Kensington X3 Bluetooth Keyboard/Case for iPad Air Can Also Partially Charge it

| Quick Look Review

Kensington is introducing their latest iPad Air case, the KeyFolio Thin X3, and has included thoughtful features that will meet the needs of almost everyone. 

Kensington X3 iPad Air case.

There is a built-in Bluetooth keyboard that includes a whole row of dedicated shortcut keys. The case is easy to pair with the iPad Air and it stays paired once the set up is complete. 

Keyboard with speciality keys highlighted.

The case, which is available only in black, allows users to tap into the keyboard’s internal battery, using Kensington’s PowerLift™ and charge their iOS devices using the 5.75 inch (146 mm) USB cable that is included with the product. (The mAh rating is not disclosed.) Then you plug your own, say, USB to Lightning cable into that. (See the photo below.)

You can, for example, use this method for an emergency charge for your iPad Air. It would not be reasonable to expect to substantially charge your iPad with an output of just 1 amp, but it would be an decent way to give yourself just enough charge to complete an emergency project with an iPad (or iPhone).

Charging mechanism for iPhones.

There is a magnetic groove that holds the iPad in place when the keyboard is in use. Kensington’s KeySense automatically turns the keyboard on and off when it’s engaged or disengaged from that groove. 

Magnetic groove.

The case itself is a sleek and form-fitting hard shell exterior that surrounds the iPad Air. It provides protection, but only weighs 16 ounces (454 grams). It features a QuickFold design that allows the keyboard to be hidden when not needed. It charges with a microUSB cable that's included.

Using the iPad without the keyboard.

The Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3 has an MSRP of US$99.99. It's available for pre-order from the company web site.  A company spokesman said that pre-ordered cases will be shipped August 30, 2014. The case has a one year limited warranty. 

Using The Product

My son-in-law walked by when I was testing the case and remarked “that is a sleek, good looking case”. And so it is. The weight and the thinness, 0.7-in (18-mm) make it easy to carry around. When it's closed, it is secured with a magnetic closure. The keyboard is easy to use and it has a couple of nice features. The first is a special key located between the space bar and the right option key that you can push to check the battery level.

Key allows user to monitor battery levels

The second is an LED light, located right on the keyboard, that measures the battery status. The light changes from green to yellow to red to alert you.

Battery monitor light

I have used this case for over a week on a single charge. During that time I have used the case to partially charge my iPhone 5s twice, so I am very pleased with the staying power of the battery. At this point, the notification light is still sitting on green.

Do I Recommend It?

I do. I actually like everything about it including the quality of the keyboard, the ability to charge my iPhone using the case’s battery, the easy access to the battery charge monitor, the size and weight of the case, and the feature that automatically turns the keyboard off when the iPad is removed from the magnetic stand. 

Product: Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air

Company: Kensington

List Price: US$99.99

Pros:

Lightweight hardshell care provides overall protection. Magnetic closure. Case can be used to partially charge an iOS device, Keyboard turns on and off automatically when iPad is placed or removed from the magnetic groove. Keyboard has dedicated shortcut keys. Easy to monitor the battery charge with LED indicator.

Cons:

None noted.

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