I first heard about the KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard on the @BritishMac podcast. Apart from being the longest named iPad accessory I have come across, I thought it looked pretty handy.
I found the @GearZap website and immediately got lost in the masses of iPad accessories.
I asked @Gearzap on twitter if they had a unit I could review and they kindly obliged.
As soon as I threw a photo of the case online quite a few people commented “What’s the point? You’ve turned the ipad into a laptop?”
I disagree. For a start I don’t know of many 9.7″ touch screen laptops running OSX. Especially that come with a detachable screen. (I am sure we will be swimming in them soon no doubt.)
After using the case for a few days now. I find myself in two minds as to whether this would be the way I would permanently use my iPad. That said it is a case and if you want to return to the slimmed down ipad for reading in bed etc that’s easy enough.
On the one hand it’s cool to have a iPad case that holds a bluetooth keyboard but on the other hand the case does double the size of the iPad. It’s a pleather case with magnetic closures. Sturdy and finished well but not the look (or price) of some of the leather cases I have seen.
Being able to switch between the iPad being a social object and a tool for working privately is probably the cases main feature.
Personally I don’t do that much typing and I am not sure I would sacrifice the compact size of the iPad in order to have the handy keyboard always ready to go.
I guess whether you grab one of these is down to how much you type and how much you don’t mind a ‘squidgy’ keyboard.
It certainly does remind me of my old Spectrum 48k and as I type this it also feels the same. Ahhh.. i can almost hear Manic Miner playing in the background.
I’ll be honest, It was so easy to set up I haven’t looked at the instructions till now and although typing with a rubber keyboard takes some getting used to, some of the listed power stats sound pretty impressive.
I was worried that having to power the keyboard separately would be an issue but for starters it’s a micro USB connector (I have plenty) and it boasts 100 days of standby time and 90 solid hours of operational ‘working’ time.
So for nearly £60 is it worth it?
If like me, you are from the ‘Hunt & Poke School of typing’ and are not really into banging out essays, then you may be happier getting by with the screen keyboard in order to stay slim-lined.
If you like rubber and you were planning to buy both a keyboard and a case then yes you may well find it handy and a worthy purchase.
You will need more of a quick type to get used to the keyboard though. Give it a few hundred words before you decide if rubber is for you.
Thanks to GearZap for sending me the case to review. They have a shed load of stuff on their site go take a look…
One of the main reasons I didn’t buy a first generation i-pad, was the fact that I already had a netbook which I use to write on, when on the move and I didn’t think the screen typing would be enough for the amount I do. Thinking I would review the situation as and when the next generation I-pad was available and/or the netbook (or my iphone) had died. I can see a real advantage to this case for me, so will certainly bear it in mind as and when I make the ipad jump.