Just My Type (part 2) - ZAGGfolio,Writer Plus, keyPAD, Professional Workstation

8/16/2012 3:31:53 PM



Price: $159.92  



Key point The original and still great

Description: Description: ZAGGZAGGfolio

ZAGG’s keyboard case for the original iPad was one of our favourite early accessories. The ZAGGfolio, for iPad 2 and the new iPad, is neater but still hugs your tablet similarly; it’s more of a protective shell than a folio case, despite the name. But it has a pleasant soft-touch finish so it doesn’t feel like a cheap plastic cover.

Your iPad slides into the top half of the case and is held firmly in place; a minor quibble is that you have to remove the keyboard from the case to charge it. With the keyboard and iPad together, the Zagg is relatively heavy, though still easily portable.

The clasp that holds the iPad shut works, but it’s not a great design - not easy to clip shut and tricky to undo. And the way your iPad sits in the keyboard means you get just the one viewing angle; it’s fine for most situations, but some cases provide more flexibility. Still, the chunky base does mean the ZAGG can be used easily on your lap, which is not something most of the other cases allow for.

The ZAGG is similar to the Adonit keyboard in that it’s one of the better options for fast or touch-typists. But you’ll still have a few frustrating hours getting used to the more cramped keys.

The ZAGG is a great protective case, and despite the small shortcomings of the clip and the weight, it remains an excellent choice.


Writer Plus

Price: $143.98  



Key point For the stylish typist

Description: Description: Adonit Writer Plus

The Adonit has a hard keyboard with tile keys not unlike the ones you’d find on a modern Mac keyboard, but a lot smaller. It’s probably the very best of the keyboard styles for those who can type quickly. Although realistically it’s still not going to work quite as well as a full-size keyboard, carrying around a full-size keyboard with your iPad is too annoying for most people.

This case is clearly designed for those who’ll be on the keyboard all the time. Using the iPad for general browsing and viewing the web or video is a bit fiddly with the keyboard attached. You can take the keyboard off, obviously, but it’s not a convenient solution if you have to keep doing that.

As a case, the Adonit sits nicely in the hand and the iPad feels secure when it’s clipped into the plastic base. What it does lack is an easy to reach on/off switch: when the keyboard is paired, the iPad’s onscreen switch doesn’t show up, which can be a pain. It’s not a massive oversight, but other keyboards have a switch that makes unpairing faster.

We were also slightly concerned that the keyboard sits flush against the iPad screen when the case is closed. Overall, though, the Adonit is right up there with the best choices for those who expect to use the keyboard a lot.



price: $111.92  



Key points Squidgy

Description: Description: ScoschekeyPAD

The keyPAD is an executive-style case with a shiny leather-effect finish that reaches the heady heights of quite nice, but no further. A flappy stand keeps the iPad screen angled towards you and is held in place magnetically when you don't need it. We liked the magnetic clasp that holds the case together, too: it feels sturdy, and there’s a stylus holder on the spine for those who like to invoke the wrath of Steve Jobs’ spirit by using a rubber pen instead of their fingers.

The main issue we had with this case was the keyboard. The keys are held below a rubbery cover, and typing on it isn’t much better than using the iPad screen. This very much defeats the point of having a keyboard case. You can take the keyboard out of the case altogether if you need to, to get a better viewing angle or more a comfortable position.

It’s a shame about the rubber finish, because overall this is a nice enough case. It’ll protect your iPad and allow you to type, just not with any great degree of accuracy. There is, we suppose, an argument that the rubber keys are less likely to damage your iPad screen when in transit, but still, it’s not a great compromise.



Professional Workstation

Price: $89.6  



Key point Not one for the typing pool

Description: Description: iLuvProfessional Workstation

The iLuv Professional Workstation feels like a proper folio case. It’s sturdy and has a pleasingly shiny leather finish. In any business meeting, you’d feel like the boss with the iLuv in hand. Your iPad slips snugly and safely inside, with all the relevant holes aligned so you still get full use of your tablet.

There’s a magnetic stand which props the iPad facing you at a comfortable angle, and it locks into place so it won’t fall over or rock when you prod at the screen. In fact, it’s so strong it may take a bit of force to get it down when you’ve finished, but better that than too floppy.

The keyboard is frustratingly tedious to use, however. It looks as if it should be easy to bash away at, but the keys are too close together. Even after a little acclimatisation we were still hitting two keys and either getting nothing or multiple letters together.

As a case, the Professional Workstation is excellent, but the keyboard is poor unless you have very tiny fingers or like to type with chopsticks.

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