ZAGG Slim Book: The best keyboard for the iPad Pro

slim-book-01.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    9.0 Outstanding

Pros

  • Lid offers protection for expensive iPad Pro while keeping it light
  • Long battery life
  • Outstanding keyboard

Cons

  • Heavy with the iPad Pro

I'm a keyboard guy. I've been using them with iPads for years. The ZAGG Slim Book is the third keyboard I've used with the iPad Pro and it's easily become my favorite. It has a number of features that bests both the Apple Smart Keyboard and the Logi CREATE keyboard case.

The Slim Book design is much like that for the iPad Air 2. It has a plastic lid that forms a case for the iPad Pro, and a keyboard dock. The iPad Pro can be detached from the magnetic hinge of the keyboard and used alone.

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The detachable lid is my favorite thing about the Slim Book. Using the iPad alone is as simple as lifting it out of the keyboard dock. It's just as easy to put it back in the dock. The lid is very light so it adds little bulk and weight to the hefty iPad Pro when using it without the keyboard, something I'm doing more often than I thought I would when I bought the big iPad..

All about the keyboard

The keyboard dock on the Slim Book is wonderful. It has a layout and size like those on MacBooks, and the typing experience is first-rate. The keys make a little more noise than those on my MacBook Air but not enough to be an issue.

The keyboard is backlit, with three levels of brightness. The backlighting can be rotated through different colors for those who prefer it. I find the different colors to be a gimmick personally.

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The keys are slightly sunken from the surface of the dock and the large palm rest is a welcome touch. It is not only comfortable to write using the Slim Book keyboard, it's also fun.

The Slim Book keyboard has a top row of iPad control keys, something sorely lacking on Apple's Smart Keyboard. The Siri key is useful for accessing it on the run. There are also special keys that control the keyboard dock when used with the Fn key.

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The battery key flashes the power LED to indicate remaining battery charge. ZAGG claims two years of using it one hour daily. My unit arrived with a full charge in the box so if that's accurate I may never have to charge it.

The down arrow key cycles through the backlighting functions when pressed with the Fn key. The right arrow cycles through the various colors for the backlighting. The power key on the upper right of the top row of keys turns the keyboard off and on, although the keyboard goes into standby after a short period of inactivity.

Leave the keyboard behind

The iPad Pro sits at the very back of the dock, and the solid hinge holds it in a range of angles for maximum viewing comfort. The magnets in the hinge hold the heavy iPad Pro securely yet it's still easy to lift the tablet out to leave the keyboard behind. Opening the lid raises the keyboard slightly for a better typing angle.

The hinge assembly and plastic lid are more durable than those on Slim Book models for the iPad Air. This is probably due to the need to support the iPad Pro which is much heavier than the the iPad Air.

Closing the lid works just like any laptop, and the closed unit easily fits in the bag I use for the iPad Pro. It is heavy but has to be for the keyboard dock to support the weight of the iPad Pro in the most laid back viewing angle. It's a good trade off since it's always used in the dock sitting on a table, although it's not too heavy to use in the lap, something other keyboard cases don't support well.

Pair with three devices at once

Unlike the other two keyboards I own for the iPad Pro, the Slim Book doesn't use the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro. It connects over Bluetooth like most keyboards for previous iPad models. It can be paired with three different devices at the same time, toggled by hitting the Fn+1, 2, or 3. I'm not sure why I would do that since it's such a big keyboard and I can't see using it with smaller devices, but it's nice to be able to do so in a pinch.

I paid $139.99 for the Slim Book on the ZAGG site, and it's available from other retailers both online and brick and mortar. This is cheaper than Apple's keyboard and comparable to the Logitech CREATE model.

Advantages of Slim Book over the major competitors

The Slim Book is more versatile than the Apple Smart Keyboard and Logi CREATE keyboard case. Here is my take on the advantages the ZAGG Slim Book has over the other two keyboard options.

Slim Book vs. Apple Smart Keyboard

  • Full laptop case
  • Ability to easily use iPad Pro as a tablet and leave keyboard behind
  • Backlit keys
  • Top row of iPad control keys
  • Laptop quality keyboard

Slim Book vs. Logi CREATE keyboard

  • Detachable iPad Pro for tablet use

Bottom line: The ZAGG Slim Book is the best keyboard case I've used with the iPad Pro. It is available from ZAGG for $139.99.

Topics: iPad, Hardware, Reviews

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