When it comes to keyboard covers for the iPad Air, the thinner the better. Accessory makers Logitech and Kensington have produced ultra-thin keyboards for the iPad that are certainly thin and light. Not many have heard of Anker, but its TC930 Ultra-thin Keyboard Cover can give those others a run for the money, and for only $30 on Amazon.
Anker also makes power accessories and ZDNet's Jason O'Grady found one to be essential equipment.
The Keyboard Cover is typical for the genre with a keyboard on one side of the flat device and brushed metal on the other. It attaches to the iPad Air via a magnetic hinge, much like various smart covers. Opening/closing the cover turns the iPad Air on/off.
The brushed metal side becomes the base of the keyboard when used with the iPad. This metal is somewhat slippery, and the assembly can slide on the table. Anker has included some adhesive rubber feet that can be attached to prevent the sliding, but in my experience these always end up coming off over time. This is not unique to Anker, rubber feet are included with other cases, too.
The cover only protects the screen of the iPad, leaving the back exposed. Attached and closed, the iPad Air with the Anker cover is very thin and light. The hinge supports opening the assembly 180 degrees, laying it flat on the table.
To use as a keyboard stand, the iPad Air is gently popped off the hinge and set in a slot just above the keyboard. Inserting the tablet in the slot automatically pops open a small support stand behind the iPad that provides additional stability. This stand is pushed down for closing the case for transport.
The iPad has a magnetic connection to the slot on the keyboard. The entire assembly can be lifted without breaking the connection.
The keyboard of the Anker TC930 is better than I expected for the price. I can touch type very quickly, with tactile feedback and good key travel. The keys are laid out where you expect them, and the important Shift and Enter keys are nice and big.
Unfortunately, the top row of dedicated iPad control keys found on some keyboards is missing in order to keep the size of the keyboard down. The special keys are present, however, and can be accessed by hitting the Fn key in combination with the appropriate key on the number row. These keys are noted in blue on the corner.
There are three LED indicators on the upper right of the keyboard. One is a very useful CAPS LOCK indicator, another the charging indicator, and, in the middle, a Bluetooth indicator.
The Anker connects to the iPad Air via Bluetooth, and is charged with the included microUSB cable. Anker claims the keyboard will last six months on a charge, double the claimed life of other keyboards.
Anker has produced a high quality keyboard cover for the iPad Air at a very good price. The typing experience on the keyboard is quite good. This entire review was written on the Anker without issues.
Anker TC930 Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air specs:
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches
- Weight: 11.6 ounces
- Very thin and light
- Good price
- Durable construction
- No dedicated iPad control keys (accessible by Fn key)
Reviewer's rating: 8.5 out of 10