Sitting in the airport recently, I did what any tech-savvy mom does: pulled out my iPad.
After all, what else would I do with my free time than spend it in cyberspace? However, even though there were rows of people sitting around me on their phones, tablets and computers, a man nearby leaned over specifically to me and asked, "Excuse me. What is that?"
Confused, I looked down and realized it wasn't the iPad that he was questioning, it was the fact that I was browsing and typing on my Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad from ThinkGeek. I couldn't blame the guy, really, because if you haven't seen one of these cases before, you might not realize just how amazingly awesome they truly are.
From the time I started using my iPad, the portability and the convenience of it was perfect... but the lack of keyboard was not. When I want to type an email or put together a blog post, sitting there pecking at the on-screen keys was time-consuming, to say the least. Not to mention having to switch to a different screen for numbers or punctuation or any number of other missing elements - did it need to be this frustrating?
No, it didn't. Having been introduced to ThinkGeek last year, I already knew (and adored) their selection of unique, innovative and fun gadgets and doodads around. But when I saw that they had a way to make it possible to enjoy my iPad again, I fell in love with them all over again and couldn't wait to give this case a try.
Right out of the box I could see that this case was the perfect combination of quality, style, and convenience. Folded, it has the appearance of a traditional soft synthetic leather protector that closes nicely with a magnetic clasp - just right for men and women, whether for business or casual use.
But flip this open and the magic hidden away inside is laid out right before you: the beautiful Bluetooth keyboard.
The built-in stand makes it simple to prop the iPad up horizontally for easy viewing and incorporating the keyboard essentially turns the whole thing into a mini-laptop or netbook (you can also fold the keyboard portion behind the iPad for normal usage of the screen).
Setup was nearly nonexistent, as my iPad slipped right in the side and with a few quick taps in my Settings and a flick of the small power switch on the side, the Bluetooth keyboard was immediately ready and working.
The keyboard itself has a silicone cover to resist spills as well as is easy to wipe off, plus it provides actual keys, so my fingers were happy find that I was typing again and not tapping at digital boxes. Plus, as well as having quick access to things like an apostrophe or the number 4, I quickly realized just how much I had missed having arrows to move throughout my words or not having to fiddle around to use the Caps Lock.
As well, the keyboard has function keys that make using other aspects of the iPad easier, such as Home, Volume, Search and iPod controls. I can easily pull up my apps or skip to the next song in my playlist without having to do much more than move a finger!
I had expected to really like ThinkGeek's iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Case, but in actuality I love it and know that I will never go back to using my iPad without it. It isn't bulky or heavy (with the iPad in it the entire thing only weighs 2.75 pounds) so carrying it around is a breeze as it fits right into my purse.
I've used this configuration at two blogging conferences recently (and during travel for them) and have been SO much happier than if I had tried to lug around my laptop... not to mention the compliments that have been dished out by other bloggers on the overall great idea. I always credit ThinkGeek and agree that this case is the way to go!
Containing a lithium ion battery, when this Bluetooth keyboard is fully charged it can last for 90 hours of continuous use - 90! And when it finally does come time to give it a charge, simply connect the provided USB cable right to the port on the side and you'll be prepared to go again.
Retailing for $59.99, the Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad comes in a version for the original iPad or the iPad 2, so there is no reason to not have one or give one as an extremely-appreciated gift to the iPad owner in your life.
With pages and pages of great gadgets and tools for adults, kids and geeks, narrowing down your wishlist at ThinkGeek is the most difficult thing... well, that and not spending hours on end laughing at the funny descriptions and writing throughout the site. If you haven't visited, go now! And be sure to connect with these hilariously brilliant folks on Facebook and Twitter as well.
(Other than the Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad that I was sent by ThinkGeek in order to facilitate my review, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this great company and their unique products.)