Review: ZAGG Folio Case for iPad mini 4

I finally broke down after the last Apple event and updated my original iPad mini with a new iPad mini 4. The mini is not only great for travel, it is completely viable as a miniature laptop. For on-the-go computing, it has replaced my old netbook (that I now use to run classic arcade games in a cocktail table cabinet). Anyway, the new mini needs a decent iPad mini keyboard case in order to act more like a laptop, and ZAGG has one of the best iPad mini cases. The ZAGG folio case (from $89.99) turns the new mini into an even more powerful tablet!

The new iPad mini 4 is thinner and longer than the older models, and thus all of my old iPad mini accessories are not compatible. This is an ever present annoyance with technology. The keyboards I have all pair with the new mini, but because of the size mismatches, they can't be magnetically or otherwise attached (the ones that support doing so) to the new mini. The ZAGG folio case for iPad mini 4 (available in backlit and non-backlit models) is constructed for a custom fit, with attractive sewn-in textured panels on the front and back. The iPad mini 4 keyboard case ZAGG sent for review is the non-backlit model, but both are true folio cases. If you are looking for a detachable design (my advice for gamers), you might want to try the pricier slim book.

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The new mini folio together gets you a little closer to what I refer to as "screentouch free" work environment, which is not something Apple has ever really wanted to encourage for the iPad. It was not the intention that the original iPad be used like a laptop, with a touchpad, mouse, or even a keyboard. The touchscreen was the point; but those of us who write, research, and multi-task have old habits (like using keypress shortcuts), and the requisite app-switching productivity that results still mostly requires an actual keyboard to be effective. iOS has evolved to accommodate the keybound dinosaurs like myself, thus one can switch between apps using alt-tab keypresses and several apps support keypress shortcuts to initiate common tasks (open a new tab in browser, highlight and correct text in a note, etc.).

The keyboard itself hasn't deviated much from the older model ZAGG keyboards I have reviewed in the past. The keys are maybe a hair more springy, but that could be just because it is newer than keyboards I have laying around. I didn't note any missed keypresses when testing it as I have with other ZAGG keyboards. The folio is 6.9mm thick, and sports up to a three-month battery life—features which also make it a good travelers choice—but the only other compelling on-the-go user aspect might be the hinge, which allows the screen to be angled back to a shallow 135 degrees.


  • Decent keyboard with case
  • Long battery life and slim design


  • Locked into one orientation (not detachable)

Final Verdict

Overall, this is another solid iPad mini keyboard case from ZAGG. The key layout and feel is much like their older iPad mini keyboards (a bit cramped but responsive), and the construction, while not really shock resistant or tough, is of a decent quality. I give this folio case the iPhone Life stamp of approval. You can provide some basic protection for your new iPad mini while converting it into something more productive akin to a small laptop. The lack of a detachable hinge is somewhat of a deal-breaker for gamers, in my opinion (though you could just take mini out of the case to solve that).



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Author Details

Nate Adcock's picture

Author Details

Nate Adcock

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the and blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at or e-mail him at