http://www.zagg.com/us/en_us/keyboards/ipad-keyboard-case/ipad-air-2-keyboard/rugged-book-ipad-air-2Similar to ZAGG’s Slim Book ($129.99) for the iPad Air 2, the Rugged Book (149.99) is made up of two pieces: a black, hard plastic shell covered in a rubberized material (covers all of the buttons yet has openings for all of the ports and speakers) that snaps around the iPad Air 2 and a separate black keyboard (with white letters) that locks in place via magnets.
Again, like ZAGG’s Slim Book, the keyboard of the Rugged Book features an integrated lithium-polymer battery that ZAGG reports can last for two years between charges (this varies depending on the amount of time used daily and how long the backlight is active). A Micro USB cable is included when one does need to recharge the device, but one needs to provide his/her own USB adapter.
Keyboard layout is also identical in both keyboard cases, thereby, makes typing fluid and pain free. Uniquely, this product’s keyboard also includes the following function keys (from left to right): Home, Lock, Siri, Search, International Keyboards, Hide/Display Keyboard, Previous Track, Play/Pause, Next Track, Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up, Bluetooth, and Power On/Off.
ZAGG’s Rugged Book communicates to the iPad Air 2 with Bluetooth. Pairing of the devices is straightforward and is easily accomplished by powering on the Rugged Book and depressing the Bluetooth button for three seconds. Then, in iOS 8, one navigates to Settings -> Bluetooth -> and selecting “ZAGG Rugged Book” from the options.
Since the Rugged Book is two pieces, the following four positions are possible:
1. Traditional keyboard orientation (similar to a laptop)
2. Book-like orientation (keyboard is folded behind the iPad)
3. Video orientation (keyboard acts as a base and props up the iPad like a picture frame)
4. Solely the iPad (keyboard component is not attached)
So, why would one purchase the Rugged Book over the Slim Book? The answer is additional protection via the added layers (polycarbonate, steel and silicone) of the Rugged Book. While the Slim Book would likely protect one’s iPad Air 2 from mild scratches or drops, the Rugged Book lives up to its name and has protected this author’s device when dropped onto concrete.
The Rugged Book has the best combination of an amazing battery life with case that provides piece of mind for the accidents of daily life.
Rating: 5 out of 5