Review: Kensington KeyFolio Executive for iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)
Just a year or two ago, $100 was pretty much the going rate for an iPad keyboard case, and many cost more than that. The prices have fallen pretty dramatically, though, so $100 today is the higher end of what you'll likely pay, and usually for a premium option. That's just how Kensington's KeyFolio Executive ($100) is being presented: it combines a keyboard case for the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPads with personal organizer functionality that's best suited to an office setting. It would have been even more versatile if the iPad case in the center was removable.
At about an inch and a half thick, this faux leather case is certainly bulkier than most, though the size won’t bother users already accustomed to carrying around full-sized planners. Unzipping the case reveals the keyboard inside the front cover, room for papers, ID and business cards, and a notepad measuring up to 7” x 9.5” on the right. The iPad holder is right in the middle, along with a stylus holder for a self-provided writing instrument. KeyFolio Executive’s iPad holder is like many we’ve seen built into folio-style cases: it covers about half the bezel, but leaves all four corners exposed. This is less objectionable because of the organizer that surrounds the tablet, offering extra protection. Velcro along the left edge of the holder keeps the iPad standing when used for typing.
The keyboard here is exactly the same Kensington packed into its KeyFolio Pro Performance Keyboard Case, and that’s a good thing— it can be used with the iPad or removed, as it’s held in place with magnets. The keys are smaller than those on Apple’s Wireless Keyboard but have a very similar layout and spacing structure. There are a few extra buttons, including a “.com” key immediately under the return key, as well as iOS-specific function keys along the top row. We typed most of this review using the keyboard, and the only issue we encountered was occasionally hitting the up arrow key when going to hit shift—but even that was rare, and we compensated quickly; on the whole, we’d call the keyboard very good and enjoyable to use. The battery is rated for 90 hours of typing time between charges with an included USB to Micro-USB cable.
Compared to KeyFolio Pro, KeyFolio Executive is definitely a more intriguing option. It looks nicer, feels nicer, and seems to fit its niche better, making sense for users who still find themselves relying on paper, pen, and iPad for business at different times. Overall, it’s a very good option, and worthy of our strong general recommendation.