The ZAGGkeys Mini 9 is a new iPad mini keyboard case and cover combo from the team at ZAGG. In the past, ZAGG keyboard cases have been my favorite for the iPad, largely due to their excellent keyboards with generous key spacing.
For the iPad mini ZAGG recently released two variants of the ZAGGkeys Mini – the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 and Mini 9. The Mini 9 offers a standard sized ZAGG keyboard, the Mini 7 has a ‘compact’ keyboard layout. I had been looking forward to seeing ZAGG release a keyboard case for the iPad mini and eagerly awaited the arrival of my ZAGGkeys Mini 9 (which I’ll just refer to as the Mini 9 from here on) – and unfortunately it’s been all downhill and disappointment ever since it arrived on my doorstep.
Here are some of the notable features ZAGG lists for the ZAGGkeys Mini 9:
- Great for the iPad mini
- Identical keyboard size, design, and layout as ZAGG’s award-winning tablet keyboards
- Island-style keys engineered to provide 90% of the space of a traditional keyboard
- Dedicated special function keys
- Cradles the iPad mini providing a durable case protecting both the iPad mini and keyboard
It comes in black or white models. I ordered the black.
The Mini 9 goes for $89.99 directly from ZAGG.
— The Mini 9 case is softer and feels nicer in the hand than the hard cover used in the ZAGG keyboard cases for the iPad 2/3/4 models.
— The keyboard is very nice and has generous key spacing, just as I have come to expect from ZAGG’s iPad keyboard cases.
— It’s got a nice Battery Indicator key – press it and LED status light blinks to indicate battery level – green for 50-100%, yellow for 20-50, red for less than 20%.
— Pairing with the iPad mini was simple as usual and it stays paired nicely.
— The Power and Pairing buttons are a little recessed in the keyboard – they look good and work well.
— Cutouts for ports are pretty good.
Buckle your seatbelt – there are a lot.
— The first Mini 9 I received had a piece of very strong adhesive tape used to hold a little plastic bag with a user manual and charge cable in place on the inside frame of the case. This tape proved extremely difficult to remove, no matter how slowly and carefully I worked with it. When I finally got it removed it had actually damaged the interior frame – pulled up some of its material and left a glue-like patch that looked like it might well damage the Gelaskin on the back of my iPad mini.
The spacebar key on my first unit was also defective. I didn’t work at all initially. I eventually coaxed it into working, but it only worked sporadically.
I submitted a return form for the first unit – citing the two problems, and ZAGG sent me a replacement unit pretty quickly. The bad news is the second unit had exactly the same issue with the adhesive tape used for the little bag held on the inside frame. Here’s a photo of how the frame looked after the struggle to remove it was complete:
The big splotch you can see is the gluey mess left behind. And this is on the second / replacement unit!
— My iPad mini does not feel like it fits well in the Mini 9. At first I attributed this to the Gelaskin I used on the back of the iPad mini. But that was not the issue. I know this because the Gelaskin was wrecked after a handful of times inserting and removing the iPad mini in the case – and the fit still feels wrong even with the ‘naked’ iPad mini. It is awkward to get into the case and a real pain in the neck to remove from it. So much so that I feel like it’s a risk that the iPad mini will be scratched and nicked when removing it.
— Even when it’s inserted into the case the iPad mini sort of floats within it – since the case is sized up to accommodate the standard keyboard and not to fit the iPad mini itself. It feels almost comical to me that on the one hand the case is too big for the iPad mini, but it still manages to be a nightmare to get the iPad in and out of it.
— The case is not terribly ugly, but it’s not hugely appealing looking either.
As mentioned above, I had high hopes for the ZAGGkeys Mini 9 – but it has been a major disappointment. I didn’t even want to insert the iPad mini into it one more time when I realized I didn’t have a shot of the iPad in typing mode. It’s bad enough that it’s not a keeper for me – I won’t be using this case at all after today.
The keyboard is not detachable as on some of the bigger ZAGG keyboard cases – though I might do some DIY removal just to try that out.
Needless to say, this keyboard case is not recommended.
If you’d like to see ore details or place an order, check out the ZAGGkeys Mini 9 product page.
Disclosure: This accessory was independently purchased by the post author. For information on our review policies please see our About page.