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Customer Review

on March 30, 2012
I have an iPad3. I bought both this, the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Removable Keyboard, Case and Stand for iPad 2 and New iPad (K39512US), and the Zagg ZAGGfolio with Keyboard for The New iPad 3G (FOLCARSLV101). The Kensington I bought from Amazon and the Zagg I bought from Best Buy. So this is a comparitive review of both products used with the iPad 3.

First the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 since thats the product I'm posting this reviw on. I'm typing this part with it now.

This one seems to have a better overall design than the ZAGGfolio and is capable of being set up in a larger number of positions. KeyFolio design advantages:

- Significantly less expensive than the ZAGGfolio.
- Easier to open.
- Seems to stay closed more securely with the keyboard removed.
- Easier to insert the iPad in the case.
- The iPad3 seems to be held more securely in this case.
- There's a stylus holder! This is very important if you ever use a stylus.
- The keyboard is held in securely by strong magnets, but is much easier to remove from the case.
- The USB port for charging the keyboard is exposed while inserted in the case so you don't have to partially remove the keyboard to charge it.
- The iPad panel of the case has velcro on the bottom so, with the keyboard removed, you can stand the iPad up at any angle from vertical to a very low angle that's suitable for typing on the on-screen keyboard if you want. Unlike the Zagg, there are no fixed notches that limit you to 2 or so different stand angles. This continuous range of possible angles is VERY useful.
- While neither case is very good for typing when placed on your lap, the KeyFolio is better for this than the Zagg.
- With the keyboard still inserted, the KeyFolio is more comfortable to hold when you fold the cover over to use the iPad like a tablet. It's not that much better but is it easier to avoid pressing the keys with the back resting on your hand. Since its also easier to remove the keyboard, it's easier to switch to using the tablet like this without the keyboard.
- The KeyFolio keyboard has display brightness control keys while the Zagg doesn't. It also has a caps lock light, will allow you to type F1-F12, and has a couple of extra keys like Pause/Break. This may not matter for the iPad but makes the keyboard more useful if you ever pair it with a Windows machine device or something. This keyboard also has a separate Delete and Backspace as well as an Insert key.

KeyFolio Problems:

- Unlike some photos show, there doesn't seem to be any proper way to rotate the iPad into the portrait orientation while using the keyboard. You can take the iPad out and sort of stand it up being held by the bottom flap of the holder, but this doesnt hold it very securely.
- Currently I seem to be having some sort of problem where the left Shift key is interfering with the Z key. If I try to type ZAGG then I get Zagg because for some reason, Shift-Z essentially deactivates the Shift key even if you continue to hold down the shift key. (Releasing the shift and holding it down again, after typing Shift-Z, fixes the problem as does using the right Shift key.) The right Shift key doesn't seem to have this problem with neighboring keys. I'm unsure if this Shift-Z thing is a design problem or just a random manufacturing defect in my particular keyboard.
- This is minor, but the Command key is lacking the little curly corner command key symbol.
- As people have mentioned, the "new car smell" from the outgassing on the KeyFolio, right after you remove it from the box, is rather strong. I would expect this to go away once all the residue has evaporated and I plan to place it near an open window, with the keyboard removed and all surfaces exposed to air, to speed this up.

Now the ZAGGfolio. I'm typing this part using it. Here are its advantages over the KeyFolio:

The overall design of the case is not that good, but it seems to be more durable and capable of better protecting the iPad. The keyboard is also a little larger and seems more solidly constructed.

- The hard plastic of the case is thicker, harder, and would seem to offer more protection. The KeyFolio isn't that bad but the Zagg is just more durable. Overall the ZAGGfolio construction is bit more solid.
- The keys on the keyboard are larger than the ones on the KeyFolio keyboard. The Space bar and modifier keys on the bottom row are also maybe 30% taller than the other keys. Overall the keyboard is larger but neither is a full-size keyboard.
- The Zagg keyboard can be used as a stand for the iPad with the iPad removed from the case.
- Because you can use the keyboard as a stand, you can stand the iPad up in portrait orientation though you can only do this if you remove the iPad from the case.
- Overall the Zagg keyboard is more solidly constructed though both keyboards are made of plastic. The Zagg keyboard is also a little larger but I don't know if this is for a larger battery or just to accomodate the built-in iPad stand.
- The Zagg keyboard has a "Globe" key in the lower left that can be used to switch the keyboard language. If there's any way to do this with the KeyFolio keyboard then I don't know what it is.
- While lacking brightness controls, the Zagg keyboard has dedicated Cut/Copy/Paste keys. Personally I think this is pointless because the standard Command-X/C/V key combos work on both keyboards and I'm much more used to those anyway.
- The Zagg has the auto on/off magnet that sleeps or wakes the iPad when you open/close the case.

ZAGGfolio problems:

- The outside of the thing is covered with this fake carbon fiber "skin" sticker that looks cheap-o and some have reported that it's prone to peeling off.
- The case doesn't feel like it clips securely closed if you try to close it with the keyboard removed. So I would not try to carry it around without the keyboard inserted.
- See "KeyFolio" advantages above for other shortcomings that I wouldn't necessarily consider outright problems.

Both cases have:
- Cutouts for all of the standard ports, buttons, speaker, camera, etc
- Enough space around the dock connector to support my larger-than-normal 3rd party cable.
- Bluetooth keyboards that have a "connect" button for easy obvious pairing.
- Once paired, both keyboards connect instantly after being powered on. You will not be able to get your hands on the keys before they connect.
- Both have special keys for the home key, slide show, mute/volume, audio player control, on-screen keyboard show/hide, search, and lock.
- Both have Ctrl/Option/Command and arrow keys.
- Some way to stand the ipad up for typing or viewing video/etc, and a way to fold the keyboard side of the cover behind the tablet for tablet-only use.
- Use a standard micro USB port for charging.
- A certain look. The Kensington looks more "white collar" and the Zagg looks more "blue collar". I don't consider either of these styles to be better than the other so I've noted it here to point it out.
- Both seem about as bulky. Maybe the KeyFolio seems a little thinner just because it's softer.

Verdict:

Aside from the weird Shift-Z problem that might just be a defect in my particular unit, I like the Kensington KeyFolio better. The smaller keys don't really bother me, I REALLY want that stylus holder, I like the ease of removing the keyboard, the usb charging port is exposed without removing the keyboard, the velcro angle stand with infinite positions is very useful. I don't care if I can stand the iPad up on the keyboard alone with no case. The iPad seems to be held more securely (not as loose). If I need to type on my lap, this one is easier to do that with. The Kensington is also less expensive and overall seems to be a better value. Lastly, the keyboard seems to be more suitable for use with other devices if needed.

So if that stuff is what's important to you then I'd get the Kensington KeyFolio.

If you need larger keys, more solid (but not quite milspec) protection for tougher environments, better support for portrait orientation, never use a stylus, really want that auto sleep/wake magnet, and/or like the tough-looking style (vs the office management organizer style), then get the ZAGGfolio.

UPDATE: See comments section for a report on wear-and-tear after a month of daily use.
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