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Best tablet keyboard cases

By Jack Turner

Adding a keyboard to your tablet can turn it into a more practical device for writing on the go. We show you which tablet keyboards are worth buying and which should be avoided.

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Tablets are small, light, and convenient, with many benefits over a traditional laptop. However, most are missing one component that makes writing a document or penning an email a breeze - a traditional keyboard. We've tested a selection of tablet keyboards to find the best ones.

While the onscreen virtual keyboards of many tablets are fine, some of us miss the reassuring tactile physicality of tapping away at actual keys, especially if we're writing over a long period of time.

We've reviewed keyboard cases for iPad, Android and Windows tablets, designed to offer up a more traditional computing experience, while simultaneously protecting your tablet. With keyboards costing anywhere between £20 and £180, there's a lot of choice out there, which is why we've put nineteen models through their paces in our lab to find the right one for you. Whether you fancy yourself as a budding Grisham, or simply write a lot of emails to your Aunty Enid, read on for our recommendations.

What should I look for in tablet keyboard?

Tablet keyboards a refreshingly simple devices, but there are still things to look our for when you're making your decision:

  • Get the right one - It may seem obvious, but with many variations of tablets out there, manufacturers offer a wide variety of models, specifically made for certain tablets. Be sure to check the compatibility with your tablet at time of purchase.
  • Angle of view - Many tablet keyboards will only hold your tablet in one position (usually a 120 degree angle). Fine if that viewing angle suits you, but not great if you want to make adjustments. Check that you're comfortable with the tablet's positioning.
  • Battery power - Most keyboards connect using Bluetooth, and are battery powered. These need to be recharged with a cable, but tend to last many hours before needing a charge. Others power from your tablet, which means that you can charge both tablet and keyboard at the same time, which is more convenient.
  • Stability - Accurate typing requires a stable keyboard - if it flexes or moves about, you're liable to make mistakes (and it'll feel awkward to use too). Make sure that the keyboard feels sturdy on a surface.
  • Build quality - Don't be tempeted by a cheap keyboard case that will be unsatifying to use and might not last the lifetime of your tablet. It's worth paying a little extra for a solidly built, branded model, rather than an inexpensive, generic one.

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Best keyboards for iPads
Keyboard Full review Ease of using keyboard Build quality Score
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89%

This keyboard comes with a premium price tag, but we found that it was a cut above most other models. The backlit keyboard perfectly captures that Apple styling, and as well as looking the part, it also feels nice to type on, is stable when in use, and powers straight from the iPad. It feels more like an integral part of the iPad rather than an accessory. Be warned that it is on the heavy side, though.

 

We recommend this case with a caveat - some users on the internet report that it damages the screen when closed, leaving a thin scratch on the surface. We haven’t been able to recreate this in our extensive testing, and are currently speaking with the manufacturer about this issue.

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87%

This keyboard isn’t a cheap option - in fact for the price you could buy yourself another tablet. However, our testing has shown that it’s worth the price. Set up with this keyboard is simple - there’s literally nothing to do. No pairing is required, and it works with the tablet straight away.

The case has a slim, compact design and covers both the front and back of the iPad, offering protection from knocks and scrapes. It’s a sturdy set up on a flat surface, but slightly wobblier when you’re working on your lap. There’s only one angle of view unfortunately too, a static 120 degrees.

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87%

This keyboard case is a serious investment and you’ll want to be an avid typer to get your moneys worth out of it. That being said, our testing revealed that it was an excellent choice for iPad owners looking for a well designed and robust case and keyboard.

There’s not mucking about when it comes to connecting the keyboard to the tablet - as soon as the two are clipped together you can start typing straight away. The cover wraps around both the front and back of the iPad, offering a good degree of protection. The complaints are few, but we did note that they angle of view wasn’t adjustable.

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83%

On a desk or table the tablet feels reassuringly secure. It’s not quite as steady when typing on your lap, but still perfectly usable. Unlike other cases, this one is powered by removable batteries that will need to be periodically replaced, rather than a built-in rechargeable battery.

The case is somewhat prone to finger marks, which seems somewhat unavoidable. It’s also not possible to change the screen position from its one default position. Connecting to the tablet is a standard case of entering a code and hitting return - no problems here. 

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82%

This keyboard case definitely feels secure - in fact, we struggled to get the tablet out of it. Pairing  the keyboard to the tablet with Bluetooth is a simple affair, and it when in use the screen can be set up at two different angles, which is an advantage over other, simpler cases.

There’s a few niggles with this one - the keyboard flexes when typing, and there’s a rattle in there too. For the most part however, it’s a decent case and a good companion for the iPad.

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76%

This case is a robust keyboard that's effectively half a case, clipping onto the iPad to convert it into a laptop style set up. As the case only covers the screen when closed, the back of the iPad is unprotected.

One of the main benefits of this cases hinge system is that the screen can be angled into many different positions - a huge boon compared to those cases which only allow for one set up. On a surface the case is stable when in use, and the design also means that using it on your lap is a reasonable expectation too.

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74%

This Bluetooth keyboard folds up like a book, and does a good job of protecting the screen when closed, with a nice solid feel when connected to the iPad.

When open, it feels slightly flimsy, and can be prone to finger marks. It isn’t possible to change the angle of viewing either. We found connecting the keyboard to the tablet fiddly, with more button presses than necessary.

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71%

Intended for use with the iPad Mini, it’s not surprising to learn that this keyboard is on the small side, and we wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with large fingers, as typing on the diminutive keys could prove tricky and frustrating.

The keyboard connects instantly to the tablet Bluetooth, keeping fiddling to a minimum. In use we found that the iPad wobbles about slightly as you’re typing, and the keyboard has some give to it, occasionally bending as you tap away. We wouldn’t suggest this over other iPad Mini keyboards.

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70%

This keyboard case is compatible with a series of 10-inch tablets, including the Apple iPad Air range and Samsung’s Tab, Pro and Note models. The keyboard does a good job of holding your tablet and feels stable and secure when used on a table. It’s not quite as effective on the lap, as it’s a tad top heavy.

The cover fold up in a book style, with a soft cover. It isn’t possible to change the angle of view when set up. The grips on the case can be extended for different sized tablets.

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53%

Designed for use with the iPad Mini, this keyboard case fold up like a book to protect the iPad when not in use. Connecting the keyboard to the tablet is a breeze, syncing up with the Bluetooth connection in a jiffy.

We don’t recommend this particular case. It has a flimsy, plasticky feel that does little to inspire confidence. It doesn’t feel as stable when in use as other models, even on a flat surface. It’s not possible to adjust the angle of the screen other than the standard position.

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Best keyboard cases for Android
Keyboard Full review Ease of using keyboard Build quality Score
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95%

This keyboard is designed for a specific Android tablet, and we think you’ll struggle to find anything better. It’s not a cheap prospect by any means, but it’s worth paying out for if on-screen typing isn’t your thing and you want something a bit more tangible.

There’s a generous angle of view, between 100 & 135 degrees, fully adjustable. It charges directly from the tablet too, so no need for more charging cables here. It’s a pleasure to type on, with a comfortable keyboard, and it feels sturdy in various positions, whether you're working at a desk or off your lap. The cover protects both the back and front of your tablet. 

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85%

This keyboard is a great match for your tablet, and despite a couple of small niggles, it’s a wise choice for Samsung owners. So what are those issues? Well, the Bluetooth sync process could be easier, and there’s only one angle of view. It also doesn’t come with a USB charger, which seems spectacularly cheap.

However, it gets everything else right. It’s a sturdy keyboard that is pleasant to type on, with keys that are a decent size. It’s also pleasingly quiet, so you won’t be disturbing others with your clicking and clacking as you type. All told, it’s an excellent keyboard, and one that is worthy of adding to your tablet. 

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83%

Expectations for a retailer own brand keyboard might be low, but this keyboard case actually surpassed more recognised brands in our testing. We’ll admit it may look cheap, but once it’s up and running it’s a more than competent keyboard. The keys feel comfortable under finger, and typing is satisfying.

 

The angle of view can be adjusted, a feat that more expensive tablet cases can’t manage. It’s not perfect though - the plasticky, cheap styling won’t be for everyone, and it’s prone to fingerprints. Look past that though, and it’s a decent contender.

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80%

Compatible with the certain Samsung models, this case has a slim profile, that feels discreet and not as bulky as other cases. It folds up in a book-style, protecting both the back and front of your tablet.

As it’s slim, the case can feel a little flimsy, and it’s not possible to change the viewing angle of the tablet when in use. It feels stable when used on a flat surface, but confidence wanes slightly when using it on your lap. Despite the slimness of its design, the case it deceptively heavy. 

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78%

 A premium looking and priced keyboard, this model has a few nice tricks up its sleeve, such as wireless charging when closed with the tablet. Connecting to the tablet via Bluetooth, set up is a simple case of entering a code to sync the two.

When used on a flat surface, the case is secure, but using it on your lap causes the weight of the tablet to tip and lift up the keyboard. Not one to use on your knees during the commute. However, for desk work it’s a solid choice for Android owners.   

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74%

Designed to be used with a Samsung tablet, this case folds in two to wrap around the tablet and protect front and back. The tablet is held in place with plastic grips rather than magnets, as some other cases have, but feels reassuring secure.

The keys feel comfortable to type on, and are a decent size, which should keep typos to a minimum. The case feels stable when in use, although it’s more suited to using on surface than teetering on your lap. One bug bear is that it’s not possible to change the angle of the screen, which stays at a static 120 degree angle.

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70%

This keyboard case is compatible with a series of 10-inch tablets, including the Apple iPad Air range and Samsung’s Tab, Pro and Note models. The keyboard does a good job of holding your tablet and feels stable and secure when used on a table. It’s not quite as effective on the lap, as it’s a tad top heavy.

The cover fold up in a book style, with a soft cover. It isn’t possible to change the angle of view when set up. The grips on the case can be extended for different sized tablets.

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Best keyboards cases for Windows
Keyboard Full review Ease of using keyboard Build quality Score
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93%

This premium keyboard case certainly comes with a high price tag, but we think it’s worth it. The case protects your precious tablet on the front, and the keyboard powers straight from the tablet when connected.


On a table, the set up is rock solid, but transfer it to an uneven surface and you’ll be wobbling about - this is one to keep flat. The backlit keyboard is a nice touch, meaning that you can keep on working even when the light is fading, and the angle of view is adjustable. One thing to be aware of is that the keys aren’t spaced out, which could lead to the odd typo, but otherwise this is an excellent keyboard case for your tablet.

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93%

This keyboard case is a breeze to use - simply connect it to your tablet and you’re up and running, with no need to sync Bluetooth or anything like that. It also charges directly from the tablet, removing the need for a separate charging cable. The angle of view is adjustable which means that you’ll be able to find the right position for you, and the backlit keyboard is a nice touch.


It’s not infallible. The keyboard is only really suited to being used on a flat surface - any hint of a bump and the case is generally to flimsy to operate comfortably. They keys are also close together with no gaps, so you might hit the wrong one every now and then. Aside from these points, this is a great addition for your tablet.

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Tables correct as of August 2017

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