Design, Setup, and Keyboard
The KeyLite Ultra Slim looks more like a simple case and screen cover than it does keyboard folio. It has a nice, all-leather construction, with an extremely thin plastic, touch keyboard embedded in one side. The iPad 2 slides easily in and out, with tabs on the corners and sides to hold the tablet in place. The fit is easy, but it takes some breaking-in to get the stand to function optimally, as the leather was a bit stiff when first used. The bottom two corners must be snapped out to prop the iPad up, which was annoying. While I could get it to stand properly, it worked best on a hard, flat surface, and did not feel secure or safe to use in my lap. The KeyLite Ultra Slim is also limited by a single viewing angle for typing.
The keyboard uses Bluetooth wireless technology, and setup was simple, taking less than a minute. Activate Bluetooth on the iPad, press the connect button on the KeyLite Ultra Slim, and pair in the Settings menu of the iPad—the same as for every Bluetooth accessory out there. A micro USB port connects the KeyLite Ultra Slim to any computer for charging with the included cable, while a power switch lets you turn the keyboard on and off. In addition to the standard keyboard layout, Kensington includes some basic function keys, including a Home key, media and volume controls.
The touch keys themselves are large and less cramped than the on-screen keys. But ultimately, they feel, well, flat when compared to other keyboard folios. Each key has slightly raised edges, but don't expect any physical feedback. It was really hard to type quickly or accurately on this touch keyboard. In fact, I actually preferred to type using the iPad's on-screen keyboard over the KeyLite Ultra Slim, as I could at least see which key strokes were registering. The KeyLite Ultra Slim doesn't have any haptic feedback, either; rather, it uses the same clicking noise as the on-screen keyboard. The keys are, at least, dust- and spill-proof, but that is little consolation.
The KeyLite Ultra Slim feels like it was meant to be a folio case first, with the keyboard added as an afterthought. Even if thinness and lightness are an absolute top priority, it would still be tough to recommend this case. Though the stand works, it was annoying to snap out the bottom corners every time, and it only allowed for one viewing angle while typing. The ClamCase for iPad 2 ($149, 4 stars) adds some significant heft, but comes with a nice keyboard and a versatile hinge for a variety of stand options. If you prefer the folio design, be sure to check out the Belkin Keyboard Folio for iPad 2 ($99, 4 stars). The KeyLite Ultra Slim is really just a glorified leather folio case, and should not be considered for anyone looking to get work done on their tablet with a real keyboard.
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