Zagg’s Rugged Book is a tough, bulky keyboard-case combo for iPad Air 2. Specifically designed for Apple’s current full-sized tablet, Rugged Book is otherwise nearly identical to Zagg’s previous Rugged Folio for iPad Air. It’s a two-piece accessory — a polycarbonate and silicone case with volume and sleep/wake button coverage that links into a similarly built Bluetooth keyboard via a moving notch. Zagg still claims the keyboard can be used for two years without charging, under normal use. Because of the product’s similarities to Rugged Folio, this review will be kept short.
The case itself certainly feels tough, but it adds a fair amount of bulk to the thin iPad Air 2. Though it can be used separately from the keyboard, Zagg notes three other “modes” for using the case: book mode, which folds the keyboard behind the iPad during use; video mode, which inverts the keyboard for use as a stand; and of course, the traditional keyboard mode. The versatility is welcome, but by no means a major reason to buy Rugged Book.
Rugged Book’s keyboard offers a solid typing experience for an iPad keyboard. It’s not the best iPad keyboard we’ve ever tested, but it gets the job done — as is normally the case, comfort is inhibited by the smaller size of the keys, but it’s workable, and a better option than using the onscreen keyboard for long periods of time. Also not a surprise — despite the bulk of the case, Rugged Book is still much better on a flat surface, compared to using in one’s lap. The keyboard — which should stand up to drops more than most keyboards — connected to our iPad Air 2 quickly via Bluetooth, and we didn’t see any dropped connections.
For those prospective consumers specifically interested in a tough, do-it-all keyboard case for iPad Air 2, Rugged Book warrants some interest. But for most users, paying for $150 for this accessory will likely be tough to swallow. It earns our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: Rugged Book
Compatible: iPad Air 2