Friday, August 5, 2011
Posted by Shawn Rogers in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 07:00 AM
Product Category: iPad 2 Case/Keyboard
Manufacturer: Zagg for Logitech
Where to Buy: Amazon.com
Price: $99.99 USD
System Requirements: iPad 2
Specifications: 510mAh USB rechargeable battery, 246 mm/9.7 inches long, 191 mm/7.5 inches wide, 11 mm/.43 inches high, .345 kg/12.2 oz. in weight.
- Keyboard, stand, case in one;
- Easy to use, effective design;
- Sturdy aluminium shell for a long life.
- Keys may be too small for those with larger hands;
- No protection for the back of your iPad;
- Some questions about long term durability.
The Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2 combines 3 popular iPad 2 accessories into one small profile product: a protective case, a stand, and a Bluetooth keyboard. It is ideal for those that are hoping to use their iPad 2 as a replacement to a laptop, as the small profile makes it easy to slip your iPad 2 and keyboard into a small carry on, and the Bluetooth keyboard makes writing emails or editing documents a snap. However, those with larger hands or who want full body protection for their iPad 2 will find this product lacking.
Trying to get more out of my iPad 2
Like many people who purchased an iPad or iPad 2, I have found myself using it far more often than I originally thought I would, often using it for purposes it wasn't explicitly designed for and finding it does an admirable job. In many cases, it has replaced my laptop, particularly on short business trips. QuickOffice combined with Dropbox and Apple's VGA and HDMI adaptors have done wonders in this regard. Where my iPad 2 has failed me is when it comes to writing. The on-screen keyboard is great for dashing off quick emails, but quickly becomes frustrating when trying to write out longer emails or documents. The lack of on-screen equivalents to arrow buttons has made editing Word documents or modifying presentations particularly frustrating.
When I saw what then was called the Zaggmate 2, I immediately put in a pre-order with my local Zagg reseller. It promised the perfect combination of utility and portability, combining a portable Bluetooth keyboard with a stand that could accommodate both portrait and landscape modes on the iPad 2, while keeping bulk down by functioning as a protective case for my iPad 2 when not using the keyboard. I was a bit surprised when my new Zaggmate 2 was delivered to me, and I found that it was now called the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2. Obviously between my preorder and delivery, Zagg and Logitech worked out a co-branding deal on the product. While I can only guess at the reason, my hunch is that this way Logitech can quickly get a product to market to take advantage of the initial iPad 2 sales rush, while Zagg benefits from Logitech's extensive distribution network, getting their product into even more stores than before.
Just the facts, Ma'am
The Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2 is just slightly larger than your iPad 2. The outer body is made from smooth Aluminum. This keeps everything strong and rigid, while keeping the weight nice and light. Included in the packaging are 4 rubber "feet" that you apply to the bottom of the shell via adhesive. The rubber feet help prevent the keyboard from sliding while in use, as well as help protect the aluminium from being scratched by the surface it sits on. They're thin enough that there's not too much worry of knocking them off while you slide your iPad in and out of a sleeve or other carrying case. The aluminum shell has a cut out at the keyboard so as not to hit your wrists when you type, as well as cutouts to allow you to plug in the Apple docking cable and headphones while using the keyboard as a case. It also has a micro-USB port so you can use the included USB to Micro-USB cable to recharge the built-in battery.
Inside the aluminum shell lies the keyboard and stand. They are both slightly recessed to allow your iPad 2 to slip in while using the shell as a case. The keyboard is orientated in landscape mode, going from end to end horizontally while taking up about 2/3rds of the area vertically. The keys are very similar in design to those found in a lot of netbook computers and are not the chicklet style found in many newer laptops. In addition to your usual QWERTY layout of letter and numbers, Zagg includes arrow keys plus a number of shortcut keys. These keys allow you to change the volume, copy and paste, as well as launch a number of the iPad's built-in applications.
The top 1/3 has a switch for turning on the Bluetooth keyboard, a button to help pair the keyboard with your iPad and two LED lights that act as status and charge indicators. Above this is a deep canyon that you slip your iPad 2 into, and a folding plastic tab that becomes the stand. The tab lies flat when not in use, and then can be flipped up when needed.