" />

Follow-Up Review: ZAGG’s ZAGGfolio for iPad 2

In case you missed it after my initial review of the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 on July 27, 2011, and then the update of that review on July 29, ZAGG had some issues with the clasp not holding the case closed for users who weren’t using InvisibleShield or similar protective skins on the screens of their iPad 2s. I mentioned having some issues with the clasp not holding the case completely securely in my original review, but I didn’t personally see the more severe problem of the clasp not closing at all because I always keep a screen protector on my phones and tablets.

Since my review was the first hands-on look at the device to hit the iOS blogosphere, the story surrounding the ZAGGfolio’s clasp problems unfolded right here in Comments thread of that article. Thankfully, ZAGG stepped up to the plate within days of users discovering this problem, and decided to re-design the clap of the ZAGGfolio to fix this problem for all users, whether they have screen protection on their iPad 2s or not. In fact, the gentleman who designed the ZAGGfolio was kind enough to join in our lengthy discussion and directly answer many of the user questions that were posed here. In a world where consumer electronics companies are often keen to circle the wagons and deny, deny, deny at the first sign of trouble, it was refreshing to see an established company quickly take ownership of a problem, and take the necessary steps to satisfy their customers. If you would like to catch up on exactly what happened, you can take a look at my original review here. If you want the while story, be sure to take at least a brief look at the Comments thread at the end of the review. There are a lot of them, to be sure, but they are definitely worth a read if you are interested in the ZAGGfolio.

True to their word of having replacement cases in customer’s hands within 4-6 weeks, my new ZAGGfolio case was delivered by UPS this morning. It was in a full retail box, but was the ZAGGfolio case alone.

I was very eager, to give it a try immediately, but unfortunately I had some traveling to do this afternoon, and I had to remove my beautiful ZAGG LEATHERskin (which unfortunately did not survive) to put the new case to the test. I just finished taking my first look, and I can assure everyone that the new ZAGGfolio design works FAR better than the original. Even though my original case would stay closed, the hold was very loose, and I had some issues with the magnets disengaging and waking my iPad 2 up while still closed. I don’t see myself having that problem anymore.

When I first opened the box and took the new case out, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I couldn’t see a lot of obvious difference between the two clasp designs, other than the fact that the new one is thicker and more pronounced.

Original Clasp

Updated Clasp

I was personally expecting a flexible clasp that could be adjusted to snap closed, so I was a little concerned until I tried it out. As soon as I did, however, my worries were eased. When I put the two halves together, lined them up, and then pressed down just a bit, I heard a click from the clasp engaging and that was that.

The ZAGGfolio was fully closed and completely stable. I have opened and closed the case several times, and as long as I make sure that the clasp is fully engaged, the result is the same. Once it is in place, the top and bottom do not move, and my iPad 2 no longer wakes up inadvertently.

Now the ZAGGfolio feels as solid as it looks when you carry it around closed. I was willing to work around the design limitations of the original because I loved the features that it provided. It was worth a little bit of hassle to me. Now the stability trade-off is gone, and the ZAGGfolio is even better than before. I definitely missed using the ZAGGfolio while waiting for the new case to arrive, but with the improvement of the clasp and the stability that it adds, it was definitely worth the wait.
The only other major alteration in the design of the original ZAGGfolio case is with the opening for the headphone jack. A few users reported in the comments that they had problems with the opening lining up properly with the jack on their iPad 2s. There was some discussion in the original review comments as to whether this was also due to using the ZAGGfolio with a “naked” iPad 2.

While the original opening had a circular cutout that was enclosed on all sides, the updated design has a semi-circular notch that is completely open at the edge of the case.

Original Headphone Cutout

Updated Headphone Cutout

 

This gives the ZAGGfolio a little more latitude to account for slight variances from case to case, and whether the iPad 2 in the case has front or back skins or not. This seems to be another solid decision by ZAGG to make the folio case as versatile as possible.

There have also been some mentions later on in the Comments thread of the original review about the Carbon Fiber skin coming off around the edges of the ZAGGfolio. I have not personally seen this, but I also haven’t been able to use my original ZAGGfolio case since I wrote my review of the ZAGG LEATHERskins in August. I’ve continued using the ZAGGfolio’s keyboard in the interim, but unfortunately, the LEATHERskins add too much thickness to the back of the iPad 2 for it to fit in the case.
After comparing the original and new cases, I can say that the application of the carbon fiber backing is a bit cleaner on my new version. It has far fewer rough spots and places where the skin isn’t completely flush with the edge of the case. I am not sure if this is due to any design changes, or if it is just some variance from case to case, but it definitely feels a little more polished now.

These are the only major differences that I have spotted so far, but I will be sure to update this review if any other positives or negatives come to light. As far as the rest of the case and the keyboard are concerned, they function the same as I described in my original review. The ZAGGfolio was a very worthy product with an unfortunate flaw then. Now, I can say that the final result is finally what we expected from ZAGG- a high quality and well-designed product from a company with great customer service. It is unfortunate that ZAGG had to prove their worth in the face of a design issue that effected some of their customers in a negative way, but they definitely came through in the clutch.
I eagerly look forward to hearing from the many ZAGGfolio users that took the time to comment, ask questions, and interact in the Comment thread of my original review. I certainly hope that all of you, and anyone else who may be new to the device, will drop by and let us know what you think of the changes that ZAGG has made. As for me, I still highly recommend the ZAGGfolio for anyone looking for a versatile Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad 2 and a durable case that will safely hold both devices. It is a killer product from a company that has proved that it can be trusted to deliver the goods and treat its customers like they deserve to be treated.

Continue reading:

TAGS: , , , , , , ,




  • Pingback: Review: ZAGG’s ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 (Updated) | iSource()

  • Pingback: ZAGGfolio Replacement Case Fixes Clasp Issue ā€” iPad Insight()

  • Simon Reidy

    I wasn’t aware of the original problems with the Zaggfolio until reading this updated review, so I quickly checked mine to make sure I had the updated design! Thankfully I do. Only a couple of importers are selling the case in Australia so it wasn’t easy tracking one down for a good price (once shipping was factored in) but eventually they were sold in “limited quanties” in Australia and I was to pick one up for $120AUS. A little pricey, but you can see where that money goes when you compare the case to cheaply manafactured imitations.

    Given I’ve never used the original case before the re-design, I obviously can’t directly comment on improvements, however I can say that mine is very well built, with no problems closing it tight (and turning off the screen with magnets) and I am extremely happy with the case overall. I love how quickly the iPad can be removed from the case (usually for playing games šŸ™‚ ) and the way the keyboard can also be removed easily is an added bonus.

    I also noticed when comparing cases, while trying to decide on the best one to buy, that only a couple of manafacturers use decent quality chiclet keyboard designs, with good tactile feedback. Thankfully Zagg is certainly one of these as the keys feel great for a compact design.

    I also checked out the carbon fibre stitching of my case and it seems to be very good quality. Everything lines up nicely and looks like its been constructed with attention to detail. Time will tell how well it wears, but as its stands now I think it’s definitely the best keyboard folio case available.

    My only complaint is not one directed at Zagg, but at Apple for such poor hardware keyboard implementation in iOS! I appreciate the few keybord shortcuts that are there (nice to have Cmd+C and V and the home button and music controls) but it sucks that you can’t use the arrow keys in any apps to scroll for instance. For example I’d love to use the arrow keys to move quickly through stories in Reeder, but the only time the keyboard is really active is when you click in a text field so it can’t be done.

    Do you think we will see better hardware keyboard support in future versions of iOS? And hopefully the ability for 3rd party apps to utilise it in more sophisticated ways? Or is Apple too focused on touch to worry about improving the support for keyboards? This is one area where Android really kicks iOS’s butt, given hardware keyboards have been a part of Android from the first release.

  • Helga Malone

    I I have the iPad 2 Zaggfolio. How do I go about getting a replacement?

    • jhrogersii

      Unless you got one of the initial batch that was, as far as I know, available only from ZAGG, then you already have the updated design. Check the pictures in my review to verify which version you have.

      If you have the new iPad, you can keep the keyboard, and just buy the updated case for either $29.99, or $59.99. However, if you don’t use a screen or back protector, then your iPad 2 case will probably still work for the new iPad. Mine did until I put the new skins on.

  • Zimbalista

    It is a good cover/keyboard, but the carbon fiber skin is separating on all sides. What to do?

  • Zimbalista

    It is a good cover/keyboard, but the carbon fiber skin is separating on all sides. What to do?