New iPad and ZAGGfolio keyboard/case: Compact and fast

I recently picked up a new iPad and ZAGGfolio keyboard case that together make a super fast, compact laptop replacement for writers like me.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

I have long been using tablets with keyboards for writing. A good tablet with a decent keyboard can function as a good laptop replacement for writers. I recently bought a new iPad and ZAGGfolio keyboard case that, put together, is as good a writing tool as anything available.

ZAGGfolio 600
(Credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

I previously owned a third generation iPad, but gave it to a family member for the holidays. I was happy using the iPad Mini, but quickly came to miss the bigger iPad for serious writing projects. I wasted no time in buying a 64GB iPad, with Verizon LTE inside, to get back to work. I paired it with a new ZAGGfolio keyboard case that, when used with the iPad, forms a mobile writing system that is great.

The battery of the iPad lasts over 10 hours, even on LTE, and the ZAGGfolio keyboard will last months on a single charge.

The new iPad (or iPad 4 as it's sometimes called) is the fastest tablet of any kind I have used, and I've used quite a few, so that is saying a lot. Everything I do on the iPad happens instantly; tapping an icon to run an app causes it to run without hesitation. I'm still impressed at the speed after using it for a week.

I use the iPad on Wi-Fi when available, but already find the Verizon LTE to be very useful. I don't plan my mobile work sessions around finding hotspots; the LTE is always there and ready for high-speed connectivity.

The ZAGGfolio rounds out the package with a keyboard that is almost full-size. The chiclet keys make it possible for even fast touch typists like me to pound out text with ease. In the week I've owned this combo, I have written thousands of words with no problems.

The new ZAGGfolio is much the same as the older model I had previously reviewed. This one has been slightly modified to better fit the iPad 3 and 4. The modifications make it easy to slide the iPad 4 in and out of the case for use as a tablet.

I bought the metallic red ZAGGfolio. It is well constructed and protects the iPad fully when carried in my gear bag. Opening the case activates the iPad with the Smart Cover technology embedded in the case. The iPad then slips in a slot on the keyboard, which holds the tablet at a good angle for viewing the screen.

Like earlier ZAGGfolio models, the new one has a top row of special function keys that provides common functions to control the iPad. These keys include the Home, cut, copy, and paste functions, along with media player controls.

ZAGGfolio closed 300
(Credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

The keyboard on the ZAGGfolio is removable for using without the case if desired, and connects to the iPad via Bluetooth. Once paired to the iPad, the keyboard auto-connects when any key is pressed. There is a power key to turn the keyboard off, and auto-sleeps if left on and not used for a while.

When closed, the iPad in the ZAGGfolio is light and compact enough to fit in small gear bags. The battery of the iPad lasts over 10 hours, even on LTE, and the ZAGGfolio keyboard will last months on a single charge.

The combo is up and running in just seconds after pulling it out of the bag, making it a great portable writing machine. It's not for everyone, but I find it works great for me.

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