As users of Android and Windows based tablets continue to demand more productivity from their devices, accessories like Bluetooth keyboards equally are seeing a rise in usage. We see things like folio-style keyboards that essentially serve as a case and keyboard for your tablet all in the effort of providing a physical keyboard while not adding much bulk or adding a measure of protection. One of the best at providing that functionality as well as protection is the Zagg Auto-Fit Folio
Designed to fit 7″, 8″ or 10″ tablets, the Zagg auto-fit Folio uses a spring-loaded mechanism to hold your tablet in place while giving you a comfortable and very responsive keyboard that you connect to your tablet via Bluetooth. Add to that, the keyboard is folio-style case that has a hard outer shell to provide protection for your tablet while it is inside the keyboard case.
I recently received one of the Zagg Folio’s to try out with my Nexus 7 and having used it heavily in that time (in fact, this review is being written on it), I have to say it is one of the best Bluetooth keyboards I have used. It has solid performance, responsive typing and key action and is simply to setup all while not adding a huge amount of bulk to a slim tablet. This product is certainly one I can recommend with confidence.
Get The Right Sized Zagg Auto-Fit Folio For Your Tablet
As I mentioned, Zagg offers the Auto-Fit Folio in three sizes so making sure you get the correct one for your tablet is important. The 7″ model holds tablets that are within these dimensions:
- Width: 6.3″ – 7.87″
- Height: 4.88″ – 5.3″
- Depth: Up to .45″
That includes devices like the Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013 models), the Acer B1-720, Acer MeMo Pad HD 7, Dell Venue 7, HPC Slate 7 4600 and Extreme, and the Galaxy Tab 2 and 3 7.0 units. At the end of the review I will put direct links to all three sizes so you can check them out for yourself and make sure you get the correct one for your tablet. For this review I’m going to focus on the 7″ model as that is the one I reviewed using my Nexus 7.
Setup and Configuration
When you first open the Zagg Auto-Fit Folio you will see a shell like top where your tablet is held in place and a thinner bottom where the keyboard is located. The top of the case opens up to a 130-degree angle so you can find a comfortable typing position and viewing position. On the back of the top portion of the case you will find a small, hinged support arm that will help keep the tablet/keyboard combination steady and from tilting over.
Back to the shell top where your tablet is located, the bottom of the inside shell is sprung to move up and down about an inch to form fit to your tablet. This is how Zagg gets the name “Auto-Fit”.
To insert your tablet, press the long edge (opposite your power button and volume rocker) into the spring loaded edge and press down. Now simply rotate the top of your tablet into the shell edges at the top and release. Your tablet should now be securely in place in the keyboard.
Next, you will need to enable the Bluetooth connectivity between the keyboard and your tablet. To do this, turn on the Zagg Folio with the power slide switch then press the small button next to it, holding it down until the blue LED flashes at the front of the keyboard. Now go to your tablet and find “Zaggkeys AutoFit” as a found BlueTooth device. Tap on it to configure the devices to communicate and you should be good-to-go. In my testing this took less than a minute and you will be ready to start typing.
Keyboard Form & Feel
The Zagg Auto-Fit has an island style keyboard with the 7″ model sporting a 70-key QWERTY layout. The 8″ model has the same layout while the 10″ model has a slightly bigger layout as you have a couple of more inches of space. The key action on the keyboard is smooth and responsive and has a firm response. The keyboard doesn’t feel or sound cheap which is often the case on keyboard for tablets. While it is not a full size keyboard, it is quite comfortable typing on for long periods of time. While final edits to this review were made on my PC, all of the core content you are reading was done using this keyboard over the course of about 3 hours of writing. At no time did I find my hands fatigued or cramped.
One of the big advantages of using this type of keyboard with your tablet is if you travel by plane or train and need to work. Opening a full size laptop, especially in economy seats, is often difficult due to lack of room. With a 7″, 8″ or 10″ tablet and the Zagg Folio, you can be productive without the risk of the person in front of you snapping your LCD screen in half when they recline their seat back.
There are a lot of things I like about this keyboard case but the fact I can get to all of the buttons on my tablet without having to take it out of the case is one of them. Zagg did a great job of
universally designing this case to work with Android tablets so accessing your Power and Volume rocker on the side are not a problem as well as being able to get to your tablet’s MicroUSB charging port.
With any Bluetooth device, battery life is always a point of consideration. Zagg makes the claim that with 2 hours of daily typing that the Auto-Fit Folio battery will last a full year between charges. That’s a pretty bold claim given that most other keyboards usually only go a handful of months between charges. Obviously this hasn’t been something I have tested as I’ve only the keyboard for about a month. I will say however that I have used the keyboard almost daily during that month and often times more than 2 hours in a day. To this point I see no signs of a charge being needed. Obviously your mileage will vary based on how you use the keyboard but it is sufficient to say that you won’t need to charge it often. When the time comes however, you can charge it with the provided USB-to-MicroUSB cable.
Slippery Surfaces A Challenge Sometimes
If there is one complaint I have about the Zagg Auto-Fit Folio it is that on slippery surfaces it tends to slide around a little bit. Not to much mind you but enough to be a nusaunce. The outer shell of the case is made of injected plastic and it is smooth on all corners. That means when you have the keyboard open, the base is resting against a table or desk with a smooth, rounded corner. It would have been good to see Zagg put a rougher plastic or even a soft rubber foot there where the keyboard would rest on a desk.
Despite the slippery surface challenges, I still recommend the Zagg Auto-Fit Folio for your Android tablet. The performance is outstanding while the easy of use and configuration are equally as impressive. Add to that a battery that seemingly never needs to be charged, you have a protective and productive add-on to your tablet that can keep you typing away at home, work or as you travel.