them all.

    Pros:

    -Backlit keyboard with varying brightness
    -Ability to change color of backlight (not exactly necessary but still pretty cool)
    -First time pairing with a device is nearly foolproof and almost instantaneous
    -After turning off the keyboard and then turning it back on it automatically pairs with the device -as long as it is within range and Bluetooth is turned on in the device
    -Row of hotkeys along the top very similar to that of Apple keyboards (play/ pause, volume control, etc.)
    -Sturdy connection to the iPad itself; never feels as if it is about to fall out/ come loose but not so tight that it is impossible to remove
    -Wide range of viewing angles very similar to a laptop
    -Similar to Smart Cover and laptops in that when it is closed it puts the iPad into sleep mode
    -Typing surface is large enough to feel like a normal keyboard. I have extremely large hands and I find that even with the keyboard in my lap I feel as if I am typing on a laptop and don’t need to make a special effort to type. Note that I am not a secretary or a person who types for a living. Those types of people may notice a slight difference in the way they type due to the smaller size of the keyboard.

    Cons
    -Advertised “Portrait Mode” requires you to actually remove the keyboard from the iPad and insert the iPad into to slot backwards. This is not a sturdy connection at all and I don’t ever really plan on using the keyboard in this mode. It is just as easy to remove the iPad from the keyboard and use it in portrait mode that way and put the keyboard somewhere else. This is the main reason I removed a star from its rating.
    NOTE: Other reviewers have complained that removing the keyboard is not something that you may want to do frequently due to the fact that the connection is rather tight and not doing so may damage your iPad. The slot that the iPad goes into on the keyboard is padded with rubber and definitely designed for removal and I have had no such damage to the iPad.
    - When keyboard is closed and automatically puts the iPad into sleep mode, keyboard itself does not go into sleep mode. However, after about 1 minute of inactivity the keyboard will go into sleep mode on its own.
    - Some keys stick and register twice instead of once when you press them. This does not happen too frequently but often enough to become a slight nuisance.
    Overall this product is one of the best accessories I have purchased for my iPad. ZAGG has created another quality product that lives up to near all of my expectations.

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