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iPad keyboard cases for BYOD (February 2013 edition)

Here are the four of the best iPad keyboard cases that I've tried, along with pros and cons for each. Every one of these keyboard case combos is well-suited to BYOD use.

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Topic: iPad
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1 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Introduction

The iPad is a prodigiously popular device in BYOD circles, but the inefficient on-screen keyboard, along with the overall fragility of tablet, means that most people who use their iPad for work quickly find themselves needing a keyboard and a case.

So why not solve both problems simultaneously by getting a keyboard and case combo?

Here are the four of the best iPad keyboard cases that I've tried, along with pros and cons for each one. Each one tried, each one tested. All of them feature an excellent keyboard, and offer different levels of protection for the iPad they house.

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2 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2

Too much velcro used to keep the iPad standing up. Exterior started to look rough quickly, but the keyboard is very responsive and nice to use.

Pros:

  • Good protection
  • Keyboard battery lasts for ages
  • Keyboard can be charged from a USB port

Cons:

  • Adds considerable thickness to the iPad
  • Very heavy
  • The faux leather starts to look rough after a few weeks of usage

Price: $129.99.

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3 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

ZAGGkeys PROplus

I don't like the fact that the keyboard doesn't protect the back of the iPad. Other than that, a well-designed keyboard case.

Pros:

  • Backlit keys
  • Adds very little bulk to the iPad
  • Very nice keyboard
  • Aluminum finish
  • Keyboard can be charged from a USB port

Cons:

  • Offers little protection for the iPad
  • Can be hard to disengage the iPad from the slot

Price: $129.99.

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4 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

Very lightweight and thin, but feels fragile to me. 

Pros:

  • Solid piece of kit
  • Adds very little bulk to the iPad
  • Very responsive keyboard
  • Keyboard can be charged from a USB port

Cons:

  • Offers little protection for the iPad

Price: $99.99.

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5 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio

This is my current iPad keyboard case of choice. I've written tens of thousands of words on this keyboard, and it is accurate and nice to work on for extended periods. It also offers some—but not much—protection to the iPad.

Pros:

  • Keyboard recharges using a solar panel
  • Solar panel works with natural and artificial light
  • Offers decent protection for the iPad
  • Dual-position keyboard allows it to be used as a media keyboard
  • Bluetooth keyboard activates automatically
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Outer not very durable
  • No way to keep cover closed
  • Solar panels are underneath the keyboard when in use, and therefore don't charge the device

Price $129.99.

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6 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Bonus: ClamCase Pro

This one is not out yet—it ships in March—but it's the smartest, most beautifully engineered iPad case to day. With this case you can turn the iPad into what looks, feels, and essentially works, like a MacBook Air.

Pros:

  • Very well made
  • Sturdy, and offers a fair bit of protection for the iPad
  • Beautiful
  • Well-engineered keyboard

Cons:

  • No backlight on the keys

Price: $169.

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