My E3 travel test: iLuv's leather iPad 2 keyboard case

iLuv's $129 leather iPad 2 folio has its own Bluetooth keyboard. Ours just arrived in time for a little travel testing.

iLuv's keyboard case for the iPad 2: lots of leather.
iLuv's keyboard case for the iPad 2: lots of leather. Sarah Tew/CNET

Can iPads replace laptops in mission-critical, hot-and-sweaty environments? My colleague Dan Ackerman gave it a go at last year's E3 , and I'm giving it a try as I head to L.A. this year with a keyboard-case twist, using iLuv's new leather folio. (I'll also have a laptop backup plan.)

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The Professional Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 2 doesn't have a catchy name, but this type of case isn't about looking sleek or sexy. The leather case bears a solid, professional look, but its real draw is the Bluetooth keyboard and leather palmrest tucked into the lid. Much like cases like Logitech and Kensington before, the addition of a physical Bluetooth keyboard theoretically should make fast-paced typing an easier process than using the iPad's serviceable virtual keyboard.

The keyboard detaches from the case via velcro, and can be used separately from the folio case--a nice touch we haven't seen to date.

Instant impressions: the keyboard's flat keys feel solid, and the palmrest is as comfortable as can be for the size, but some keys are too compressed for my taste.

Why am I really doing this? Well, because I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone while I was out there, and because I was curious. Check back after E3 for my review. In the meantime, click above for some up-close picks and a side-by-side comparison with the Logitech Keyboard Case.

 

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