The Slim Book Keyboard Case from Zagg is a very lightweight keyboard case that can be used in a number of different configurations. The case comes in 2 parts: – a black polycarbonate shell and a detachable keyboard, it is available for all models of the iPad Mini, the iPad Air and the iPad Air 2, I tested the iPad Air 2 version.
The keyboard is brushed aluminum on the top surface, with black keys and a black polycarbonate base. A black magnetic hinge is used to connect the two parts of the case. The magnetic hinge works well and makes it easy to attach and detach the keyboard from the Shell. The keyboarding experience on the Slim Book is great, the keys are backlit, responsive and comfortable to type on. The keyboard boasts a really long battery life- Zagg claim 2 years between charges on normal use, I have been using it for a month and have not yet needed to charge it.
The Shell is a hard black polycarbonate and covers the back and sides of the iPad with cutouts over the camera, speakers, buttons and ports. It protects the back and sides of the iPad from scratches, but I’m not sure that the Shell would give a lot of protection in a fall.
The most obvious way to use the Slim Book is as a traditional keyboard case. The screen can be used at a variety of viewing angles up to 135°, and when closed the case protects the iPad from all angles.
The iPad in its Shell can be disconnected from the keyboard and reconnected with the screen facing away from the keyboard, you can then set it to whatever angle works best for you viewing a movie.
To travel light you can remove the keyboard entirely and just use the Shell, the screen is not protected but the rest of the iPad is.
If you want to use your iPad for reading or playing apps but want to keep the keyboard handy this is the best mode to use. First set it up in video mode, then close it so the iPad is laying flat on top of the keyboard.
The iPad Air 2 on its own weighs about 15 1/2oz and the iPad Air 2 in the Slim Book with keyboard weighs approximately 2lb 1oz. Although the case is doubling the weight of the iPad Air 2, is it lighter than many other “clamshell” type keyboard cases, and because you can remove and reposition the keyboard it is more flexible than a regular clamshell type case, but has better quality keys than most folio style cases. When you use the Shell on its own it is a very lightweight option as the Shell only weighs about about 2 1/2oz.
I really like using the Slim Book as a keyboard case for my iPad Air 2, the keys are backlit, responsive and comfortable to type on. The on/off button is clearly marked and glows green when you switch it on and red when you switch it off. With some other keyboard cases I have to remember combinations of key sequences to pair, here there is a single button marked with a Bluetooth symbol. I also like that there is a light to tell you when caps lock is on, this is a feature missing in many keyboard cases. It is really simple to switch between modes – the iPad is held in the hinge by a strong magnet, so to remove it you just pull on the iPad and when you position it back in the hinge to replace it the magnet snaps it into place easily. One area of concern with the case is I’m not sure how well the shell part will stand up to prolonged use- the hard polycarbonate is very thin near the ports which makes for weak spots.
Overall, I really like the flexibility of this design, how easily you can change between modes, its slim profile and the keyboarding experience. I really love having a keyboard case for my iPad that doesn’t detract from the iPad Air 2’s slim, light profile and that gives me the option to easily remove the keyboard when I am not using it, my only reservation is the durability and protection of the shell portion of the case.
Available from Zagg.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $129.99
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.