With the release of the iPad mini, a race started among accessory manufacturers to get keyboards out for the thing as quick as possible.
The back of the keyboard is actually aluminum, and as such, it looks and feels pretty good- and pretty stock- when the iPad mini is in the holder. The stand that’s built into the keyboard is comprised of a pop-up back stand and a slot for sliding the mini into. That leaves the charging port, which is located on the side of the keyboard, along the same side as the lock switch for the stand. Pairing the keyboard is done how you normally pair a Bluetooth keyboard: Hold down the connect button until something starts blinking, tap it in your Bluetooth device list, and enter the code shown on the screen on the keyboard.
The keyboard has an English layout, which means that if you- like me- use another language (or multiple languages) for your iPad keyboard, you need to switch to English before connecting in order for the keys to do what they say. Speaking of the keys, the layout takes a bit getting used to, as a lot of compromises had to be made to fit everything into such a small area. Since I’ll be using this with my case-equipped mini, and since one of the plastic clips is outright in the way of the space key, I quickly decided to simply get rid of that part of the keyboard.
From what online specs show, the Nexus 7 is about the same length, just thicker than the iPad mini. The ZAGGKeys Cover is an iPad mini keyboard case with backlit keys that delivers the best mobile typing experience for the iPad mini. This small iPad mini keyboard case is slim and light, gripping the side of the iPad mini tightly for a very mobile productivity package.
Users looking for a faster typing experience on the iPad mini should definitely consider this backlit iPad mini keyboard. While using the ZAGGKeys Cover on the iPad mini I found I could type fast enough to use this very portable combo as a primary work machine for writing articles and responding to emails faster.
Users will need to adjust to pressing function, shift and Function + Shift for some punctuation, but ZAGG did a good job of keeping commonly used keys and punctuation as the default key press.
The ZAGGKeys Cover iPad mini keyboard is very slim, which limits travel (the distance keys move when pressed) but there is enough travel to work with and the keys offer a slight bounce that helps push fingers back up for the next strike. The top row of keys offers access to common functions like Home, Siri, Cut, Copy, Paste and media playback. This is a backlit iPad mini keyboard which offers three levels of backlighting in seven colors. The iPad mini slips into a small grip on the side of the device that holds the iPad tightly. The hinge allows for multiple viewing angles and puts the iPad at the far edge of the keyboard, rather than in the middle like many iPad mini keyboards.
ZAGG mentions a media mode which allows users to reverse the iPad mini and use it with the keyboard attached to the back. The ZAGGKeys Cover is rated for three months of use at 2-3 hours a day without the backlight on.

The ZAGGKeys Cover iPad mini keyboard with backlit keys is the best iPad mini keyboard on the market.
Ready to buy one but I don’t see any mention ANYWHERE (including your video) about whether there is a magnetic closing latch. Most of the brand name manufacturers have been blatantly ignoring other ~7-inch devices for years, but as is typical, an Apple product is an Apple product.
It’s designed to actually store the iPad mini with the screen facing inwards while in transport, and to do this it has three clamps and four soft pads on the top to allow you to just clip on the mini.
This also serves to give the keyboard a “lid” when not in use, and most of its features are hidden underneath the iPad in this state. I’ve seen many iPad mini keyboards appear on DealExtreme over the last couple of months, but the reason I picked this one is that it actually has real, separate, proper plastic buttons.
I’ve not had a key get stuck, everything is smooth, and you’d frankly think this is a much more expensive keyboard when you use it. The pop-up stand was actually broken on the unit I received, with a critical plastic piece being broken off, but I fixed it very easily. It’s a standard microUSB port, so you can charge it either with the included microUSB cable, or just any cable or charger you have. You can also do it from one of the function keys, as the number row doubles as a row of iPad-specific function keys.
The biggest annoyance for me is the location of the apostrophe and backspace keys, the former being hidden as a function key, and the latter being located below the last key in the number row- making me hit the + button instead of backspace. That’s an unavoidable with a keyboard this small, but I think that there’s potential for making the main keys bigger on this particular layout. It’s less than a third of the price of the ZAGGkeys mini, and I very highly doubt that the ZAGGkeys is more than three times as good. He's more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets and tends to stick with his choice of device for a long time as a result of that. This makes it incredibly easy to type in the dark, where with other keyboards a switch to the on-screen keyboard would be needed. When you are traveling the iPad mini screen is protected by the closed case and if you prefer to read or hold the iPad mini when not typing, it slips in and out easily. The iPad mini doesn’t fit in well in this mode and with easy on and easy off it makes more sense to use the iPad without the keyboard on the back. The keyboard charges by a Micro USB cable, which is included and is a standard charger for accessories so finding a charge should not be a problem. The typing experience is very good for such a small keyboard and backlighting enhances this. So far, we haven’t seen many such keyboards actually be released, and that has lead the ZAGGkeys mini 7 to more or less become the go-to keyboard for those who want a keyboard the same size as the device. You might then ask “well, what else would it have?” Well, a lot of cheap keyboards have a single rubber surface across the entire keyboard, with each key just being raised rubber keys.

It is however significantly smaller than a standard keyboard, a necessary evil to make it the same dimensions as the iPad mini.
There’s a lock switch on the side of the keyboard, and when this is disengaged, springs flip open and extend a two-position back stand. The electronics in this keyboard are flat enough to hide away inside the top part of the keyboard, ensuring that no part of the keyboard sticks out and ruins the flat nature of it. There’s also an issue with the backspace key being blocked by the plastic clip that’s there for grabbing onto the iPad when not in use, but I’ll get to that issue in a bit. There’s quite a bit of space on either side of the keyboard, and the tab, caps lock, and shift keys could have been smaller to make the actual letter keys larger. I also frankly prefer the Smart Cover as a stand over the one built into the keyboard, so I’ll likely use this keyboard in the configuration you see below.
The plastic clips are sort of in the way, they limit how the keyboard can be used, and the broken bit of plastic on the stand makes me wonder about the quality of the pop-up stand, but those are frankly minor annoyance when you consider what you’re getting for the price: A proper keyboard in an aluminum case, thin and light, the size of the iPad mini, and at a price that’s the very definition of reasonable. It wouldnt surprise me if there’s a Nexus 7 version of this keyboard out there somewhere though, but that’s not a given. If you are limited for space you can use this mode to point the iPad mini towards you (as shown below) while watching movies on a plane or in bed. Combined with support for multiple angles and the easy on and easy off design make it perfect for users who need a keyboard for productivity, but prefer to use the iPad mini on its own when it comes time for fun. Because the ZAGGkeys mini is a $90 device, I instead decided to wait and see if I could find something that was priced a bit better, and a couple of weeks ago such a keyboard appeared on the Chinese OEM resale site DealExtreme. I need the mini in reader mode while looking up patients labs walking between rooms (have nowhere to put the keyboard). At $25.80 shipped worldwide, it’s in a whole different class as far as price goes, but does that mean it’s garbage? This keyboard, however, has proper keys, and they’re arranged in a chiclet-style layout where each key is physically separated from the others with a bit of plastic. This works pretty well, though it’s definitely designed for a naked iPad, not one with a case- but that’s true for the whole “clip onto your iPad when not in use”-design as well.
I’m not sure if I’ll end up using this or just bring my much larger Apple Bluetooth keyboard, but I will say that even a small keyboard like this is still a massive improvement over on-screen typing. But then I want the keyboard when we’re done making rounds to protect the screen when I put it back in my pocket. The low price of the keyboard also seems to have absolutely no effect on the quality of it, as it feels like a very high quality keyboard in use.

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