Top positive review
46 people found this helpful
Lightweight yet strong and sturdy.
on 31 May 2014
I've had those plastic wallet types in the past. You know, the ones that hide all the icons at the bottom of the screen until you 'push the ipad up' and allow you to take photographs of the inside of the case?
It's refreshing to be able to see and access the FULL screen on this device. The Ipad Mini is NOT exposed at the back of the device; it but snaps, quite securely, into the hollow surround. All ports are accessible.
The screen frame is not up in the air (as it might look on the picture). Indeed the bracket you can see is much closer to the keyboard and is probably only 4mm high. It can swivel without touching any keys. It can also tilt away to up to 180 degrees, but works fine at 45 degrees, which is more than adequate. Any more than that and the ipad becomes heavier than the keyboard, thus raising the keyboard into the air!
I am not sure why you'd want it to swivel left and right, but If the person next to you on a train or aircraft wants to share the movie or ask what you're working on, you can twist the screen. There was no issue with balance ratio when turning the screen around and there is sufficient friction on all joints.
There are 3 coloured LED's (Amber Caps Lock, Red Battery and Blue Blu-Tooth connect); plus a connect button and keyboard on/off switch. You get a 3 foot USB to mini USB cable for charging the keyboard (the thin samsung style connector) and the charge will last for weeks.
The keys feel about the same as they do on most of these style keyboards, but they are nearer to the front edge leaving the space for switches and buttons at the top, which makes it feel a more natural typing position. the keys use a typical layout, with perhaps slightly more 2nd function options than most, yet there are still some characters that you need to hunt for like the pound sign, apostrophe()s and other things that aren()t quite where you()d expect them - forgive me Iam writing the review on it!!
But, it is easier to copy and paste blocks of text. What would normally be the escape key is the Ipad HOME button, which is surprisingly useful The volume is fn 9 (mute) and 0 and - for up/down - which is a lot easier than holding the screen with one hand and trying to remember: 'is it left or right button for decrease volume?'
All controls are easily accessible and the biggest gain - that those with existing plastic cases will appreciate - is that the camera lens does not slip down and become obscured!
When lifted into the air, the keyboard will maintain its lateral position - as the hinge is stiff enough to maintain integrity when lifted, so the keyboard won't fall to 180' with gravity and there's no magnetic keyboards to fall into puddles!
In use, this looks just like a notebook. I doubt anyone would realise this was an ipad mini. The countour, colour and texture of the material matches the IPAD almost identically. The keyboard even has a mirrored black glass-like surface making it look like it is one integrated sleek device. Everyone will think you have a notepad!
So what about when it is closed, does the screen get scratched on those keys? Simple answer no. There are two very small rubber stops at the front edge which hold it 1mm above and even moving the top around (slightly) when closed, I can't see any contact - just daylight coming through. But you can always get a screen protector if you're fearful.
At first i thought this device might not be so portable to open whilst using googlemaps walking down the road; but I found that if you twist the screen 180 degrees away from you you can then close the keyboard behind the screen, you can hold it without the keyboard sticking into your chest whilst walking. This is a definite plus point for me as it then becomes both a sturdy desktop model or a portable hold-whilst-you-walk device too!
However, should you require, removing the IPAD from the frame is not that easy and requires peeling away the case from each edge in a move that requires careful dexterity and a lot of bravery - similar to removing the case from the back of an expensive smartphone!
The outside case is matt plastic, similar to the other side of a laptop screen, so it will be prone to showing grease. I keep it in thin notebook material wallet to protect it.
Overall a very smart looking and sturdy piece of kit. Even the red SNUGG logo on the outside case looks smart!