updated 09:00 pm EDT, Mon June 24, 2013
Three different covers, all with Bluetooth keyboards
Accessory and security manufacturer Kensington has unveiled its first keyboard covers for the iPad mini, ranging from an ultra-thin folio case to a hard-shell style case and a model specifically designed for the touch-typist that features a removable keyboard. All three new models feature magnetic covers to wake the iPad mini when opened, and put it to sleep when closed. Each offers a different style of protection, hoping to provide the perfect fit for users on the go through a variety of keyboard types and cover materials.
The KeyCover hard shell type keyboard ($70) cover snaps the iPad mini into an aluminum-based case that provides hard-shell protection from all angles. The front casing opens to provide a stand for the iPad mini and uses a tactile keyboard with scissor keys optimized for touch typists. The outside of the aluminum cover in annodized to resist fingerprints and smudges, and the magnetic stand supports both landscape and portrait modes. All ports and cameras, including the speakers, are accessible while in the case.
For users who prefer the thinnest possible keyboard, the KeyFolio Thin Folio keyboard cover ($80) wraps the iPad mini in a thin folio-style casing with a bezelled back edge to protect the corners of the iPad. The spine design allows for some flexibility in viewing angle but supports only landscape mode. The nearly-flat keyboard still offers scissor-style keys, but allows users to reduce bulk while still offering a keyboard for tactile writing.
Finally, the KeyFolio Pro 2 removable keyboard, case and stand for the iPad mini ($80) features the most bulk but also the most protection, and a high-performance touch-typist keyboard that is removable to use at different angles. It features a leather-like exterior that offers more padding than the other options and a more stylish, elegant appearance. A Velcro fastener assures that the iPad stays put, and allows viewing angles from 20 to 70 degrees. As with the other cases, I/O ports, speakers and cameras all have cut-outs for accessibility.
The company has not yet said when the products will be available but expect to ship them later this summer.