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By 'Doctor Dave' Greenbaum
The US$99.99 ZAGGMate iPad Case and keyboard combo (http://macte.ch/NL4ua), upon first glance, is a brilliant idea: a combination bluetooth keyboard and iPad protective case. Unfortunately, the implementation of the design is flawed and for many this product simply won’t be a good fit.
The first serious flaw in this product is the way the iPad fits into the case. The fit is extremely tight with padding on the edges in order to make sure the iPad doesn’t separate from its keyboard case. This tight fit makes it difficult to remove. You need to use both hands as well as your fingernail.
Be careful though; that brushed aluminum can have sharp edges and if you apply too much pressure, you find your iPad flying across the table. I was constantly afraid of injuring myself or the iPad.
Using the keyboard was quite difficult. In order to accommodate the physical size of the iPad, the keyboard was significantly smaller than the typical keyboard and was almost exactly the same size as the iPad virtual keyboard (which is logical if it’s the same size as the iPad). The ZAGGMate metal edges did not allow me to put my hands in a natural position: I had to type at an angle since the edges of the keyboard had a ridge that prevented you from laying your palms on a flat surface.
The only way to type was to keep your palms raised in an awkward and painful position. I could only type a few minutes at a time before my wrists got tired or the pressure from the case edges
cut into my wrists. Ouch.
The iPad was held in the case while typing with a small valley and a plastic stand. The stand didn’t always fit into the grove properly and my iPad would fall down. If you purchase this, make absolutely sure to put some pressure on the stand to confirm it’s aligned properly. Even while properly put in its stand, any movement of the surface would knock the iPad out of alignment. I was in constant fear of it dropping yet again out of the ZAGGMate.
The actual case did nothing to protect the sensitive back of the iPad, which was yet another disappointment with this product. The padding around the sides is minimal, and I actually scratched the front of my iPad while putting it in the case (ironically, I had a screen
protector so it was fine).
The only positives I could find about this keyboard case combo was that it is extremely light and adds little weight to your iPad. It also allows for charging the iPad while in the case. Charging the internal battery of the keyboard is done by the less popular Micro USB
Pros: Minimalist keyboard that integrates a case
Cons: Case very difficult to use, provides minimal protection, keyboard small and awkward to use
Rating: 2 out of 10