If you recently joined the ranks of iPad-toting lawyers, then you’re probably already aware of the limitations of the iPad’s native keyboard—especially if you’ve tried to draft documents longer than a page or two. No doubt you’ve found that although the iPad’s built-in keyboard is functional, it can oftentimes be frustrating and uncomfortable to work with for long periods of time.
For that reason, many prefer to use a wireless keyboard with their iPad. There are many options available, most of which work with your iPad using a Bluetooth connection. Some prefer to use Apple’s wireless keyboard, a standalone, full-size wireless keyboard, while others prefer to purchase an iPad case with a built-in keyboard.
For many, the latter is the preferred choice, even though the keyboards included with most iPad cases are rarely full-sized. This is because the convenience of having the keyboard built right into the iPad case just can’t be beat. Price is also a factor. Oftentimes cases with built-in keyboards cost just about the same as Apple’s wireless keyboard, which, at $69 doesn’t even include an iPad case.
My iPad case of choice is the Typi Folio Case with a built-in wireless keyboard. (It is also available for purchase at Amazon.com.) This case and keyboard combo was built for the iPad 2 and costs $79, just $10 more than the cost of Apple’s standalone wireless keyboard.
What initially attracted me to this case was its unique appearance. Instead of the typical faux black leather found on most iPad cases with keyboards, this one is available in a handsome tan faux suede exterior with a dark brown leather magnetized strap. It comes in black faux suede with a brown leather strap as well.
The ultra-thin keyboard is brown with black keys and attaches to the case via hidden magnets. To remove it from the case, you simply lift the keyboard. The keyboard functions via your iPad’s Bluetooth connection, and it’s a simple matter to connect the devices by going to “Settings,” “General,” then “Bluetooth,” and then following the instructions that come with the case.
Once you’ve established a connection between the keyboard and your iPad, the keyboard can be used from more than 30 feet away. I mention this not because you would want to do that, because it’s impossible to see what you’re typing from that distance, but because you might find yourself trying to use the iPad’s touchscreen keyboard and wondering why it’s not appearing as it usually does. More likely than not, you’ll find that your keyboard is switched on and is sitting in your laptop bag in the other room. So, while the strength of the Bluetooth signal is impressive, it can sometimes be an annoyance if you’ve comfortably settled in on the couch, only to find you have to get up and turn off your wireless keyboard in the other room.
The keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard, but is smaller than normal, as is the case with most keyboards built into iPad cases. Because it is smaller, typing on it takes some getting used to, and there is a definite learning curve. Even so, I still find it to be easier than using the iPad’s native on-screen keyboard.
Another versatile feature is the brown exterior fastening strap. Not only does the brown strap fasten the case closed, but it also automatically puts your iPad to sleep when you close the case, and serves as a stand. You can snap the strap into place at different settings and adjust the viewing angle of your iPad, with two different angles available. It works great on a flat surface, but if you want to use your iPad and keyboard while your iPad is on your lap while sitting on a couch, you’ll likely need to place a folder or other study surface on your lap underneath the iPad, because the thin strap isn’t very stable on its own.
Alternatively, you can lift the keyboard out of the case and flip back the cover of the case to which it was attached and use that to support the strap. You can then use either your iPad’s built-in keyboard or place the wireless keyboard on your lap and use it in that manner.
One thing to keep in mind when you first open the box—it’s easy to miss the very small charging cord for the keyboard, which is tucked away inside of a compartment that looks almost as if it’s intended to be a space keeper within the box. I almost did. Rest assured though, it’s in there; just look for it.
Another useful tip: if you own a Kindle, the Kindle’s native charger and cord are compatible with the wireless keyboard as well.
My only real complaint is that the iPad itself doesn’t fit into the case as snugly as I’d like. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult to reach the iPad’s side panel controls, and I have to readjust the iPad in the case prior to being able to comfortably reach them.
Aside from that, I really like this case. I’ve owned it for more than five months now, and the tan exterior of the case has held up well and shows no signs of wear and tear. All and all, I’m very happy with this case and would definitely recommend it.
The American Bar Association does not endorse products or services of non-ABA entities.