Google’s latest Nexus tablet, the Nexus 9, has been around for a while now, and Google has always been great about supporting their devices with official accessories. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at two of the official protective cases and covers available for the Nexus 9, the Magic Cover and the Keyboard Folio Case!
Starting with the Magic Cover, it is flat rectangular magnetic attachment cover that can be attached to the front or the back of the tablet. When attached to cover and protect the display, the cover also supports automatic wake and sleep functionality, with all you needing to do is to open or close the cover.
The magnets do a great job of holding the cover in place, but an important point to mention is the fact that the cover features two different materials on both sides that adhere differently to the screen. One side has a hard rubber-like material that offers more grip, and holds itself to the screen a lot better. On the other side is a softer, more suede-like material, that makes the cover more prone to sliding around, which does create issues with the cover shifting out of place.
What makes the Magic Cover unique is its origami-inspired design, that lets you fold the cover into a stand, with one option allowing for a steep angle, which is perfect for media consumption, while another allows for a much shallower angle, which is useful for pretty much anything else you might be using the tablet for. If you have the case on the back, it will cover up the camera, but a nice touch is the fact that just raising the corner flap will directly start the camera, allowing you to take a quick shot.
The Magic Cover is available directly from the Google Play Store for $39.99, or at a slightly discounted price from Amazon, with the available color options including black, limestone, coral amethyst, and mint indigo.
The Keyboard Folio Case not only offers a lot more protection for your Nexus 9 when compared to the Magic Cover, but also comes with an attached bluetooth keyboard to enhance your productivity. Like the Magic Cover, it uses magnets to latch on to the tablet, and the material on the outside is soft and offers a lot of grip, which feels great and in the hand, and makes it easy to hold.
As mentioned, the keyboard pairs with the Nexus 9 via Bluetooth, and establishing the connection is simple, and doesn’t take too much time. The typing experience is quite good, with their being no latency whatsoever while I used to type in Google Docs or to reply to email or instant messages. It is a bit cramped, because after all, it is a keyboard made for a device with a 9-inch display, but the overall experience has been pleasant so far.
Despite its compact nature, the keyboard also includes some extremely useful shortcuts, like a dedicated emoticon key, and a search button that lets you conduct searches no matter where you are in the OS. Other shortcuts including tapping Alt and Tab at the same time to open the Overview screen, along with pressing the search button and enter simultaneously to quickly take you back to the main home screen. The keyboard can also be used to navigate around the OS, but the process is rather slow, and using the touchscreen is still the better option.
The keyboard can be charged via microUSB, but you may not have to charge it often, with Google claiming that with up to 2 hours of usage a day, the keyboard can last for as long as 5 months on a single charge. Testing this out hasn’t been possible since I’ve only had the case for a few weeks, but I haven’t had to charge the keyboard yet following the first time after receiving it.
The Keyboard Folio Case for the Nexus 9 is priced at $129.99, available directly from the Google Play Store, or at slightly discounted price from Amazon, with the only color option being black.
As is the case with most official accessories, the Magic Cover and the Keyboard Folio Case are at the higher end of the price spectrum. That said, the Magic Cover is certainly a very unique take on the traditional smart covers we’ve seen so far, and offers some nice functionality, and the Keyboard Folio Case provides a great typing experience with an impressive battery life, along with good protection for the tablet. While expensive, both these cases are definitely reliable, high quality products.