The iPad Air is thin, light, and ultra portable. This makes it a perfect productivity tool while on the go. Pair it with a great keyboard case and you may be surprised how much work you can get done without ever touching a desktop computer. Many App Store apps support Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts which makes it easier than ever to fly through our emails, calendars, task lists, and much more. We've taken a look at some of the most popular keyboard cases available for iPad Air and narrowed our recommendations down to just a few, and we're confident that no matter how you need to use your iPad Air on the go, one of these keyboard cases will be a perfect fit!
In order for a keyboard case or cover to be considered in this roundup, I had certain requirements that I felt must be met. If a case did not meet any one of these, I quickly ruled them out. If you select one of the cases I recommend below, you can be certain that all of the following criteria are completely met, if not exceeded.
- At least 2 months of usage on one charge, averaging around 2 hours per day
- Standard keyboard layouts that don't altar the placement of commonly used keys
- Spacious keyboard layouts that isn't challenging to adapt to — zero learning curve
- No issues pairing via Bluetooth quickly, and no dropped connections while in use
- Wake from sleep functionality when the case or cover is opened and closed
- Made for iPad controls — Home button, Siri, lock and unlock functionality, international keyboards, and media controls
ZAGGKeys Cover for iPad Air
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The ZAGGKeys Cover may be slim and easy to slip into almost any bag you may own, but don't be fooled. It's made out of high quality aluminum that feels substantial in your hands. This case comes in both black and white so you can match it to your iPad Air. The hinge has a silicon type rubber on the inside so no damage is done to your iPad Air when sliding it in the cover and back out. You also have a 135º viewing angle thanks to the design of the hinge. If illuminated keyboards are your thing, Zagg makes some of the best ones around. Not only can you control the brightness of the keys, you can also change the color. If you're ready to use your iPad in tablet mode, you can pull your iPad out and place it in the reverse direction for protection on the back side, or simply leave it out until you're ready to use the ZAGGKeys Cover again.
If you prefer cover style cases over folios and insist on illuminated keys, the ZAGGKeys Cover definitely won't disappoint.
- Between $65 and $99 - Buy Now
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air
Logitech has always offered a great keyboard layout in a small amount of space without sacrificing any functionality or ergonomics. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover by Logitech has been a favorite of mine while traveling for years. If I'm packing light, this case adds almost no weight at all but gives me the flexibility I need to write on the go. Since the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover snaps on just like a Smart Cover, it's dead simple to put on and take right back off. When I want to use my iPad Air in tablet mode, I can quickly remove the case without prying at edges or exerting a lot of effort. The only downside I could find to the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover by Logitech is the absence of illuminated keys.
If thin, light, and ultra-portable are your number one concerns, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is your best bet.
- Between $69.99 and $99 - Buy Now
ClamCase Pro for iPad Air
The ClamCase is the most expensive option on this list but it's by far the most versatile. Not only does it have a keyboard that rivals that on a full size MacBook, it offers three different usage scenarios. The first and most obvious is keyboard mode. Once your iPad Air is snapped in place, just start typing. The ClamCase Pro offers great viewing angles and dedicated media keys for one-touch access to all your music. The hinge on the ClamCase is what sets it apart. Bend it backwards and you have a touchscreen mode that allows you to easily prop your iPad Air upright so you can view media, follow recipes in the kitchen, and anything else you can imagine. Lastly, continue folding up the ClamCase and you have tablet mode. In this position the keyboard on the ClamCase deactivates so you don't accidentally press keys while using the iPad in your hands. And when you want to remove it, just press firmly on the top of the case and your iPad Air can be lifted right out.
For a keyboard case that you never had to remove unless you want to, ClamCase Pro is the most versatile option money can buy.
- $169 - Buy Now
ZAGGKeys Folio for iPad Air
Much like it's sibling, the ZAGGKeys Cover, the Folio version offers the same great keyboard layout and illuminated keyboard with changeable colors. The main difference here is that the ZAGGKeys Folio offers complete 360º protection for your iPad Air. Made from a light polycarbonate and faux leather, the ZAGGKeys Folio doesn't feel cheap in your hands. The faux leather material actually adds a nice grip so your iPad Air doesn't accidentally slip out of your grasp. Not only that, it wipes down nicely and doesn't seem to accumulate too much dirt over time, even if you opt for the white model, which is what I've been using for several months.
If you want complete protection for your iPad Air combined with one of the best illuminated keyboards available, look no further than the ZAGGKeys Folio for iPad Air.
- Between $63.99 and $99 - Buy Now
Your vote for best keyboard case or cover for iPad Air?
If you use a keyboard case or cover with your iPad Air on a regular basis, which one did you pick and why? Be sure to let me know in the comments! And of course, if you pick up any of the cases above, be sure to come back and let us know what you think of it!
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iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.