ZAGG Pocket Review

by Reads (2,787)

Tablets are half the size of laptops because they leave off the keyboards, but occasionally a real, physical keyboard has its advantages. The ZAGG Pocket offers the best of both: an easily-portable accessory that unfolds into a surprisingly large keyboard.

Unlike many add-on keyboards, the peripheral works with a wide variety of mid-size and small tablets, and well as phablets, whether they run iOS, Android, or even Widows.

Build & Design

The ZAGG Pocket starts out just 8.7 x 2.1 x 0.5 in. and just under half a pound. This makes it small enough to fit into most bags.

ZAGG Pocket

ZAGG Pocket

When the three panels are unfolded, a full keyboard is exposed, as well as a stand to hold a tablet upright.

Stand

The ZAGG Pocket starts out just 8.7 x 2.1 x 0.5 in. and just under half a pound. This makes it small enough to fit into most bags.

When the Pocket is opened, a brace flips out of the back to hold the tablet at a 45-degree angle, and a small tray flips down to support the bottom of the device. This is quick to set up, and works quite well.

But it does have a limitation: The stand works very well with phones, phablets, and small- and medium-size tablets, but larger models put quite a bit strain on the thin metal of the brace. After our tests with various options, the largest tablet that we’d recommend using with the ZAGG Pocket is the HTC Nexus 9.

This isn’t a severe flaw. There are keyboards designed specifically for most full-size tablets, but that’s not true of many smaller ones. These are the devices that will get the most benefit from this add-on keyboard.

Although the ZAGG Pocket can only hold the tablet up at one angle, 45% is a good compromise between being too far back and not far enough.

Keyboard

The keyboard that is the heart of this accessory has a four rows of keys in standard QWERTY layout, including a full row of number/symbol keys. There’s no learning curve, as keys are just where they’re supposed to be.

ZAGG Pocket Keyboard

ZAGG Pocket Keyboard

There are none of the special function keys for iOS, Android, or Windows that are usually found on add-on keyboards designed for specific models.

This keyboard is 65% of the size of a desktop one, and 83% of the size of a typical laptop one. We had a variety of people use it and report their experiences. One person with small hands accustomed to using laptop and tablet keyboards had no problems with this one, a second person with medium-size hands also accustomed to a laptop keyboard thought she could get used to the ZAGG Pocket with practice. One man with large hands who regularly types on a PC keyboard found this accessory to be surprisingly useful, but a second desktop PC user with large hands complained it was too cramped, so your mileage may vary.

Performance

As mentioned, the ZAGG Pocket supports both iOS and Android. Curiously, ZAGG sells Apple and Android versions separately, but the Apple version can be switched to Android, or the Android one to Apple, with just a quick and easy key combination.

ZAGG Pocket

ZAGG Pocket – Closed

ZAGG doesn’t market this as a Windows accessory, but Google’s and Microsoft’s operating systems handle keyboards essentially identically. In our tests, we put this device into Android mode and were able to use it with a Windows tablet.

All these OSes have built-in native support for Bluetooth keyboards, so no additional software is necessary to use the Pocket with an iPad mini, Nexus, or any similar tablet.

Battery Life

There’s no On/Off switch on this accessory; opening it up activates it, and shutting it turns it off. The device will also turn itself off if not used for a few minutes.

ZAGG says the Pocket is good for three months of typing on a single charge. As Bluetooth keyboards typically use very little power, this is a reasonable claim. Our test unit still shows a full charge after a week of use.

Conclusion

The small size of the ZAGG Pocket when folded up makes it easy to carry around, but the reduced size of its keyboard means that most people wouldn’t be happy typing on it all day. Still, it makes an ideal accessory for those who would like a physical keyboard to occasionally do some extensive typing on their small or medium-size tablet or phablet.

The $69.99 price puts is below the cost of many keyboards designed to be used with tablets and phones, and the unique design makes it more portable than just about any of them.


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