The KeyCover™ Hard Shell Keyboard for iPad mini is designed to make typing on your iPad mini easier. It is compatible with both the original iPad mini and the iPad mini with Retina display. It tested it with the original iPad Mini. It can be used with the mini in either portrait or landscape mode.
This is a relatively unusual keyboard case as it is designed to be used with a “bare” iPad mini. It is a single piece- a keyboard tray, and when the keyboard is in use the mini itself is not covered. When you are using the keyboard the mini sits in a groove in the keyboard, when it is not in use the mini snaps into the keyboard tray. It has automatic sleep/ wake function when placed in or removed from the cover.
The keyboard connects with the mini via Bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery. The battery life is reported as 120 hours and it charges via the included USB cable connected to your computer or wall charger (not included). I have used it extensively without having to recharge.
The keyboard layout is a standard QWERTY except that some of the punctuation keys are relocated to make the keyboard 1 key slimmer in places. There are extra function keys for iPad shortcuts such as copy, paste, changing keyboard, and voice recognition. The keys are nicely raised and have a smooth scissor action to them. Obviously it is more cramped than a full-size keyboard, but I found it relatively easy to type on for its size. The keys have a nice scissor action, an I appreciate that is has a CAPS lock light as it is a pet peeve of mine that not all iPad keyboards do.
The Keycover appears well made and is solidly constructed, the shell is anodized aluminum and has rubber feet to prevent slippage. When the iPad is not in use, snapping into the tray protects the front, sides and all four corners of the iPad Mini. when it is in use the tray allows it to be used in either portrait or landscape modes, but the angle of the screen is not adjustable. As the case consists only of the keyboard tray it is very slim and lightweight – approximately 1cm thick and weight approximately 6oz it adds very little bulk or weight to the mini.
This is a well-made keyboard case, the keyboard works well and has a great battery life. The case is very light and thin, it provides good protection for the iPad mini when the case is closed, but none when the mini is in use. The mini can be used in either portrait or landscape modes, but there is not an adjustable screen angle. If you are looking for a lightweight, portable keyboard case for an iPad mini, and you like to use your iPad mini without a case when you are not typing, this case is a great choice. If you prefer to keep your iPad mini in a protective case at all times e.g. if you share use of it with children, then this may not be the best choice of case for you.
The KeyCover™ Hard Shell Keyboard for iPad® mini with Retina display is available from Kensington.com and other retailers, RRP $69.99 currently on sale for $59.99