REVIEW: ZAGG Pocket Keyboard
With large phones spreading, this capsule keyboard for any iOS and Android device is a space-saver supreme
The smartphone does it all. We’ve known this for a long time, though the creation of the tablet computer a few years ago distracted us. But who needs a tablet? With smartphones now routinely having 5-inch screens, it’s the perfect, compact travel gadget good enough for video, surfing and working. Only one problem; what about the keyboard?
The key feature of the ZAGG Pocket keyboard isn’t its pocket-size, but its universal appeal. While we’ve seen some – and used, heavily – keyboard cases for the iPad and iPad Mini, they always felt like overkill. They’re also al limited to specific models of tablets. The ZAGG works with any product you want, with a shelf that can support a tablet or phone.
The ZAGG Pocket connects to any product over Bluetooth. It’s a great solution and the battery life stretches to weeks despite that semi-permanent wireless connection. In our tests the ZAGG was simple to connect to a range of devices, and if you use it with one phone only, it automatically links – and in seconds, too.
Now, the fold-up design of the ZAGG Pocket is good. We like it, though for those travelling with a cabin bag or decent-sized coat, there’s not much need for it. Besides, being able to put the keyboard in a pocket is a nice idea, but that pocket will have to be pretty big. Shrinking from 220x100x3mm to 220x53x12mm – and weighing 200g – the ZAGG Pocket is easy to travel with thanks to some magnetic materials that keep everything clasped shut. Doing so also automatically shut-off the Bluetooth, preserving battery. That could be crucial on a long-term trip where access to a US slot It charges via a small micro USB cable) might be tricky.
This is usually where travel keyboards fall over, though the ZAGG Pocket does well. Despite only offering about 85% of the size of a regular keyboard, typing is reasonably comfortable, with plenty of space between keys. The true test is when you start touch touch-type at high-speed, which the ZAGG Pocket coped well with without any ‘sausage fingers’ issues or mass-typos. It’s very lightweight and feels flimsy but in use, it;s fine. Would we want to write a novel on it? Maybe …
Solid and still
It’s also solid enough to stay put, and remain still, when used on hard surfaces. In terms of keys, there’s everything you would want, though operating functions on the tavblet – such as returning to the home screen – is a touchscreen affair – there’s no specific Apple buttons. aside from a CMD key. The shelf can support almost any device; our iPhone in a variety of cases was well supported, though an iPad Mini in a folio proved far too thick.
For those wanting to cut down on superfluous gadgets when travelling – especially if you’re on a business trip where you may or may not need to indulge in a little light typing – the ZAGG Pocket is a great idea. For serious writers and the work-obsessed, an Ultrabook (OK, yes, the Apple Macbook Air) is far superior, but the ZAGG Pocket makes a great addition to any capsule collection. Unlike most Bluetooth keyboard, this is a hugely productive keyboard. End of. The downside? That price tag, which for a small plastic/aluminium keyboard is steep.