I noticed that a member named ZAGG was on here who appears to work for the Zagg company, so this post is geared towards him, but others may find it informative about the product.
I recently (2 weeks ago) purchased a Zagg Mate Keyboard along with my new IPad. Being kind of hard on my devices, I really looked forward to the extra protection that the all aluminum case would provide me. The keyboard is really convenient, also. I also looked forward to the long battery life the manufacturer mentioned in the manual (about a month I think it said). The device was recommended to me by an associate at Best Buy, and although it was a bit expensive ($100), I thought that it would be a good accessory to get on the day I purchased my IPad. A day after purchasing the IPad and the Zagg Mate, I left on a business trip to Ohio. The keyboard appeared to be fully charged right out of the box, so I put the small USB charging cable that came with it into my luggage, and left on my trip.
The keyboard functioned flawlessly during my trip, and had a nice feel to it. On the last day of my trip, I noticed my keyboard wouldn't sync, so I assumed the battery must be low or dead. Since I had a few loose ends to get finished before I left back to Portland, I didn't get around to charging it before my flight home. After I got back, I plugged the cord into the keyboard and my IPad charger wall-wart and left it overnight to charge. The blue charging LED came on.
The next morning, I noticed the blue LED was off, so I attempted to sync the keyboard again, and much to my disappointment, it would not sync. I also noticed that flipping the switch on/off did not light the red status LED I had seen previously when the keyboard was working. So now tomorrow I will have to make a trip back to Best Buy to exchange it for another one.
I still like the product, and would recommend it. I believe it offers superior protect over some of the other products I've seen. I would however like to make some suggestions that hopefully member ZAGG can take back to the company.
1. The switch, compared to the rest of the product feels like a weak link. It is very hard to switch on/off, and well, just feels cheap. Minimally, I think you should raise the knurls on the switch so it's easier to turn on/off.
Judging on what I've read in other posts both here and elsewhere, I would suggest a redesign of it though. I've read about some other people having problems with the switch also, and I wonder if it's really why my keyboard won't turn on now.
2. The small rubber sticky feet that came with the keyboard to minimize scratching of furniture and to keep the keyboard from sliding around, are inadequate. I put them on when I pulled the unit out of the box, and they are all missing now (two weeks later). A better design would be to put some silicone strips or rubber feet that were screwed in from the inside of the case so they won't fall off.
3. how about designing in some kind of button or lever that would help pop the IPad out of the case? The IPad goes into the case quite nicely, but getting it back out can be a chore. I found that the easiest way to get it back out was to grab it by the charging slot, but a button (perhaps on the back side of the case would help immensely. I'm not sure I like pulling on my charging slot so much.
4. Add some speakers! I'm not sure whats inside of the case to the right and left of the flip-up stand, but I think if those areas are empty, it would be a great place to add some tiny external (to the IPad) speakers and a mini-amp. You might not even need an amp, not sure if the IPad's sound system would drive them. A small audio cable would plug into the IPad's headphone jack when it's sitting in the docking slot, and the cable would fit nicely in that same docking slot when the IPad is in the closed position.
5. Would it be possible to wrap the edges of the aluminum tray with rubber/silicone? The IPad fits quite snuggly in the foam you currently have around the inside edge, but the aluminum rubs on your wrists as you type and can get uncomfortable after a while. If you had a one-piece rubber or silicone edging, it would be much more comfortable, and would also add more protection when the IPad is pressed into the tray.
6. A more natural position for the down arrow would be in between the left and right arrows. Look at a regular keyboard, that's how they work. I constantly find myself hitting the down arrow when I mean to hit the right arrow.
In closing, I really do like the product, and when I return it to Best Buy, I will be exchanging it for another, and will still recommend it to other IPad users. I hope you will take some of the above suggestions into mind when you are designing the next one though, as I believe they would make your product next to perfect! When you do the redesign, please feel free to send me one for helping in it's design! Hehe! :)
I do plan to copy this post over to the ZAGG website also.