Review: IVSO Google Nexus 9 8.9-inch Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case

I purchased an “IVSO Google Nexus 9 8.9-inch Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case” a few days ago, and here’s a quick review of it.

First up, here’s an image of the IVSO folio with my Nexus 9. I placed a standard-size playing card on it so you can see its relative size:

IVSO Nexus 9 Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case

What’s good about the IVSO Nexus 9 keyboard case

Here’s a list of what’s good about the IVSO Nexus 9 folio case:

  • A good thing about the IVSO Nexus 9 keyboard folio is that it fits the Nexus 9, as advertised. (Although it is an extremely tight fit.)
  • The folio doesn’t feel as cheap as I expected it to feel. Really, it doesn’t feel cheap at all (except for trying to get the Nexus 9 in and out of it).
  • When you set it up on its little stand and type on it, it doesn’t bounce or anything like that; this is a pleasant surprise, I thought it would feel cheaper.
  • The keyboard doesn’t blow me away, but it is better than trying to type on a glass screen.
  • The price is almost 1/4th the price of the $129.99 HTC Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio.
  • The designers left room so you can plug in the Nexus 9 while it’s in the folio (with its USB cable).

The bad

What’s bad about the IVSO Nexus 9 case:

  • It’s hard to get the Nexus 9 in and out of the IVSO folio. (It’s a pain in the butt, actually.)
  • The holder for the stylus is too small, so I can’t use it.
  • The top of the folio leather covers the top of the Nexus 9 screen, so you can’t easily tap up there to pull down the notifications list. (This is a really big issue for me. At the moment I’m planning to get my scissors out so I can trim the leather on the top.)
  • The keys are deep and require a long keystroke. They’re also a little wobbly, and these three things are not a good combination. A lot of times I end up mis-hitting a key, so it either gets skipped, or I type a key next to it.
  • It takes quite a while to get used to the keyboard; I’m not used to it yet. I keep hitting the / key instead of the Spacebar, and I keep hitting the = key instead of the Delete key.
  • I have no idea why they included Ctrl and Alt keys on this device. The small keyboard is the biggest weakness of this device, and they included keys you don’t need, when they could have made the spacebar wider, which would have been much more useful.
  • Because of the keyboard issues, I can’t type a lot faster using this device than I can type on screen, though this may get better with time.

About those IVSO Ctrl and Alt keys ...

As mentioned, the IVSO has Ctrl and Alt keys. I have no idea what good those do on a Google Nexus 9 or any other Android device:

IVSO Nexus 9 keyboard - CTRL and ALT keys

This design gives the impression that IVSO just slapped a miniature PC keyboard inside a Nexus 9 size folio. It sure would have been nice to leave those off so that little spacebar could be wider.


I definitely don’t love the IVSO Nexus 9 keyboard/folio ... as I write this I’m trying to decide if I like it.

I’m currently developing some Android apps, so I do like having something to tilt the Nexus 9 up a little bit while I work. So that’s worth a few dollars. That being said, I bought the IVSO so I could have a useful keyboard for when I need to type a lot into my apps, or compose emails, and ... it’s really not great.

What I’m thinking right now is that there’s no way I’d want to compose something longer on that keyboard. For instance, I would not want to try to compose this blog post on that keyboard; that would be close to a root canal. As mentioned, it’s better than typing on-screen, but it’s not a lot better, which is what I was hoping for.

I think the IVSO designers made a significant mistake in trying to match the dimensions of the folio to the dimensions of the Nexus 9. What I mean by that is that they could have added a quarter inch or more to each side of their folio, giving us a larger/better keyboard, and giving me space to touch the top of the display to pull down my notifications.

I guess I rate this device as “Buyer Beware.” On a scale of A to F I give it a passing grade, but somewhere around a “C” or “C-”. I won’t give it an “F,” but if someone else gave it a “D”, I wouldn’t argue with them.