Accessory Review: ZAGG mate Case with Keyboard

Category: iPad case, keyboard
Model: ZAGG mate case w/keyboard
Price: $99.99 w/keyboard; $49.99 case only
TiP Rating: 3.5/5
Seller: ZAGG
Requirements: iPad (ZAGG mate with or without keyboard), iPad 2 (Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG)

Summary: Marrying form with function, this beautiful aluminum case will protect your iPad on the go, and the optional Bluetooth keyboard turns it into a netbook. For it’s slick design and high price tag we expected better quality materials, and a better fit and finish.

Review: The folks at ZAGG bring this snazzy aluminum iPad case. For the original iPad, it’s called the ZAGG mate and is available as a case ($49.99), or with Bluetooth keyboard ($99.99). The iPad 2 version is called the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG, and is only available with a keyboard ($99.99).

The shell is made from aircraft grade aluminum, and is lined with soft foam to cushion your device. The iPad snaps in for a secure tension fit, but removes easily enough when you want to. There is a foldable stand to prop up your iPad. The keyboard models feature a one position stand, and the case model features multiple angles. The Bluetooth keyboard pairs easily and is charged via micro USB. The keyboard is quite petite, but the keys have a nice travel, making them satisfying to hit, plus, it has function keys to control music, search, and bring up photos.

I do love the idea of this case: a clean, functional design to protect my iPad on the go and turn it into a netbook. But, there are some gripes I have with this product. I find the small keyboard to be difficult to type on because of its size. And the protruding lip from the case makes it an uncomfortable affair — although to be fair I don’t see a way around this. The aluminum case is very nice, but the satin texture of it doesn’t match the lightly brushed texture of my iPad. Moreover, the edges of the aluminum aren’t finished well — they are a bit rough and uneven, and for this price point should be polished. The plastic stand that flips up to hold my device feels very chintzy and brittle, and I don’t expect it to last terribly long before it snaps.

All in all, it doesn’t feel like a $100 product. For this price I expected more. The  components feel flimsy, the fit and finish lacking. If it was half the cost I wouldn’t have a problem. So, for these reasons I am giving it 3 1/2 stars and recommend with reservations. It’s a beautiful case, and will dutifully protect your device as you schlep it on airplanes, but the high price tag isn’t justified in the final product.

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  • Guest Commentator

    What about the fact that it doesn’t protect the ENTIRE BACK of the iPad????  That doesn’t concern you at all?