iPad Keyboard Review: Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 3
What's Hot: Nice design that puts a screen cover and a keyboard into one, sturdy protection, mostly normal layout and dedicated iPad keys.
What's Not: The keys have unreliable travel and positions of the keys are slightly off.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case is a portable keyboard designed to also function as a screen cover for the iPad with Retina Display. You can clip the keyboard onto the iPad display and carry both in a secure form and the aluminum cover provides excellent protection for the iPad screen. The keyboard offers standard layout with some keys miniaturized to accommodate the space and it has a full row of dedicated keys for operating the iPad without touching the screen. The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has built-in Bluetooth and should work with any device that supports HID Bluetooth profile.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has a good design. The outer cover is built with solid brushed aluminum and it feels sturdy and protective. It's easy to clip the iPad with Retina Display to the cover and once it's clipped in, it feels securely stored. While the front glass is under serious protection, the Snugg keyboard case doesn't protect the back of the iPad 4th generation. Inside the cover, the keyboard is sitting in an aluminum tray that has small rubber barriers that prevent the iPad's display touching the keyboard keys. Above the keyboard, you'll find a track that sunk below the keyboard deck for the iPad to sit in it in landscape orientation with two strong plastic lips holding it in place.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has only two buttons, a power button and a Bluetooth button. Two LED lights live in the corner of the keyboard deck to indicate Bluetooth status and battery status. There's also a micro USB charging port on the side for charging the built-in Lithium battery. The keyboard comes with a USB/micro USB charging cable. The keyboard weighs 10.8 ounces.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has a mostly standard layout. All keys are in single size except the left Shift, Caps Lock, Tab, Enter and Backspace keys. The right Shift key is also single sized. There are four directional keys on the bottom right corner. The keyboard offers all the Mac OS command and function keys as well as Window's Ctrl keys. There's also almost a full row of dedicated keys for operating the iPad without using the touch screen, and the keys include Home, Search, screen brightness, audio volume, media playback controls and more. These keys worked in all applications we tested it with.
There are two major issues that prevent smooth typing experience on the Snugg keyboard. One is the soft travel that proves unreliable for typing. Even you hit the keys with equal amount of pressure, not all keys react the way you think they should thanks to the shaky travel. As result you get missing letters in the content you're typing. Another issue that seems hard to overcome is that while the layout is very standard, the key positions are just a bit off where your fingers won't land on the letters as your muscle memories dictates. For example, when you want to press the "E" key you'll likely touch the "R" key. And this doesn't seem to be the usual small keyboard that cramps your hand problem since the keyboard has decent width. The positioning of the keys is off enough that you'll touch the wrong letter. There is a small issue with the keyboard also: the spacebar is a little to much to the left, your right hand might miss it when you try to press it. These issues take quite a lot of typing and getting used to, though the positioning issue is a hard one to overcome.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has built-in Bluetooth 3.0 and works with any Bluetooth smartphone, tablet or machine with HID profile support. The keyboard is very easy to pair with the iPad. When you first turn on the keyboard, it'll go into pairing mode automatically. Use your iPad to find and type in the passcode to connect. For subsequent pairing, press the Bluetooth button next to the power slider button quickly to put the keyboard into pairing mode. The keyboard goes sleep after a long period of inactivity, and it seems to require repairing after it goes to sleep. Standby mode however doesn't require repairing, only a press of any key on the keyboard.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case has a rechargeable Lithium battery that's 160mAh in capacity. It takes about 4-5 hours to fully charge the keyboard, and at a full charge the keyboard offers over 50 hours of usage time and 60 days of standby. The battery goes into standby when not in use and sleeps after long period of inactivity. The power slider is also handy for saving power when you can turn it off when you're done for the day.
The Snugg iPad 4 Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case is a good case that protects the iPad with Retina Display front glass very well. We like the standard layout on the keyboard, the groove where you can stand your iPad in and the ease-of-use of the Bluetooth. The unreliable travel of the keys and the positioning of certain keys make it hard to get used to typing on this keyboard.
Price: $69.99 ($49.99 on sale right now)
Web site: The Snugg
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