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Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2 Review
      07/12/11 02:20 PM

iPad 2 Keyboard Review: Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2 Review

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5

What's Hot: Excellent key travel, dedicated iPad 2 keys, both landscape and portrait standing, very protective.

What's Not: Needs better viewing angles.

Kensington made the KeyFolio Keyboard Case for the original iPad and it was very popular among users who often took their email, MS Office work and more on the road. Kensington now offers an updated version for the new iPad, the Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2. The new KeyFolio Pro keyboard case adds even more protection, and it has very nice keys and a standard keyboard layout. The Bluetooth keyboard is easy to pair and the case is easy to use. As with the first KeyFolio, the KeyFolio Pro case has a professional look in black.



Design

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2 has layers protection. If you thought that the Kensington KeyFolio for iPad was protective, the KeyFolio Pro adds one more layer to protect the tablet. The keyboard case opens like a portfolio with the tablet on the right and the keyboard on the left. The keyboard side has hard plastic insert and the keyboard itself is hard plastic. The new KeyFolio Pro case also uses a new material, reinforced polyurethane fabric, for both interior and exterior surface. The treated material is super smooth and very durable. The case even uses it for the tablet pocket without any additional lining, and it definitely will not scratch your iPad 2?s surface.

Unlike with the original KeyFolio, the KeyFolio Pro has a dedicated back cover to protect the tablet, and the tablet pocket is attached to the back cover in the middle and can swivel the tablet to stand up in either landscape or portrait orientation to work with the keyboard. There is a flat surface, like a platform, above the keys where you can stand the tablet in various viewing angles, though the most secure angle is the widest angle when the tablet stands right above the keyboard in a groove. Even at the widest angle the tablet stands still quite straight up (about 70-degrees), which isn?t the optimum viewing angle for browsing web pages or watching movies. The keyboard case adds quite a bit of bulk and weight for the strong protection it offers, weighing 1 lb and 4.6 oz.



Typing Experience

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2 has Bluetooth v2.0 built-in and pairs with the iPad 2 easily. When you turn on the keyboard, it goes into pairing mode automatically. The keyboard has a standard layout with chiclet style keys. The key surface is matted to prevent slipping and the keys have great travel for a portable keyboard. The width of the keyboard is 10? and it might feels a little cramped for folks with large hands. But it should fit most people, and typing is very comfortable on it thanks to the excellent key travel and very responsive tactile feedback on the keyboard. We experienced almost 100% accuracy typing on this keyboard from the start.

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case has a dedicated row of iPad 2 control keys that launch Home screen, photos, on screen keyboard, search, screen on/off and multimedia playback controls and volume controls. These iPad 2 specific keys certain make the keyboard more useful by minimizing the number of screen touches. Though on the keyboard they are only marked as F1 and F2, these keys are actually mapped to change screen brightness. There is also a dedicated ?.com? key, but no dedicated web browser or email launch keys on the keyboard. The keyboard offers iOS/Mac OS keys and two Shift keys (one is in 2X size).


Features

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case for iPad 2 is very functional as a tablet case. The tablet pocket is form fitting for the iPad 2, and it?s very easy to put the tablet in or take it out. The case has cutouts for all ports and buttons on the iPad 2, including a deep hole on the back through two thick layers of covers for the rear camera. The case covers the bezel around the display and has large cutouts for the front facing camera and the Home button.

On the keyboard side, the case is designed in such a way that the keyboard doesn?t touch the iPad 2?s display when the case is shut. The keyboard rests on the cover around the display. The Bluetooth keyboard has a microUSB charging port on the right along with a power on/off button. The keyboard has four LED lights above the keys and a Connect button to turn on pairing or connection while the keyboard?s power is on already. The LED lights indicate power on/off, Bluetooth status, charging status and Cap lock.



The keyboard has a built-in rechargeable battery that?s 430mAh in capacity and comes with a USB charging cable. You can charge the keyboard via either a computer or the iPad 2?s AC charger. The built-in battery should last you a month in standby and a week with moderate to busy use. Remember to turn it off when you are done for the day to conserve power.



Conclusion

The updated KeyFolio Pro keyboard case fits the iPad 2 perfectly and offers very responsive typing experience. The case is super protective and easy to use. The keyboard has a standard layout with a good number of iPad 2 specific keys. It worked with built-in apps and most other apps we tested it with, and Bluetooth was easy to work with. The keyboard and multi-layer case does add some bulk and weight, but if you need the keyboard and protection on the road, it?s a worthy trade off. The built-in stand doesn?t go lower than ~70 degrees, which might not be the best viewing angle for some tasks.

Price: $99.99
Web site: Kensington





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