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5 best iPad mini keyboards

You wouldn't think the small size of the iPad mini would lend itself well to supporting a keyboard but accessory makers have produced models that work well. These are the best of the lot.
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1 of 14 James Kendrick/ZDNet

5 best keyboards for the iPad mini

The small size of the iPad mini isn't particularly suited for use with keyboards, especially those that form cases for the tablet. The width of the tablet means keyboards must be quite undersized, resulting in such narrow keyboards that good typists should be frustrated.

Several accessory makers have come up with unique designs that provide surprisingly good experiences for touch typists. These use nearly full-sized keys on small keyboards that fit the iPad mini nicely.

This collection of 5 keyboard cases for the iPad mini are the best choices available at the time of this writing. The writer has used all but one of them to type tens of thousands of words without problems. The last keyboard in this selection has not been used personally but was recommended by numerous readers and thus is included here.

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ZAGGkeys Cover

There are two styles of keyboard covers for the iPad mini, the cover and the portfolio. The cover is a simple keyboard that clips onto the iPad mini to form a cover for the display in transport. The portfolio style is a simple folio case that has a keyboard on one side and the iPad mini on the other.

Due to its design, the cover style of keyboard is thinner and often lighter than its folio siblings. The ZAGGkeys Cover from ZAGG is such a keyboard model, with a sleek charcoal metal bottom that matches the iPad mini exactly.

The iPad mini is inserted in a slot above the keyboard and is held in place by magnets. The unique hinge of the ZAGGkeys Cover is what sets it apart from other keyboards as it can be adjusted to a good range of viewing angles. The iPad mini can be removed easily for use without the keyboard, another plus.

The keyboard is surprisingly good for touch typists despite the small size. Commonly used keys are almost as big as those on full keyboards, with lesser used keys smaller to fit everything on the little unit.

This keyboard is physically bigger than all other models in this collection with the exception of the ZAGGkeys Folio which follows.

At the time of this writing this is my favorite keyboard for the iPad mini.

Unique features:

  • Adjustable viewing angle due to special hinge
  • Easy to remove iPad mini for use without keyboard
  • Large keys
  • Lasts months on a charge

ZAGGkeys Folio -- $99.99 from ZAGG (also available in retail outlets)

See the full review by James Kendrick on ZDNet

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ZAGGkeys Cover

No wasted space on the small keyboard. Fast touch typing is possible, this writer has written thousands of words on this model.

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ZAGGkeys Cover

The side view shows how compact the unit is when being used.

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ZAGGkeys Folio

This keyboard case is similar to the Cover model in the previous slides. It has the exact same keyboard which is good, yet adds a folio case to completly cover and protect the iPad Mini.

It is a little thicker than the Cover model, but weighs about the same. It also has the same unique hinge which allows adjusting the viewing angle of the iPad mini to taste.

The iPad mini snaps into the lid so it is a little harder to remove for use outside the case than the Cover model.

Unique features:

  • Adjustable viewing angle due to special hinge
  • Completely protects the iPad mini
  • Large keys

ZAGGkeys Folio -- $99.99 from ZAGG

See the full review by James Kendrick on ZDNet

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ZAGGkeys Folio

The keyboard in this case is virtually identical to that of the previous model in this collection. There is no wasted space and fast touch typing is possible.

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ZAGGkeys Folio

The side view shows how little bulk this case adds to the iPad mini for transport. It completely protects all sides of the expensive iPad mini.

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Logitech Keyboard Folio Mini

Logitech has produced a real winner in this folio case. It has a denim material on the outside making for secure handling of the case. It is extremely light making it easy to transport, while completely protecting the iPad mini.

This case lacks a hinge that supports various viewing angles for typing, but the one angle is comfortable. The iPad mini connects to the keyboard via magnets.

Logitech has incorporated a design that has large keys for the alphabet keys and smaller ones for lesser-used letters and symbols. It is possible to type accurately with speed.

The iPad mini can be folded down over the keyboard for easy use as a tablet.

Unique features:

  • Magnets secure the iPad mini for typing
  • Large keys
  • iPad mini can be easily used as a tablet while in the case

Logitech Keyboard Folio -- $89.99 from Logitech

See the full review by James Kendrick of ZDNet

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Logitech Keyboard Folio Mini

The large keys allow fast touch typing.

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Logitech Keyboard Folio Mini

Due to the magnetic connection of the iPad mini above the keyboard, the case is very stable in typing position.

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ZAGG Mini 9

The folks at ZAGG have produced this case for those who just can't use keyboards the width of the iPad mini. The Mini 9 uses a keyboard the width of the bigger iPad, so the case is the biggest one in this collection.

The iPad mini snaps into the lid, which must be done carefully to ensure all of the tablet controls line up with the cutouts for proper access. There is a stand on the back of the case that props the iPad mini at a convenient angle for typing.

The ZAGG Mini 9 is a good choice for those needing a bigger keyboard than the other models in this collection. Note that ZAGG makes a 7-inch version of this case that uses a smaller keyboard the width of the iPad mini. The keys are not large as on other models in this collection and it's not included here for that reason.

Unique features:

  • Fold-out stand to prop tablet
  • Bigger keyboard than all others in this collection

ZAGG Mini 9 -- $44.99 from ZAGG

Don't miss the full review by James Kendrick on ZDNet

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ZAGG Mini 9

This keyboard is as large as those made for the bigger iPad and is thus a good fit for those needing a bigger keyboard for the iPad mini.

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ZAGG Mini 9

The iPad mini is supported by a stand that unfolds from the back of the case.

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Logitech Ultrathin Cover

Another cover style keyboard is this one from Logitech. It connects to the iPad mini via a magnetic hinge for transport. The iPad mini is separated from the cover for use and inserted in a magnetic slot for typing. The magnetic connection is so strong the entire assembly can be picking up by the iPad mini.

This keyboard cover is available in several colors for those wanting a personal touch.

This writer has not used the Logitech Ultrathin Cover but it is recommended by numerous readers so it's included in this collection.

Logitech Ultrathin Cover -- $79.99 from Logitech

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