Working while traveling is no easy task, but ZAGG’s Rugged Messenger wireless Bluetooth keyboard makes it a bit easier for owners of Apple's 9.7-inch iPad. It’s a durable, detachable case for the tablet that offers a keyboard, multi-device pairing, wireless connectivity, and a kickstand. Since Apple doesn’t offer a keyboard for the non-pro tablet, this will be a must-have accessory for some folks.
The Rugged Messenger’s rechargeable battery purportedly lasts up to two years between charges; we’ll have to take ZAGG’s word on that, as I’ve only been using the case for four weeks. What’s more, a sleep/wake function helps preserve the battery when the keyboard is not in use.
The Island-style keys offer a relatively natural typing experience, and the Rugged Messenger conveniently folds flat to cover the keyboard. However, keyboard backlighting would have been nice for those who use the iPad as a laptop replacement (although if that’s your goal, I’d recommend an iPad Pro).
However you use the non-pro tablet, the Rugged Messenger meets military drop-test standards. Its polycarbonate construction to protect the 9.7-inch iPad from drops and spills.
The built-in, magnetic kickstand is convenient as it allows you to prop up and secure the Apple tablet at multiple viewing angles, depending on whether you wish to do some word processing or watch a movie.
Personally, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is my tablet of choice. However, the smaller, non-pro model has lots of fans. If you're among them, you should definitely check out the ZAGG solution.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★