iPhone 6 Plus: Half of a very portable work system

The iPhone 6 Plus becomes an integral part of a small work system that packs a punch when combined with the right accessory.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

I'm working at a sidewalk cafe with one of the smallest systems I've ever used for work. I've been doing this for hours and have no regrets that I don't have a laptop or tablet with me.

iPhone 6 Plus with keyboard
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

The system I'm using is the iPhone 6 Plus and the ZAGGkeys Flex keyboard. The duo fits in the smallest of bags, and l can write thousands of words using it without compromise.

I've owned the ZAGGkeys Flex for almost two years. I bought it to use with both iOS and Android tablets, as it has a toggle switch that converts the top row of control keys to the platform of choice.

(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

The keyboard on the Flex is amazing as it has mechanical keys with full travel. It is big enough to allow very fast touch-typing, even though it's barely larger than the iPhone 6 Plus (see photo, right).

The iPhone 6 Plus has already proven its utility for a lot of my work. That utility didn't extend to heavy writing until adding the ZAGG keyboard.

This morning I wrote over 2,000 words using this little combo, and it felt as natural as any other system I use. The Retina Display on the iPhone is so crisp I can use it for hours without fatigue.

The keyboard sitting at the ready makes almost any work task a productive effort.

It's the same for the ZAGGkeys Flex. Even though it's smaller than a full-sized keyboard, it's comfortable enough that after hours of fast typing it feels as good as "regular" keyboards.

The utility of this combo extends beyond heavy writing. This is an efficient system for handling the hundreds of emails I receive daily. I can triage it with the iPhone 6 Plus in hand, and go to the Flex keyboard when I need to write lengthy messages.

The iPhone display does a good job handling the PDF, Word, and Excel documents I get via email. This is a common work task for many, and rest assured the phone is a fine tool for working with them. The keyboard sitting at the ready makes almost any work task a productive effort.

The Flex is small enough that I can throw it in a slim pocket on a little gear bag. This lets me carry it even when I don’t plan on using it, just in case. I can pull it out of the bag and write a thousand words without thinking about what I’m using. That’s the mark of a good tool.

Why not use a laptop or tablet with keyboard instead? That's what I usually do, but this allows me to be prepared for unexpected opportunities to write when they present themselves.

Why carry two devices for writing? It's really just one since, like most folks, I have my phone with me all the time, anyway. The keyboard weighs almost nothing and takes up little space in the bag so it's no burden.

Yes, I could do this with the keyboard and any big phone. I have the iPhone 6 Plus, so that's what I use. Having used other big phones in the past, I do feel the iPhone display and apps are better for extended work sessions than most other phones.

Battery life is so good on the iPhone 6 Plus it can handle long work hours and still make it through the day, which isn't the case with other phones.

I don't recommend others buy this for a work system; it's too expensive for that. I do suggest that iPhone 6 Plus owners keep a setup like this in mind. It is useful and you won't find anything this small as productive.

Companies deploying the iPhone 6 Plus should consider offering a keyboard like this as an option. Workers may be willing to forego the iPad with an iPhone 6 Plus and keyboard.

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