ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

We've already reviewed the ZAGGkeys Folio for iPad Air and now we're back with another one of Zagg's offerings when it comes to keyboard cases for iPad Air. The ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air has the same great keyboard layout and hardware features of its folio sibling, but comes in a slimmer cover only design. At first glance it may look like any other keyboard cover but don't be fooled. Zagg's done something special with this one.

When it comes to feature set, the ZAGGkeys Cover sports the same great keyboard as the Folio version does. That includes the awesome backlit keyboard with interchangeable LED colors. Following suit with the Folio, there's also a battery light indicator that gives you a good idea of how much battery you've got remaining, another feature many keyboard cases lack.

ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

The main feature that stands out on the ZAGGkeys Cover over other cover-style keyboards is the hinge itself. The inside of the hinge is rubber so it won't scratch the exterior or interior of your iPad Air. Just slide your iPad into the hinge and line it up with the case. Zagg recommends doing this with the hinge only a little open but I've actually found it easier to set the keyboard down and slide my iPad in the top with equal pressure on both sides. The benefit of this hinge is that it provides multiple viewing angles which is great for watching videos or times when your iPad has to be in a awkward position. Just adjust the viewing angle accordingly without having to move the entire iPad.

ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

When it comes to actual typing, Zagg makes a great keyboard that's spaced out wonderfully and feels like a full-sized keyboard. There's a top row dedicated to function keys as well so you don't have to worry about an annoying Fn key. Shortcuts include a Lock button, dedicated Siri access, undo/redo, cut/copy/paste, play/pause music, skip tracks, volume controls, and more. I truly have no complaints with the keyboard layout.

For times when you want to read with your iPad Air and don't need the keyboard, just pull it straight out. You can even turn it around in the keyboard case and slide it back in. This way the keyboard is protected and not detached from the iPad. While at home I prefer just using the iPad without the case attached if I don't need to type but I can see the benefit of this in public places. That way you know you don't accidentally forget the keyboard case somewhere.

ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

The good

  • Great keyboard layout
  • Illuminated backlit keys with interchangeable colors
  • Multiple viewing angles due to the hinge design
  • Dedicated row of function keys catering specifically to iOS
  • Amazing brushed aluminum design that's slim and really good looking
  • Sleeper magnet functionality

The bad

  • Minimal protection, but that's expected with cover style cases

The bottom line

If you want the absolute best keyboard cover you can buy that adds a minimal amount of bulk to the already lightweight iPad Air, look no further than the ZAGGkeys Cover. You just can't beat the keyboard design, backlit keys, and innovative design that supports multi-angle viewing.

The ZAGGkeys Cover isn't out just yet but is available for preorder and will retail for $99 upon launch. You can choose between black and white.

$99 - Preorder Now

See also:

ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air reviewZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air reviewZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air reviewZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air reviewZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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ZAGGkeys Cover for iPad Air review

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Your review is missing some key points such as:
- BT pairing, easy or hard, automatic; do you have to press some of the buttons on the side, can it only pair with one device at a time?
- Sleep/Wake iPad and KB - is this automatic when case is opened and closed or do you have to press a key on the keyboard or the iPad?
- Does BT key and backlighting sleep or stay on when the case is open and not being used for extended period or does it burn through the battery?
- you don't demonstrate the ease or not of inserting/releasing the iPad from the case in the video. This is important to know given issues with past clam shell designs vs the ease of smart-cover style connecting keyboards. Does it scratch the case when repeated multiple times?
- is the case plastic or aluminium, how does it feel? (cheap, sturdy, slippery in the hand?)
- do those rubber footpads still work when you fold out the clam shell, it seems to protude more than the rubber footpads when open, do those rubber or plastic ridges on the clamshell grip when typing on desk or lap? (the 2 main use cases I'd expect)

Yes on all counts. Most of the things you are asking about are consistent across all keyboards these days. Hence why I didn't mention them. Thought I had sleeper magnet in Pros but I guess I didn't. I'll add that. I did talk about the fact that the iPad was easy to get in and out. Both in the review and the video as well as a pro being brushed metal design

Great review on an upcoming accessory. I feel this May be the nicest looking keyboard accessory of this review series. I also like the way this nearly turns the iPad into a little iOS netbook device. Very handy plus all the benefits of the Zagg keyboard. Sweeeet!
I'm thinking you'll have to do one heck of a review to convince me of any other iPad keyboard. :-)

I couldn't find the weight anywhere so I stuck it on our counter scale in the kitchen, lol - not sure how scientific that is but it came out at 1.14 lbs (18.2 oz or 516 g). So unfortunately, a little heavier than the iPad Air itself.

I'm trying to decide between this, the Logitech ultrathin keyboard and the Belkin keyboard cover. Having not seen this one or the Belkin in person, my concern is that this one must be pretty heavy to be stable when holding the iPad. Is it heavier?

I web chatted with Zagg. No final weight numbers but they expect it to be just over a pound. That is about 30% heavier than the Logitech ultrathin.

You are right, weight is 1.14 lbs (I stuck it on a counter scale). It's got backlit keys and the hinge is VERY sturdy so I'd gather that contributes. And it's aluminum, not plastic like the Ultrathin.

I love the look of aluminum-backed keyboards for iPads but have also resisted buying the one that's gotten the best reviews (Logitech ultra thin) because of it's Smart Cover connection. This looks like the best if both worlds and will definitely be making its way into my collection!

Sent from the iMore App

Are these keyboard cover/cases with the iPad good laptop replacements for people who do mainly text editing as the heaviest amount of work? I would probably use pages and numbers and need to copy and paste a lot and multitask between apps.

Thanks for your help.

It's a totally personal decision but for text editing, browsing, listening to music, messaging, and light editing on photos etc, it's great!

Any chance we can get some reviews for up and mini with retina keyboard case/covers? I know less people who opt for a mini would want to bulk it up with a keyboard, and a keyboard in that size would be hard to use for a lot of people... But I'm interested in those reviews, and I'm sure there's enough others out there interested too. Thanks, and great review. If all things are equal, with out a review for iPad mini keyboard cases/covers, zaggs looks like the probable winner based on their iPad air cases.

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Hi Allyson! Great review. So the real question. if you want to impress people. Ultrathin looks cooler, doesn't it?

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I'm curious: would it be possible to use it with a retina iPad mini? Not as a case so much, but just as a keyboard/viewing stand. I don't really need a case, as I mainly carry the mini in my 5.11 shirt, but I could really use a good keyboard for it.

Another sweet review. Thank you Ally. Now I'm thinking of getting this one over the other Zagg one.

So, the question is when does it come out?

Sent from the iMore App

Your review didn't show if it's easy or hard, to take the iPad in and out of the cover, only pushing it in from both sides. Can you add some thoughts for taking it out for reading, playing games etc regularly?

First thank you for your iPad keyboard reviewing.

Did you have a chance to try one of Kensington keyboard collection ?
Kensington offer backlit keyboard as well, and one of them has a unique design because it is the only keyboard cover that protect the size/corner of iPad ( which is most common to be hit )

But I am worrying of these top size will be annoying while typing ( I can write normally around 65-70 word/minute ) and I do not know if you like me or not, but small disturbance affect my typing speed a lot.

Here is the full name of it : Kensington KeyCover Plus Hard Case Keyboard for iPad Air
Also here is Amazon link : http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-KeyCover-Plus-Keyboard-K97087US/dp/B00F...

Regards.

Yeah so the defining trait of the ipad2,3,4 keyboard cases where the cases were lighter than the ipad is totally lost pm this gen. Every one of them heavier than the iPad. Just goes to show how Apple seemingly pulls off the impossible everytime they do these formfactor shrinks, and everybody else has a hard time catching up. Just the thought of more than doubling the ipad's weight is less appealing. Also I've been hunting this keyboard for weeks. Though it was announced a while back its nowhere in sight to buy. The biggest difference I am hoping to see between this case and the logitech ultrathin is the tight clasping and the screen shut off. This feature was abysmal on the logitech. And the docking area for the ipad was way too flimsy as well. Not sure if you felt that way too. Between the logitech and the zagg would you say the zagg is a clear winner?

Sent from the iMore App

Yeah so the defining trait of the ipad2,3,4 keyboard cases where the cases were lighter than the ipad is totally lost pm this gen. Every one of them heavier than the iPad. Just goes to show how Apple seemingly pulls off the impossible everytime they do these formfactor shrinks, and everybody else has a hard time catching up. Just the thought of more than doubling the ipad's weight is less appealing. Also I've been hunting this keyboard for weeks. Though it was announced a while back its nowhere in sight to buy. The biggest difference I am hoping to see between this case and the logitech ultrathin is the tight clasping and the screen shut off. This feature was abysmal on the logitech. And the docking area for the ipad was way too flimsy as well. Not sure if you felt that way too. Between the logitech and the zagg would you say the zagg is a clear winner?

Sent from the iMore App

Yeah so the defining trait of the ipad2,3,4 keyboard cases where the cases were lighter than the ipad is totally lost pm this gen. Every one of them heavier than the iPad. Just goes to show how Apple seemingly pulls off the impossible everytime they do these formfactor shrinks, and everybody else has a hard time catching up. Just the thought of more than doubling the ipad's weight is less appealing. Also I've been hunting this keyboard for weeks. Though it was announced a while back its nowhere in sight to buy. The biggest difference I am hoping to see between this case and the logitech ultrathin is the tight clasping and the screen shut off. This feature was abysmal on the logitech. And the docking area for the ipad was way too flimsy as well. Not sure if you felt that way too. Between the logitech and the zagg would you say the zagg is a clear winner?

Sent from the iMore App

Hi Allyson, Thanks for the reviews. When looking at the Zagg cover, do you think that hinge will damage the ghost armor (front and back protective skin) if it is pulled on and off that hinge a few time? I like the back lit function but for this reason this the magnetic attachment of the Logitech might be better. Thoughts? Thanks, Craig

I have picked up this keyboard and I love it, I did notice that the version you reviewed had white keys and a different layout. Mine has a white background and grey back-lit keys. The exterior matches the silver of my white iPad Mini and I was under the impression that there were only two variants, the other for the slate/black iPad Mini. Do you model ever make production? Thanks for a great review!!