ZAGG’s Bluetooth-enabled Slim Book, the Ultra-Slim Tablet Keyboard & Detachable Case is a product worth checking out. I received one in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro size for hands-on review, and my colleague Bryan Wolfe received the 12.9-inch iPad Pro version.
The Slim Book consists of two separate pieces. One piece is a basic case, a shell that fits snugly onto the iPad. It’s specially designed to fit perfectly with the other piece, the Bluetooth keyboard. The case slides securely into the keyboard two ways: facing the keyboard, so you can use it like a laptop, or facing away from the keyboard, so you can use the keyboard as a stable base when watching videos.
Your viewing angles are unlimited between zero and 135°, like a laptop. Whichever way you put the Slim Book together, you can place it the angle of your choice. ZAGG claims the battery lasts up to two years with normal usage. I didn’t test it out for two years, but in the three weeks I tested it out daily, I never charged it nor ran out of power.
The keyboard is backlit. You can adjust the backlight through three different brightness levels and seven different colors.
What We Liked
Bryan and I both liked using the Slim Book. I found it so laptop-like that my fingers kept trying to locate the trackpad. I had to keep reminding myself that I was using an iPad and could touch the screen. The keyboard looks so much like my Macbook’s keyboard, and functionality is much the same.
While I found myself primarily using the case and keyboard attached in the traditional laptop mode, I like having the option to pull them apart and use the iPad handheld in its case. It’s also nice to be able to put the iPad in “backwards” for video-watching or even folding it flat backwards for reading a book. The keyboard has two small tabs which fit into the matching holes in the case.
I am notoriously klutzy, and I dropped my iPad while in the Slim Book once or twice. While the case did come detached from the keyboard, both the Slim Book and the iPad came out unscathed.
Bryan added, “The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is expensive, and it’s important to protect this investment with a cover. Though Apple’s Smart Keyboard works beautifully, its casing is flimsy, at best. The ZAGG case is durable, and I love the keyboard.”
What We Didn't Like
It would be nice if you could insert the iPad into the keyboard vertically as well as horizontally, but that’s a minor quibble. I’d like to see use of the Smart Connector rather than relying on Bluetooth, but I believe that’s up to Apple to decide who is allowed to use that technology. I’d also like to see this offered in other colors besides black.
The only disadvantage Bryan saw was the bulk: “Yes, it adds some weight, but it seems worth it.” I also noticed the extra weight it adds, but I think it’s fair given how much added protection you get.
Overall, the Slim Book is an excellent product. If you use your iPad in many situations and typing on the virtual keyboard isn’t ideal, you’ll want to take a look at the Slim Book. It’s about as close to a laptop as you can get with an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard. You can purchase the Slim Book for various iPad models on Amazon. You can also buy all models directly from ZAGG’s website.