Kensington KeyFolio best of a mixed lot

Spoiler alert! The more I play with any iPad keyboard accessory, the less enchanted I find myself. Sooner or later, the keyboard will show a major design flaw that haunts you every time you use it. The key layout may make the Kensington the most irritating of all, and yet I still think I would recommend it over the others if you need to travel with your keyboard. I would also recommend it if you haven’t purchased a keyboard already.

You might want to look at the ZaggFolio which has a removable keyboard and standard US keyboard layout. The key layout will be less irritating, but the keys are also subject to spills which is why I went with the Kensignton.

Stream of consciousness test run

Pretty awesome out of the box. Much more comfortable than that Zaggmate with its raised metal lip that chafes the wrists. Doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a regular cover, nor even the Zaggmate, although the back will stay cleaner.

Pretty cool on first use.

Would be nice if it was back lighted but you can’t have everything.

I want to quote something but I can’t find the quote key. Arghhhhh!!! It’s at the bottom next to the space bar. What design idiot came up with this idea?!?

Why the hell they would move the apostrophe “‘” key is beyond me. That takes some real getting used to. In fact, it makes no sense at all, since this is one of the most commonly used keys in the world. Usually it takes longer to find what I hate, but this one sure jumped out quickly.

It’s hard to tell from the product photo but the key layout is about as screwy as they come. The apostrophe key is completely off the map, the home key is on the opposite side of the board and the pad has only one shift and command key.

Home key is also in different position. So remapping my fingers to the board will take some getting used to. A lot of getting used to.

No doubt I (wait, give me a minute), I’ll find a number of ; where i should find ‘ for the next month or two. What a bummer.

Much more comfortable than Zaggmate and only keyboard where the iPad stays fixed to the keyboard. You can set the screen to several angles which to me is usfeful when Fred or Teddy Bear decide to visit.

Don’t (god I’m already tired of looking for that apostrophe) mind not having to raise and lower the back rest every time I want to use or put away the keyboard like I did with the Zaggmate. That;s a plus.

Damn it all. Just like I expected. An ; instead of a ‘.

Water resistant keyboard. I wouldn’t pour water on it to test but the keys are completely covered with rubber. This also means the cats can’t pry keys loose which is a good thing. Currently every keyboard we have is missing a key, including our laptops (and ZaggMate). Cats 37, Keyboards -37.

And since the little splash of coffee on my Zaggmate killed the entire numbers row and made me buy another keyboard case, water resistant is good. Plus the keys won’t scratch against the screen like plastic keys would.

Keys could be a little more responsive.

No dual command or shift keys. You’ve got to be kidding. Makes it a pain for one-handed typing which I frequently have to do when Fred or Teddy settle in. Cats don’t care if you;re typing, they just climb on my left arm hiding the left side shift key and since I never learned to touch type it was nice to have the shift key and command key on the right side too.

Home key is on the right side instead of the left side where it is on the dock and Zaggmate keyboards. This also will take some getting used to.

Case doesn’t fit the screen as well as the Apple case does. At times the leather case covers the edge of the screen where developers who aren’t thinking load touch elements.

Ever since we got Fred back from his adopter because he was leaving for California (like parents would be allowed to return kids when they want to move) they;ve been competing for space on my arm. Fred, at least, is a gentleman. He walks up to me and begs me with those soft imploring eyes to let him sit on my arm while I type.

Teddy just leaps on my arm from any place. He;s even taken to blind night leaps lately. The other night I got up to go to the bathroom and I left the light off. Fortunately, my cat sense was tingling or I felt movement in the air, because I reached out and caught him in the blackness before he could land on my chest and fall down, dragging all twenty claws into my chest to break his fall. I still could’t see him but I could feel all four limbs wriggling as I held him in my hands.

He was not happy. But this is a review, not a cat story.

Hole in case for iPad 2 camera. Cool. When I upgrade the case is ready. As long as they don’t move the camera on the iPad 3, which I’m waiting for. Carol wouldn’t let me get the iPad 2 because I spend too much on apps to review for this blog, but Apple care will be expired when the iPad 3 comes out so, why not?

Case is a lot bulkier thanks to the keypad sewn into the faux leather case. Feels like I’m carrying a hard cover book and not a nice, slim light weight iPad. On the other hand, the Zaggmate dented when it fell on the floor, making it harder to fit the iPad in. The faux leather provides a much better cushion than the metal on the Zaggmate.

Holding the iPad with the keypad folded to the back is kind of awkward. I have to balance that against setting the Zaggmate to the side entirely when I’m not typing, or having separate keyboards to lug around when I’m on the road.

But the view angle can be adjusted a lot of ways depending on where I prop it. And it fits nicely in my lap on a lap pillow so I can type comfortably in bed after Carol goes to sleep.

It also shuts down after fifteen minutes so I don’t run down the battery by accident. Easy to recharge and I don’t have to carry AA batteries like I do with the Apple bluetooth.

The pad is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, which means it won’t drain power from your iPad and you don’t need to carry spare batteries.

So let;s sum. Crappy key placement. The worst I;ve ever seen (as evidenced by all the semi colons where the apostrophe should be). That would knock a whole star off the review and I’m tempted to knock two. Bulky case. The bulkiest out there. Heaviest too.

On the other hand it’s the most transportable of any I’ve tried and it seems to offer a lot of protection to the iPad. It also works well with both iPad and iPad 2. It’s comfortable, and I won’t have to buy a new one when I splash coffee on it (which is likely to happen since cats love to bump my hand when I’m holding a cup).

Jenny Manytoes rates the Kensington 2nd Generation KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to the Kensington 2nd Generation KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard. It’s the best of the keyboards I’ve tried so far and it’s the least likely to be damaged, but that’s a long way from a Best Buy. If you have a hard time remapping your fingers to different key layouts, however, pass this one by.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
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One Response to Kensington KeyFolio best of a mixed lot

  1. Synergy says:

    Yeah, what idiot would move the ‘ and ” ??? HOW ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you just bought the Key Folio, and you’re like me (like most of you too) and you type 4-60 words per minutes, this problem placement of the ‘ and ” is a NIGHTMARE!!! What makes it even worse is that every time you key the apostrophe, you hit RETURN!!!! Ouch!

    Hopefully in Kensington’s NEXT Key Folio revamp, they put the ‘ and ” where they’re supposed to be. They’re not like Function keys, or things you rarely use. THOSE you could hide. I mean think about it: Once you position your hands over asdf and jkl; you can still see {[ and }] THAT is where the ‘ should be, not hidden below your hand, where you actually have to “HUNT AND PECK” because you actually need to stop typing, LIFT your right hand, FIND the apostrophe and peck it. Yet ANOTHER example of a product that is released to the public that’s OBVIOUSLY never been tried by HUMANS before release (!!!) …unless they were testing “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country” (No quotes, no apostrophe, lol). PUT THE DAMN APOSTROPHE and ” key WHERE THEY BELONG.

    Excellent review. You hit it right on!

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