These days, in times of hard, economic turmoil, you want to show how professional you are. If you’re anything like me, this means that you’re wearing a suit more than Barney Stinson, and your electronics are draped in leather. Fortunately, when it comes to leather cases, you might as well get the best bang for your buck, and get one with a keyboard, and one that adds some sort of new functionality. Fortunately, Dexim, with the iBlueK iPad 2 Keyboard Folio, has your case. It’s a great, professional looking case that turns your iPad 2 into a miniature laptop. The quality of the leather is top notch… and it smells like walking into a leather shop. However, it’s not a thin case, but you won’t have trouble sticking it into a bag.
When you open the case up there is a small Bluetooth keyboard, which is the main reason why the case is so bulky, even though the keyboard is actually pretty thin and svelte, especially with the leather wrist rest. It’s easy to slide the iPad in and out of the case, so that’s a plus, but it can only work in one orientation – landscape.
Unfortunately, I have some bad news with the keyboard – it’s small. The keys are all cramped together, and are flush with the surface, making it almost impossible to touch type. It took me several days of using it before being able to touch type confidently, and even then I still made plenty of typos. Thus, as with any small keyboard, it’ll take some time getting used to. Be prepared for that if you don’t use them often.
Another annoying issue is that there’s a two-key width caps lock, but only a one-key width backspace, making the backspace incredibly easy to miss. The backspace key is horribly tiny! I wonder if Dexim thinks that making angry internet posts in all caps was more important than fixing typos. It’s just not good design. You do, however, get a classic ‘inverse-L’ shaped enter key, which is a nice.
There is some sunshine regarding the keyboard though – it has a nice range and it’s easy to connect to the iPad. The instructions are pretty clear in how to make the connection.
There’s a nice kickstand on the back to keep the iPad upright. Only issue is that if you prefer to type using the iPad on your lap with the case, you’re going to have a lot of trouble there – you definitely need somewhere flat to place the kickstand. This was meant to be used on a desk – fortunately, the keyboard is removable, so you can use the keyboard on your lap while the iPad is sitting on a surface across from you. I used the keyboard on my couch while the iPad was on the coffee table right across from me with little issue.
So, how much is a professional case with real leather and a mediocre keyboard? That depends. I’ve found it anywhere from 100 to 80 dollars, which isn’t too bad of a price for an attention-getting case. Plus, it smells really good, and it will probably make some impression if you need to take it into an interview.