I write a lot on my iPad Pro, including this review. Software keyboard on 12.9-inch iPad Pro is great, but, as all virtual keyboards, it’s not suitable for long writing, especially when virtual keyboard fills half of screen. Apple offers it own solutions called “Smart Keyboard”. No battery, no pairing, all is done by magnetic Smart Connector present on all Pro models of iPads. But official solution lacks some features I need, so I purchased external keyboard from ZAGG. Why I prefer this keyboard over Smart Keyboard from Apple? Let’s look why ZAGG solution is better.
Smart Keyboard is nice piece of hardware, but I’m missing:
- adjustable angle
- backlighted keys
- no way to undershore my wrist
- ability to use keyboard on different environments, not only on flat desk
For these reasons, Smart Keyboard is nothing for me. I write in various environments, including in my bed at night, so I was finding a keyboard, which transforms my iPad Pro into laptop-class device. In past, while I was using iPad Air and its successor iPad Air 2, I used keyboard from ZAGG and I was satisfied, so I have again chosen keyboard from ZAGG. And it was worth. After pairing via Bluetooth and attaching to my iPad Pro, my tablet really looks like a laptop:
Typing on this keyboard is like a dream. Good looking hardware with backlight with three level of brightness and 7 colours to choose, ZAGG Slim Book keyboard is the ultimate solution for bloggers like me. It includes cover for iPad’s back side, so I can clap my device like real laptop and carry it anywhere.
This is how keyboard looks like:
It’s classic keyboard we may find on desktop computers and laptops, with one difference: F1 – F12 keys are replaced with specific buttons to match iOS ecosystem. Let’s look at them, from left to right:
- 1st – works like Home Button
- 2nd – this key will lock your iPad
- 3rd – multitasking button
- 4th – Siri
- 5th – Spotlight
- 6th – language picker
- 7th – shortcut to invoke software keyboard
- 8th – 10th – music controls
- 11th – 13th – volume control
- 14th – keyboard’s power on/off button
I use czech layout, which is very similar to slovak layout.
ZAGG Slim Book got special fn key -> by pressing fn + ctrl combo, you can check battery charge and with combo of down arrow and right arrow you can toggle level of brightness and backlight colour.
The biggest con is weight -> iPad Pro with ZAGG Slim Book keyboard weights more than classic 13-inch laptop. Unlike Smart Keyboard from Apple, ZAGG keyboard runs on its built-in battery, so you have to recharge it sometimes. Fortunately, battery lasts quite long.
I really benefit from Spotlight button – it works everywhere, I do not need to switch to Home Screen and then, by gesture, to invoke Spotlight search. This is useful especially for launching apps which are not present in bottom dock, even while already running Split View, so I can multitask more effectively without that crap switcher in iOS 11 for apps which are not placed at dock. Just invoke Spotlight by key, find your app by typing first letters of name and then drag it to replace any app currently in Split View. Very handy.
Also, keyboard shortcuts are available. Just long press CMD button while using any app and it will shows you shortcuts, if any available.
ZAGG Slim Book costs 149 euro, so it’s cheaper than solution from Apple. Price may slighty varry in different locations.