Provides: Hard shell protection and Bluetooth keyboard connectivity
Minimum Requirements: 2nd/3rd/4th gen iPad
We continue our look at Bluetooth keyboard cases with Kensington’s KeyCover hard shell iPad keyboard case. Offering a good combination of keyboard functionality when you’re getting work done and solid protection when you’re not, the KeyCover may help you find some new uses for your iPad, provided you’re willing to deal with a couple inconveniences.
The KeyCover has a black aluminum finish, accented by a silver sliver along the outer edge. It’s not terribly exciting, but it is a natural fit for the iPad itself. I especially like that the bottom has a rubber pad each corner to prevent the case from slipping around the table when in use, a feature that more expensive keyboard cases sometimes overlook. This also has the benefit of preventing the KeyCover from getting scuffed up.
When the keyboard is not in use, the iPad snaps into the case under ridges in each corner. It’s easy to put in, but you’ll have to work to pry it out. The process isn’t too difficult or dangerous, but if you’re used to simply lifting open a MacBook, you may put off by this. Still, when the iPad is secured in the KeyCover, you’ll have full access to the docking port, headphone jack, etc.
But the main reason you’d buy a case like this is for the keyboard access, and the KeyCover will assist your text crunching efforts with a couple nice features. First, a home row includes a home key, audio controls, copy/paste, etc. Once you get used to using these, you’ll hate not having them on the iPad’s touchscreen keyboard.
You also get function keys and direction arrows to assist in use. Unfortunately, the keys are a bit tighter than on some other Bluetooth keyboard cases I’ve tried, and using them will take a longer adjustment period before you’re typing without error. On the positive side, the scissor keys have a nice responsiveness to them that sits comfortably between the feel of modern Apple keyboards and the touchscreen typing of your iPad.
Another nice feature is that the iPad is held in place with both a divot above the keys and a pop-up brace to secure the angle. The iPad can therefore be rotated for both horizontal and vertical view, which is a great option.
The KeyCover’s 380 mAh battery is charged via the included USB cable, and holds that charge for a claimed 120 hours of work time or 200 days of standby time. The Bluetooth 3.0 technology is paired via a small connect button above the keys, which is such a simple process that there are no instructions included to explain it. That’s fine if you’ve done this before, but it’s an odd oversight for those who may be new to how this all works.
At $80, Kensington’s KeyCover iPad keyboard case will satisfy your protection and keyboard needs. There are slightly better options available at higher price points, and as with those options, you’ll need to consider that the case functionality could become obsolete if you want to update to a future iPad that may have a different form factor.
But for now, you’re going to get a lot more work done.