(Pocket-lint) - There are seemingly so many iPad keyboards these days that for them to stand out they have to offer something different.

The Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3 keyboard tries to do just that by not only offering you a minimalist case in which to keep you iPad scratch free, but also a build in battery so you can either charge your iPad or your smartphone.

It's a clever idea and a good way for you to keep emergency power in your bag without having to carry another back up battery at the same time.

The battery itself isn't huge giving iPhone users around an 80 per cent charge from the 1600mAh power supply, but that's plenty to get you through the second half of a day if you've been busy and certainly enough to get you home.

We can also see it being handy in terms on extending the life of your iPad itself, especially on a business trip where power is always at a premium.


To gain access to that all important charge, Kensington features a single micro USB socket on the side of the case and rather frustratingly this means having to carry a special cable allowing you to plug your USB lightning cable into that (if you are an iPhone user) or another micro USB to USB cable if you are on Android.

The result is a sleek keyboard case suddenly cluttered with wires. We can see why, in terms of space, Kensington didn't include a standard USB socket, but it does reduce the cool factor considerably. Still it works, and that's the important thing here.

Once connected power is automatically supplied, and it is a similar scenario with turning the Bluetooth keyboard on when using it with the iPad Air. Closing the case turns it off automatically also.


When it comes to typing the keyboard is comfortable and well spaced out, although the keyboard is a little more flexible than we like. It will perch on your lap, but there is plenty of movement too.

Like other Kensington keyboards there is a row of shortcut media keys dedicated to controlling features of the iPad like Search, Audio, and volume.

First impressions

If you are one of those people that is always looking for some extra battery life for your phone, then the idea of being able to steal it from this keyboard will appeal. The Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3 will certainly get you out of a jam on that front.

But this isn't just a one trick pony, the case is bland but effective in letting you turn your iPad into a laptop and works as good as other keyboards on the market. There is that flex in the keyboard, but for most people that should present a problem. 

Writing by Stuart Miles.