Review: Keycase iPad 2 Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard
Tablet based computing, like the Apple iPad 2, is opening up tremendous new possibilities for computing on the move – but what happens when you want to just sit and type something? Touch screens are all well and good but the virtual onscreen keyboards often take up a lot of valuable screen space whilst providing little in the way of tactile feedback. As a regular tablet user y vou could take a netbook, or laptop, around for those times when you need to sit and type a long document or you could look at one of the Bluetooth keyboards available on the market.
In this article we’ll take a look at a hybrid option – an iPad 2 case that incorporates a Bluetooth keyboard, the KeyCase iPad 2 Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard.
The KeyCase Deluxe iPad 2 Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard is a real leather case, not one of the faux leather alternatives, so it feels pretty substantial and wouldn’t look out of place on the desk of some busy executive.
The case is kept closed using a magnetic fastener in the front flap and there are no visible cut-outs when in the closed position – which is good to see.
Opening the case reveals cut-outs for the rear camera and speaker whilst opening the case further reveals where the iPad 2 should slide into landscape position (it’s held in place using a convenient flap) and there are recesses for the Home button and front camera.
Once in position the iPad 2 is neatly framed with a surround of just under 2cm. When the whole thing is folded out it looks really neat and will surely have work colleagues leaning over their cubicle to check it out.
The obvious thing on view when the Keycase folio deluxe is in the open position is the 76 key QWERTY Bluetooth Keyboard at around 23cm by 13cm (the actual key area of the keyboard is around 21cm x 8.5cm).
The keyboard has a ridge along the top end where the edge of the folio case sits allowing for a comfortable view whilst a flap folds back and under to raise the front of the keyboard up for easier typing. It takes a little while to get used to but it ensures your wrists are off the table which can only be a good thing.
Along one edge of the keyboard is a micro USB port and an on/off slider switch– it would have been nice to see this slider a little larger but it does the job. The keyboard is designed to be charged using micro USB, a cable is supplied, and the keyboards 10-minute auto sleep function should ensure the on-board battery isn’t drained unnecessarily. The press release suggests the keyboard, once charged, should last for up to 45 hours although I would imagine this is largely dependent on how much use it gets.
To connect the Keyboard to the iPad 2 you need to switch the keyboard on, press and hold the Connect button on the face of the Keyboard, then head into the iPad 2 Settings.
Under the iPad 2 Settings section head into General, then the Bluetooth section. Ensure Bluetooth is switched on and, after a few seconds, “Bluetooth Keyboard” should be listed under the Devices section. Tap the entry for the keyboard and you should be asked to type a short PIN code into the keyboard.
Once this is done the keyboard should be paired and ready to go which you can test by pressing the Home button at the top of the keyboard.
Active pairing technology means the keyboard should automatically reconnect to the iPad 2 when the iPad wakes back up.
The Bluetooth keyboard itself has 76 keys and includes a Command key, a Home key, Cursor arrow keys, Fn (Function), Control, Alt (Option), Shift, CAPS LOCK, and Escape keys. The keys have a good bounce even though they aren’t individual – the rubber like keyboard skin covers all the keys and has recesses between keys to keep them apart.
The numeric keys also double up, through the use of the Command key, to provide access for features including volume up, down and mute, media (back, forward, play/pause), and search. There is also a short key to bring up the onscreen virtual keyboard.
If typing is your thing then you should note that the physical keyboard keys are smaller than the virtual onscreen ones – this might be a surprise but what you get in a device like this is tactile feedback – something that is sorely missing from the whole touchscreen experience.
Overall, the KeyCase iPad 2 Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard is a tempting proposition for those needing to type regularly on the iPad whilst on the move.
Head over to Mobile Fun for more information about the Keycase iPad 2 Folio Deluxe with Bluetooth Keyboard and a range of other iPad 2 accessories and iPad accessories.