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Review and giveaway: Moshi VersaKeyboard for iPad Air

In the seemingly endless parade of iPad keyboard cases, there's one thing that is usually missing -- the ability to separate the keyboard from the case. The new Moshi VersaKeyboard for iPad Air (US$100) not only takes a different method to hold up the iPad, but lets you put the keyboard where it's most comfortable for you.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.89 x 0.6 inches ( 24.4 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm )
  • Weight: 13.4 oz. (380 grams)
  • Materials: Polycarbonate (shell) and microfiber (cover)
  • Expected keyboard battery life: 130 hours of typing

Design Highlights

When closed, the Moshi VersaKeyboard is quite thin. It adds almost no thickness to the iPad Air, which is refreshing coming from most other keyboard cases that usually add bulk, The VersaKeyboard also provides a stand capability that lets you prop your iPad Air in either portrait or landscape mode, while the competition usually provides only landscape orientation while typing.

The VersaKeyboard is a riff on Moshi's origami-like VersaCover, adding a full-function Bluetooth keyboard that is usually out of the way in its own niche on the back of the "case". The cover is quite unique -- fold it back and then match up two tiny powerful magnets in the cover, and it becomes a sturdy stand with three useful orientations. There's a vertical portrait mode, a vertical landscape orientation, and then a "typing" orientation where the iPad Air is at a slight angle for typing on the screen.

In any orientation, you can just reach around to the back of the case and pull off the keyboard. There's a single power button that's used for turning the device on and off as well as for pairing. An LED gives you the word on when the keyboard has been turned on.

Design-wise, the Moshi VersaKeyboard is one of the most svelte and versatile keyboard cases on the market.

Functionality Highlights

So, how does this design standout hold up in day-to-day typing? Pretty well. The keyboard not only has a standard layout, but also features a top row of keys that provide access to standard iPad functions. The keyboard has a very good feel and is comfortable for long periods of typing -- like when I used it to write this review. This is definitely one of the better iPad keyboards I've tested.

I like the VersaKeyboard's origami stand as well, although I do have one issue with it -- it takes up way too much room on a desk or table. My iPad Air keyboard of choice is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, which doesn't provide protection for the back of my tablet, but it does allow me to type with the entire setup in my lap.

With the VersaKeyboard, the keyboard and the origami cover are separated. The cover/stand is really more for use on a table or desktop -- it's just not all that useful in your lap as it tends to move around. So if you find yourself wanting to take notes or write emails while sitting in a comfy chair, you'd probably better look elsewhere for a more traditional connected iPad Air keyboard case. But if you want the thinnest full-protection keyboard case on the market with a removable keyboard, then look no further than the Moshi VersaKeyboard for iPad Air.

Conclusion

For use on a desktop or table, the Moshi VersaKeyboard is truly versatile, sturdy, and compact. The keyboard is one of the best we've seen, and the origami-like cover/stand is quite unique. However, this keyboard case isn't sturdy enough to handle use while sitting in your lap.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible

Giveaway

One of you lucky readers is going to have a Moshi VersaKeyboard for iPad Air shipped to you. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before April 19, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Moshi VersaKeyboard for iPad Air valued at $100
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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