Pierce O'Toole graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Film Production, but has been an AV enthusiast all his life. He was brought into the hobby by his father, who spent time working for Wilson Audio and Transparent Audio, introducing Pierce to the high end of what was possible with consumer electronics and gear.
Pierce formerly served as Content Coordinator for HomeTheaterReview.com and its sister site AudiophileReview.com.
The iPad is one of the hottest new devices on the market. The purchase of which automatically creates a new question: what kind of case do I buy? Because you are going to want to have a case to protect your brand new technological baby. There are sleeves that you can tuck the iPad into, but they are only good for traveling as you can't use the iPad while it is inside. There are form fitting cases, but it is questionable how much protection they offer. There is also the question of whether or not to get a Bluetooth keyboard to pair with the iPad for longer sessions of typing. Enter Aidacase's Keycase Folio Deluxe. The Keycase Folio Deluxe has a strong design and a built-in Bluetooth 2.0 keyboard. Retailing for $99.99, it effectively combines the price of a Bluetooth keyboard and a case into one convenient package.
The first thing I noticed after slipping my iPad into the case was how much more substantial it felt. There was now a pleasing heft to the device that I liked. The case folds up like book, with a flap that latches closed with a magnetic seal. The black leather and solid construction of the case gives it an elegance that I find missing in the formfitting or sleeve cases.
There is a stiff piece of leather that wraps around an edge of the iPad and latches it in place. It holds it in very well. I carried the case around with me both in hand and in my bag and it never unlatched. I even shook it for a while - just to see - and the iPad stayed in place.
You won't have to worry about the keyboard breaking because it's outfitted with silicone. The tradeoff is that the keyboard isn't as responsive as a normal full-sized keyboard. I had to learn to use more force as I typed. I didn't have to pound down on the keys like a jackhammer, but I did have to hit the keys harder than I am used to. Also there are a few keys that are placed in areas different than a full-sized keyboard due to space constraints. But like the layout of the iPad keyboard interface, you will learn where the keys are.
The keyboard needs an charge initially, which is accomplished by plugging it into a USB port with the included cable. My charge time took about an hour. However, I haven't had to charge the keyboard in over three weeks of use. Suffice to say it holds it charge well. Part of the reason for the long battery life is a helpful power save feature: the keyboard shuts down after a few minutes of not being in use. Just tap any key and it wakes up, also turning the iPad screen on if it is off. Occasionally, the keyboard would lose connection, but only for a second or two, and it always automatically reconnected.
This case is amazing for typing. I found myself typing faster and I wanted to do work on my iPad more often. However, if you don't want to type, the case becomes a little bit awkward. Bending the case around to accommodate holding the iPad made the case really bulky. Most of the time, it was just easier to take the iPad out if I wanted to hand hold it.
Set-up is easy. Turn on Bluetooth in the settings menu on the iPad then turn on the keyboard. There is a connect button on the keyboard for the initial pairing. Once that button is pressed a code pops up on the iPad's screen. Type it in and that's it. Now the keyboard is connected and you are good to go.
Competition and Comparison
It's hard to find competition for this case. I've yet to find a case that has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard. But other cases that are similar in design are the Marware C.E.O. Hybrid case, knomo's Perforated Snap Folio, and, of course, Apple's iPad case.
Read The High Points, The Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2