July 23, 2024
Zagg Folio / zagg image
I’m entering my final preparation phase for an upcoming Journey To China.  One item I needed to add to my travel gear was a case/keyboard for my iPad (3). After doing considerable research and inspecting several models I settled on the Zagg Folio.  Although designed for the iPad 2 the website reported it as being “compatible” with the new iPad.  I ordered one.  Here’s my initial take on the my new Zagg Folio.The Zagg iPad Folio and Keyboard was backordered and took quite awhile to ship.  It finally arrived..  I’ve been looking forward to having this item for writing while I am on the road.  It provides a total protection case and bluetooth keyboard.  I really enjoy my iPad (I now use the “new” iPad) and use it multiple times each day for a variety of tasks.  But when it comes to writing something longer than a brief email – well I really struggle typing on the flat glass panel.  I have the Apple Bluetooth keyboard which works well.  But it is large and I am reluctant to travel with it.  What I wanted was a case with a nice small “real” keyboard that I could use for writing when traveling.  The folio case is a plastic device.  It is compact and seems to be fairly sturdy.  Unlike “smart covers” the Zagg Folio provides protection to both the front and the back of the iPad. The folio is kept closed with a plastic latch when not in use.  Using the case with the iPad requires the case to bend in various places so that the iPad is positioned for reading or typing.  I am a bit concerned that, over time, this bending will degrade and possibly break the plastic case material and or the “skin” which adds the color component to the case (see below).  No problem now of course.  Time will tell.The iPad fits into the upper portion of the folio, sliding into a track which holds it very snuggly.  And I mean REALLY SNUGGLY!  It is not going to fall out.  Indeed, it is very difficult and awkward to remove the iPad from the case.  I’m not sure if this tight fit is by design or not.  I somewhat suspect that this case was initially designed for the iPad 2 which has a depth of .34 inches.  The “new” iPad, is just a tad bit thicker – .37 inches, and can be made to fit.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Either way, for the “new” iPad the fit is very tight.  I don’t think it needs to be so tight.  I had hoped to be able to easily remove my iPad from the case for casual reading, etc. without leaving it in the case with the keyboard.  Also, since the iPad can be used only in landscape mode while in the case there are times when I want to remove it so I can use the iPad in portrait mode.  Now it’s true,   I can remove the iPad – but it is a struggle and a hassle. There is no good way to get a grip on the iPad or the case without risking damage to one or the other. ( Note – I have now resorted to using sand paper to sand down the groove into which the iPad fits – this has relieved the snug fit problem slightly – but I’m still not really satisfied.  And besides – you shouldn’t have to do your own modifications to a device which is advertised to work with the New iPad). 

The Zagg is offered in a variety of colors.  I chose the red and it looks great.  The color is actually a “skin” type of covering which is designed to fit the case nicely by snuggly fitting inside a small lip or ridge running around the exterior of the case.  With the “skin” properly in place it fits flush with the ridge creating a nice smooth finish.  Unfortunately, on my case there were several points where the “skin” had been slightly misaligned during application.  As a result there are several points where the “skin” overlaps or overhangs the containment ridge slightly.  With the “skin” edge exposed,  I am concerned that, with use, these points will likely catch on things and the “skin” will begin to loosen and peel away.  Again, time will tell.


My primary purpose for obtaining the Zagg Folio was my desire to have a small, compact “real” keyboard to use when traveling.  In this area I am really pleased with the Zagg.  The bluetooth  keyboard is small, measuring roughly nine and one half inches by four and one-quarter inches.  It fits well within the lower portion of the case.  Although smaller than a standard keyboard, I find the spacing of the keys to be very workable and the keys provide good travel and response feedback.  I have no trouble with “touch typing” on the keyboard – something I found totally impossible on the glass panel of the iPad.  As a result, typing is a much more fluid and enjoyable experience.

So what is my overall opinion?  I would give the Zagg Folio a grade of “B”.  It affords good protection for the iPad.  The keyboard works well.  I would like to give it an “A” but I can’t due to the tight fit problem for the New iPad and the slight misfit of the color skin.   I plan to contact Zagg about these issues.  I’ll let you know their response.

Meanwhile I am planning to take the Zagg Folio with me on my China Adventure.  It should get some use as I will attempt to write occasional updates while on the road.  So stay tuned.

UPDATE: ———–

I contacted Zagg and discussed my difficulty with the tight fit of my New iPad.  They confirmed that they developed a modified version of the Zagg Folio for use with the New iPad – taking into account that the new version is a bit thicker.  But, they also reported that  the Folio that was shipped to me should have been the New iPad version.  After I described my difficulties they are agreed that my problem sounded atypical.  They offered to send me a replacement – assuring me that this one would be the New iPad version.  So – perhaps a solution is on the way.   I hope so.  I also hope it arrives before my upcoming departure for China.   As before….. Stay tuned.

Use Your iPad On The Road …………And Enjoy The Adventure!

Dr.B, The PhotoTrekker