I’m really into carrying a bag these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in university, I wanted to get away with carrying as little as possible, and doing as much as I could with the stuff I could keep on my person. It’s for people like my university self that the ZAGG Pocket Keyboard was designed.
This little keyboard folds up into a slim rectangle that measures 9 inches long length-wise — perfect for the inside pocket of a blazer or iPad-specific bags. A magnetic seal keeps the keyboard closed during storage, but still allows me to set my little typing station up in seconds when I get to a desk. Two thirds of the tri-fold design are devoted purely to the keyboard, and the last third folds out into a stand upon which to prop an iPad or larger smartphone.
ZAGG really markets this keyboard more towards the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad mini, but the design is still able to handle my larger iPad Air 2 without making me worried about the device toppling, or the stand buckling from the weight. Landscape mode is definitely what you’ll be stuck with while using this keyboard, though, as portrait is simply too precarious and wobbly.
Typing on the ZAGG Pocket has been a little hit-and-miss for me. The extra-large spacebar is very easy to press, but many of the keys just feel a little too shallow for me to type at my regular 60 WPM speed. Typing at a more deliberate 30-40 WPM gets rid of most my typos, but also isn’t quite as satisfying or productive.
The key placement on the ZAGG Pocket isn’t totally optimal either. There is no Home button to speak of, so switching apps will require pressing the actual Home button on your device.
However, it’s the lack of a left-side Alt/Option key that really slowed me down. The Alt/Option key on iOS and OS X is the best way to delete or select words while writing. Using Option + Backspace deletes the first word to the left of the caret, and Shift + Option allows me to select several words at a time. However, the ZAGG Pocket has only one Option key, and it’s located beside the arrow keys on the right side of the keyobard, which makesit much harder to use Shift + Option and while pressing an arrow key. I think this button placement is a pretty serious oversight for such a specialized compact keyboard, and I would much rather have had the Option key on the left side (as it is on 99% of other Bluetooth keyboards).
A Keyboard for the Romantic
The $70 ZAGG Pocket has a design that makes some real compromises to achieve its tiny footprint, but it is still very usable despite its size and the shallow travel on its keys. The big missed opportunity here is the placement of the Option key, which could slow down writers used to OS X keyboard shortcuts.
I wouldn’t recommend the ZAGG Pocket to most people because it does require patience to use, but for those looking for the most compact Bluetooth keyboard on the market: this is it. I wouldn’t recommend writing an entire article on it (as I just have), but it’s a quality compact solution if you’re an occasional keyboard user, but don’t want to give up too much space in your everyday carry.
The ZAGG Pocket Keyboard was provided by ZAGG for review on iPad Insight. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.