The ZAGG Rugged Book Case with Keyboard might be just the product you need if you’re looking for something that makes your iPad both tougher and more functional. The Rugged Book is two separate pieces that work together in several ways.
- A multi-layered, removable case deflects impact energy to keep your iPad safe
- Keyboard Mode offers backlit keys and the largest typing area for fast, accurate typing
- A powerful lithium polymer battery powers the Rugged Book for up to two years between charges
What I Liked
The case itself is a simple shell for the iPad than can be used separately from the keyboard. Its multi-layer design renders it extremely protective, created for situations such as construction sites, where toughness is important. The case is constructed from polycarbonate, silicone, and a stainless steel plate for ultimate protection.
The ZAGG Rugged Book flips around so you can use it in traditional tablet mode.
The backlit Bluetooth keyboard is a fully functional keyboard with the keyboard shortcuts to which Mac users are accustomed. The case can be attached to the keyboard in several ways. In addition to two holes and slots, the connection is magnetic, which helps the pieces stay together. You can put the pieces together laptop-style, which allows you to open and close and use it any angle. When you do open and close it, it wakes and sleeps automatically, as with Apple’s cases. You could also turn the iPad around and attach it “backwards,” which is ideal for watching videos. If you close it that way, you could use it at a reader.
I tested the 9.7-inch iPad Pro version, but there are also models available for all of the iPad minis and iPad Airs. There is not a 12.9-inch iPad Pro version at this time. All models claim a two-year battery life before any recharging is required. Though I haven’t tested it for two years myself, I haven’t charged it in the several weeks I’ve been using it.
I have never felt my iPad was safer than when it was in this keyboard case
I have never felt my iPad was safer than when it was in this keyboard case. I did drop it off of my nightstand and though the case detached from the keyboard, both pieces and the iPad itself were unscathed.
The keyboard looks classy. You can choose which color you want your keyboard backlit; with the touch of a button, you’ll rotate through seven different colors. With keys like Function, Control, Option, and Command, there are numerous shortcuts just like on a Mac. There are even dedicated buttons for Siri, Search, and to change your keyboard to any you have on your iPad, including Emoji. The keyboard is a comfortable size and keys have just the right amount of give to make touch typing a breeze.
Use the ZAGG Rugged Book like you would a laptop
Precision cutouts and button covers ensure everything is functional within the case. Textured edges all the way around improve grip and make drops less likely.
What I Didn't Like
Heavy-duty protection comes with some drawbacks. The biggest issue for me was the added weight. This is a heavy keyboard case; it weighs over two pounds. If the iPad’s big selling point for you is its featherweight portability, you’re losing something here with the Rugged Book. This is by no means an inexpensive product, though it’s in the price range of Apple products.
If you need to bring your iPad to places where it could get damaged, and you need keyboard functionality, look no further than ZAGG’s Rugged Book. I can’t image a better, tougher, more functional keyboard case for your iPad. If you want a slimmer, lighter keyboard case, this one’s not for you. I’d suggest ZAGG’s Slim Book instead.
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