iPad case unfolds to provide a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard
By Dave LeClair
November 5, 2012
The iPad's touch screen can be both a blessing and a curse. While touch input can be great for some applications, the onscreen keyboard can be found lacking when text input is required. Of course, the solution to that came quickly in the form of cases with Bluetooth keyboards built-in. However, most of these still have two issues; they generally aren't full size, yet they still tend to add a lot of bulk. This new case out of Japan solves those problems by offering a small form factor and a full-sized keyboard.
The best comparison to make with this iPad case from Elecom is IBM's old "butterfly" ThinkPad keyboards. The cleverly named TK-FBP048ECBK iPad case folds out to a full QWERTY keyboard with the touch of a button to rival any laptop's in terms of size, which means no smashing your fingers together as you type. It also features solid buttons and a stand to sit the iPad upright while you type.
When you're not using the keyboard, it splits in half and folds back away behind the iPad to provide protection from bumps and scrapes. The case adds little to the size of the iPad in terms of height and width, but does of course add some thickness. In all, the case is 23 mm (0.9 inches) thick when closed and won't block the iPad's charge port. The keyboard is powered by a lithium ion battery that can be recharged via USB.
The case comes with hefty a US$210 price tag. However, if you use your iPad as a laptop replacement, this just might be the case for you.