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Test: ZAGG Pro Keys – Keyboard and Case for iPad (8th gen)

Test: ZAGG Pro Keys - Keyboard and Case for iPad (8th gen)

Writing on an iPad is no big deal in the long run. But what happens if you snap on ZAGG’s keyboard case Pro Keys? I’ll find out here.

iPad (in all its forms) is increasingly moving towards being used as a regular computer and for many common tasks such as writing, online meetings and more Internet-related work, it often works quite well to discard the computer. Something iPad in its standard version, on the other hand, lacks is a proper, physical keyboard.

ZAGG has launched one several different solutions for this, there Pro Keys which I had the opportunity to take a look at here, is one of the variants. I have tested the keyboard case for iPad 10.2 2020 (2020) 8th generation, but it is also available in a version for iPad Air 10.9 ″.

Appearance, build quality and first impressions

ZAGG Pro Keys is a two-part iPadcase consisting of a more classic hard shell for themselves iPad: en together with a detachable keyboard wrapped in a leather-inspired cover. Everything clicks together with magnets and really proper magnets to top it off. While using the case, I have never managed to click it together incorrectly, but the magnets constantly guide the case right in the keyboard mount. Something that gave a really good first impression and has continued to impress during use.

In set format, it is possible to adjust its iPad in two positions, one a little more vertical than the other. I would have liked to see another even more vertical position, but it still does not create any major problems to sit at a table and write with the current layout either.

ZAGG Pro Keys - Page - Portrait
Pro Keys can be adjusted in two positions. Here I would have liked to see an even more vertical one than the one in the picture, which is the most vertical at the moment.

Pro Keys has received some criticism that the protection surrounding the plate is in the most plastic layer. I do not really agree with this. The quality instead feels completely okay and above all the thickness of the material means that the plate is properly protected. According to the specifications, the shell must also protect against a drop of 2 meters. Something I have not tested, but can very well imagine is true. However, I am not completely in love with the leather-imitating material on the outside of the keyboard part of the case that is a bit reminiscent of the wax feeling you get on your fingers after playing with Play-Doh (for you who remember that feeling and / or have children).

ZAGG Pro Keys - Back
On the only long side (at the top of the picture) there is a holder for attaching a touch pen, e.g. Apple Pencil.

I’m not too fond of the flap that folds over the case to hold it together. It fulfills its purpose and despite attaching both backwards and forwards with the help of magnets, it still contributes to a certain slackness in the overall feel of the case. Here I would have preferred some form of magnetic solution directly built into the edges of the keyboard and iPadthe case. On the other hand, the nice thing about this is that the screen lock automatically kicks in when the case is closed.

ZAGG Pro Keys - Flare - Back - iPad
The flip pin that is attached to the back when the case is open sometimes feels a little too sloppy.

Battery life and function buttons

Pro Keys connects wirelessly via Bluetooth and fixes to be connected with two devices simultaneously. The installation process itself is complete in a few seconds and then the keyboard and iPad automatically collapses as soon as the keyboard is activated. The battery life is specified at a generous 12 months, something I have to assume is correct. When it’s time to charge it is USB-C which concerns. A cable for this is also included in the package.

ZAGG Pro Keys - Keyboard - Keys
The top row contains a bunch of function keys, e.g. for volume.

In addition to acting as a typewriter, the keyboard has a bunch of hotkeys at the top. Something I personally found quite smooth, and then especially the buttons for volume, next / previous for music playback and the ability to directly jump between apps. The keyboard is also backlit (if you want) and has seven different colors for the said lighting, where the intensity can be adjusted in three steps. A pretty nice feature for darker writing sessions. The mentioned battery life of 12 months, however, is likely to see a major deterioration with the backlight continuously on.

Using Pro Keys

How then does the whole solution work to use? Pretty good I would say. The magnets that hold everything in place are, as I said, surprisingly strong and together with the keyboard having a hard bottom, it gives good stability and very little shaking when typing.

Now, this keyboard is not intended to contain any touchpad, but this is something I actually missed a bit during the use of Pro Keys. Since, on the other hand, it does not feel justified to complain that the keyboard does not have a touchpad, I must instead throw in a little hint that it may be worth thinking about an extra time regarding just a touchpad being or not being – before buying a keyboard to its iPad.

The keys of Pro Keys is in my thought something small, but considering iPad: ens actual size, it is difficult to argue to find a better solution within prevailing dimensions. However, the space between the keys and the layout itself feels really good and as always with keyboards, it takes some getting used to before the mistakes stop repeating themselves. The distance the keys travel before hitting the bottom is reminiscent of that of Apples desktop keyboard, while the surface is slightly softer than Apples ditto. However, still within reasonable limits.

A deal breaker for me regarding keyboards in particular is that EnterAnd Backspacebuttons are not reached naturally or are too small. Thankfully, this is not the case Pro Keys and it is noticeable that this is not ZAGG: s first keyboard.

ZAGG Pro Keys - Test - Folded
When folded, the whole package looks quite delicious. However, it weighs a lot.

On the other hand, I’m not very fond of the volume and screen lock buttons being a little too tough to press when the shell is mounted. Something that can get a little annoying on the occasions you use iPad: en without the keyboard. Another thing worth mentioning is that the whole crew with shells, keyboards and iPad gets a pretty considerable weight. Pro Keys with shell and keyboard weighs quite solid 0.67 kg. Something that when used contributes to the good stability, but together with iPad: ens 0.49 kg gives a carrying weight of as much as 1.16 kg. Not very far from one MacBook Air with its 1.29 kg.

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