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First Look: Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard case for iPad

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First Look: Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard case for iPad

2:43 /

Does a keyboard case turn the iPad into a Netbook-killer, or is it added baggage?

Hi, I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at CNET.com, and what you're looking right here is not a netbook, it's an iPad in a keyboard keys. It's the Kensington's KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard and Case, and for those who are worried about tablets and iPads that they don't have keyboards and can't copy with netbooks, we'll our prayers have answered, there are actually cases that include keyboards built into them that connect wirelessly. It's like a dream come true for those who wanna have a laptop like experience on the go. This one has its ups and downs though. It is $99, which seems expensive, but if you add up the cost of a good case plus the cost of good bluetooth keyboard, it's actually affordable, and unfortunately, it needs to be a little thick because you have keyboard built into it. The thickness actually ends being quite like a netbook where 11.6 is also portable, so you are not saving that much on thickness anymore, so the keys are little bit cramp and the keys are very rubbery and soft, so you're not gonna get a lot of key return fell. This could really throw you, but the good news is that unless the keys are responsive and that work pretty well. You just have to get used to the strange feeling keys. Once we got into that, we found we are able to write pretty decently. The problem though is that the KeyPolio is not really great keys for anything else. It's got a very heavy lid and even it opens like a book. If your holding on a subway or another place, it's gonna flop open and it feels a little awkward for holding to read. The keys open up and rest with a little dimple on the bottom that attaches to this little rubber ridge here. There's no real lock or snap, so it doesn't really have adjustable settings, and we would have like for this to have a little bit of keyboard riser as well for easier typing, but it works fine and it does the job. And when it opens and shuts, there is no button or hinge on the bottom part of this. That's not a problem when you open it up, but it's a problem when it's another mode. It flops open a little too easily. The Bluetooth keyboard works the same way than any other Bluetooth keyboard would. It actually can recharge with a tiny mini USB 4 pin port on the side and it comes with a USB cable so you can charge it up. The battery life is supposed to be on the order of about 40 hours. We didn't exhaust it but it seemed to work fine and there is a little physical on-off switch on the side. There is also a connect button that you can press that against sinking process to pair with Bluetooth. Overall, hey, it turns your iPad kind of into a netbook, but it doesn't type as well as a netbook, so how much do you use write pad for writing. You may wanna consider it. It could be an interesting option if your write a lot on the go. I'm Scotch Stein and this is the Kensington's KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard and Case for the iPad

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