I bought one and it was defective. Would never use them again. Adds a lot of bulk to the iPad and makes it impossible to easily switch to laying it down for use. If you attach the keyboard you basically turn your iPad into a semi-permanent laptop.
I had an older model that I used with my iPad Air 2 and regularly popped the keyboard on and off. Not as easy as the Smart Keyboard, but definitely easier than some of the keyboard cases that totally enclose the iPad like the Zagg that I’d used before.
That’s a nice case. I didn’t know it was a new product. I guess that’s why I haven’t heard about it from anywhere. The issue I see for my use is that, since it uses a kickstand, it almost certainly won’t balance on my lap.
I’m currently leaning towards finding really good travelling keyboard case that’s not detachable. (My first use case.) The Logitech Slim Folio has gotten good press.
As long as I can easily pop the iPad out of the keyboard case and switch to a plain case with an external Bluetooth keyboard, I should be OK. I’m not sure how robust iPad cases are… I find that my iPhone cases always crumble after awhile. (I did say I’m pretty brutal with my devices )
That said I did come across an interesting Fintie case (Amazon link) the other day. If I understand correctly you can remove the keyboard from the case to close it. The keyboard attaches to the case with magnets for carrying, but it’s optional. You can keep the iPad + case without the keyboard. It also looks like it might be functional for typing on a lap and it has multiple angles. It’s also pretty darn cheap. If the keyboard’s good and the case not too bulky, it might be the best option for the mixed cases I described in the OP. The Amazon reviews are mixed, but most of the negative comments note the separate keyboard which I actually think is a good feature!
I have a Zagg Rugged Messenger Keyboard case for my IPad Pro 10.5. It offers everything you are asking about. I’m not sure if there is a iPad 6 gen version. It adds a decent amount of weight to the overall iPad but it definitely protects it. The weight bothers me the most. I’ve tried the other Zagg keyboard cases and I haven’t been happy with the construction. The hinge on both the slim book and folio broke fairly quickly. I have no complaints with the keyboard portion of any of the Zagg keyboards. I will probably swap out the Rugged messenger case for the logitech slim combo shortly. I hope this helps you with your decision process.
This. There’s been discussion elsewhere about the problematic ergonomics of the iPad. I think the ability to separate screen and keyboard is a great way to improve ergonomics, even in ad hoc workspaces like cafés. Now if I could only find a portable stand that lifts the iPad up…
This is a completely separate keyboard with its own case. It’s not iOS specific, but it looks like it would comfortably work with an 9.7" iPad. Only question, for me, would be how stable is it on a lap