Zagg’s kickstand made me want to kick their Slim Pro and Rugged Pro cases to the curb.
Hinges, kickstands, and magnets
Zagg’s last generation Slim and Rugged Book cases sported strong hinges that allowed you to put your iPad in almost any position you could ever want. It made typing on a desk, airplane tray table, or your lap easy.
The hinge that mates the keyboard to the iPad on the Slim Case Pro and Rugged Case Pro aren’t great. They offer no resistance to speak of; the two halves of the case would flop around unhindered, were it not for the presence of a metal kickstand built into the back of the iPad enclosure. This kickstand causes two problems. First, the footprint of the case, when used for typing, is increased by about 50 percent. That means less room on any surface you set up on. Second, as the hinge offers no resistance, the case has a tendency to flop open when closed, leaving your iPad’s display to potentially get scratched or damaged. Zagg’s argument for the kickstand is that it allows users to set the iPad Pro to watch, draw on or video chat with, without the need of the keyboard to prop it up. I can’t help but feel that this is a step in the wrong direction.
It’s also worth noting that the iPad case and the keyboard are mated together using only magnets. This makes it easy to take the two halves of Zagg’s cases apart. But, should you drop your iPad in either the Slim Pro or Rugged Pro, speaking from experience, nothing in the universe will keep the two halves from blowing apart on impact, leaving the display of your tablet unprotected.
The detachable keyboard provides a passable typing experience and can be paired with up to three devices.
Designed to fit within the confines of a case fit to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the keyboard in both the Slim Pro and Rugged Pro offers a pretty good typing experience. The keys provide an acceptable amount of travel and are large enough with enough space between them to make touch typing possible. A top row of function keys provides access to a number of desirable shortcuts. And happily, the keyboards on both cases feature adjustable backlighting.
Interestingly, Zagg allows users to pair up to three devices with the keyboard of the Pro case. Switching between paired devices is easy, thanks to the three pairing keys at the top left of the keyboard. While I can’t imagine anyone wanting to use the keyboard for input to their computer, it might make a nice accessory to a home entertainment system or gaming console.
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