KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe
The tablet case with a built-in keyboard
Review I was all set to praise this clever iPad case with a built in Bluetooth keyboard... and then I saw what the battery life is.
KeyCase's iPad Folio Deluxe: easier typing on your tablet
Not the length of time the keyboard will run on single charge of its battery, but how long the battery will go on being charged and discharged until you need to replace it. It's just three years, according to the spec, and while that's par for the course for your average disposable lithium power cell, this one you can't readily replace when your three or four years are up.
But let's step back a moment. The KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe is a leather-wrapped case that not only sheathes the Apple tablet - with gaps in all the right places for ports and buttons - but also works as a stand.
And there's the keyboard, not the highest quality of input devices, perhaps, but nicely covered with a single sheet of silicone to protect it from spills and crumbs, and able to connect to the iPad wirelessly.
The keyboard has been laid out for iPad usage
On the downside, it's a US keyboard and its compact size has required some keys to be moved: the double and single quote mark key is bizarrely down by the cursor arrows, for example. Being rubber-covered, it feels slightly odd, but not unpleasant, to type on. Anyone who has ever used a Sinclair Z88 will know of what I speak.
...the iPad is transformed back into a Laptop, and the circle is complete.
The Obvious Solution
Surely the obvious solution would be to use a 2nd iPad with a full-screen touch keyboard displayed.
No worries about battery then, eh?
(You could also maybe use a 3rd iPad as a dedicated touchpad.)
not quite complete
The circle is nearly complete as Jim suggests, except that you've now got a netbook that isn't running a real operating system and can't do a lot of things you want it to do. Oh, and it cost you a lot more.
I don't see the objection to the 3 year life span to be honest, for £60 I think you can expect it to fail in 3 years, what other electronic frippery at such a low price would still be working fine after three years? Even a £200 (subsidised) phone only has a two year life cycle before it's upgraded.
Why does a physical keyboard have a key that brings up the... wait for it... virtual keyboard?
Too expensive for the limitations
I bought a £3 iPad case (with built in stand) and £17 bluetoothcompact keyboard both on eBay (UK vendor) ... both are extremely well made and the keyboard runs on 2 AA batteries. The mini-keyboard includes a lovely mini-mouse joystick and is a chocbloc style complete with working multi-media keys and of course it easily pairs with my mac mini linked to the HDTV.
I loved the Z88 .. wrote my PhD using one (in LaTeX) ... 8 lines of 80 characters .. excellent and the dead flesh keyboard was great but attracted the dust but was wipe clean! I even wrote a file upload/downloader to transfer data to/from a Sun 3 workstation ... ahh those were the days 8-)