ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case for new iPad in Review – To Type ‘n Protect

Sometime ago, I’d reviewed a keyboard/case combo from ZAGG – the ZAGGmate – for my iPad 1. Thanks to its slick and slim design, along with the capable bluetooth keyboard, it became a constant companion whenever I traveled with the iPad. The one downside was that the tablet’s back was left exposed to potential drops and falls – a trade-off for its sexy form factor. So as an alternative, ZAGG introduced the ZAGGfolio, a folio-styled case that not only houses a much improved keyboard, but also offers front and rear protection for the iPad when closed.

Seeing how I’d become quite reliant on the ZAGGmate, I was eager to pick up a case with similar functionality for my new iPad. And now that I’ve had 3 weeks of hands-on time with the ZAGGfolio, I’ve once again found myself growing very fond of this combo case, thanks in large part to the drastically improved typing experience offered over its predecessor.

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ZAGGmate with Keyboard in Review – One Sleek Case and Keyboard Combo for your iPad

When it comes to accessories for the iPad, we’re no longer just seeing cases, stands, or screen protectors on the market. Manufacturers have started to cater to users who aren’t all that keen on typing with the iPad’s virtual keyboard for extended periods. As such, the iPad is often being paired up with Apple’s own iPad Keyboard Dock or Wireless Keyboard. This may be good for when at home, but on the road, it can be cumbersome to lug around the two separately.

It’s no wonder then that we’ve seen a whole new market open up for cases that incorporate a physical keyboard. The Kensington KeyFolioGembox  Keyboard Case and the upcoming Adonit Writer are such examples. Unfortunately, most add unwanted bulk and make your iPad look more like a crummy (second hand) netbook. Thankfully, ZAGG has come up with a solution that is both sleek and sexy, not to mention fun to use – the ZAGGmate w/ Keyboard case.

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ZAGGmate with Keyboard to turn your iPad into a 10″ Laptop. Now available for Pre-Order

While iPad cases that incorporate a fully functional keyboard into its design is not entirely new (like the Kensington Bluetooth keyboard and Aidacase Folio Deluxe cases), the upcoming ZAGGmate w/Keyboard is probably the most intriguing and promising keyboard case I’ve come across to date. Embedded is a Bluetooth keyboard that includes special function keys specific to the iPad: music and volume control, slideshow, home , search, virtual keyboard toggle and more. The outer shell is made with aircraft-grade aluminum and an anodized finish that matches nicely with that of the iPad.

And if you don’t see the need for the external keyboard, the ZAGGmate also comes as a standalone version, which essentially becomes an ultra thin aluminum case and adjustable stand (with 10 viewing angles) for your iPad. The ZAGGmate w/Keyboard will sell for $99 US, while the regular ZAGGmate will set you back $69. Both are now available for pre-order and will ship on or slightly before Dec 17th. This is certainly one iPad accessory we look forward to reviewing in the near future. In the meantime, check out the promo videos and screenshots after the gap.

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