ZAGG Slim Book Keyboard Case With 2-Year Battery Could Outlast Your iPad

The iPad mini is perhaps the most powerful compact tablet available. You can leverage the thousands of full-size iPad apps yet still slip your iPad mini into just about any purse, bag, briefcase, or even coat pocket. That's why I traded in my original iPad Air for an iPad mini 3. I now leave my MacBook Pro at home and rely on the iPad mini when out of the office or out of town. The one thing that's missing is a mechanical keyboard.

Fortunately, many vendors have offered Bluetooth keyboards, including clamshell case combinations, that make it easy to type with an iPad or iPad mini. I've tried many, and recently I was able to try the ZAGG Slim Book (from $119.99). I love the precision aluminum materials and the fit and finish of the keyboard case. It's actually two cases in one. There is a slim hard shell that protects the back and sides of the iPad mini. For daily use, that could be sufficient. But for complete protection and the keyboard option, the iPad mini snaps in to the second part of the ZAGG Slim Book and forms a clamshell case. The case folds flat and turns the iPad screen off, automatically, as with many cases. You can even remove and flip the iPad around and use it as an easel. This is great for watching videos on an airplane's tray table, for example.

ZAGG Slim Book

The big attraction, though, is the keyboard. The keys are chiclet style, like the Apple Wireless Keyboard, and there are extra keys for arrows which helps with text entry and editing. There is a Home button key that duplicates the functionality of the built-in Home button. Similarly, the ZAGG keyboard has buttons for lockscreen, spotlight search, Siri, onscreen keyboard, rewind, play/pause, fast forward, mute, volume, and more.

ZAGG Slim Book

The iPad mini's width dictates that a clamshell keyboard can't quite be full-size but most of the keys are big enough, and smaller size buttons are dedicated to rarely used keys. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth and recharges via microUSB. The battery should last as long as two years, which is probably longer than I'll keep my iPad mini 3! Holding down the function key and touching the Ctrl/battery key will make the on/off button light blink one to four times to indicate battery strength. Speaking of lights, the keys can be backlit, although that may impact battery life. Still, with a two year battery, you can afford to cut that down in exchange for a great backlight. I will enjoy using this on my next plane trip! And, of course, this review was written using the ZAGG Slim Book keyboard case!

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.