CruxCase, a Utah-based company that has created a number of well-done iPad cases in the past, today announced the kickoff of a Kickstarter project to fund the development of a new aluminum keyboard case for iPad that essentially turns the tablet into a laptop. The CruxSKUNK project doesn't seem to need any help -- it already has 542 backers and is just shy of its US$90,000 funding goal -- except for that name.
Of course, I'm a bit biased. I awoke at 3 AM this morning with the scent of skunk in the air, so the name of this project is turning my stomach a bit. The design details of the laptop case are interesting ... but I'm not sure I see why people are getting excited.
The idea of essentially turning an iPad into a laptop surrogate isn't all that new. It is billed as being "about as thin as a Macbook Air and weighing about the same," so there's really not much of an incentive to use it as a laptop. After buying a 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad for $699 and one of these -- the current "price" for backing the project is at $155 -- you're only about $144 away from buying a real 11-inch MacBook Air, and trading iOS for an actual laptop with OS X.
Then again, you can't turn your MacBook Air into a tablet. The hinge on the CruxSKUNK flips a full 360°, so you can keep the iPad in the case and have a tablet to hold, although it will now be much thicker than just holding an iPad in your hand. You can easily pop the iPad out if you dislike holding the case with the iPad embedded in it. Other good points -- this looks like one of the best keyboard cases I've seen so far in terms of design and construction, and the keyboard is full-sized for fast typing. There's also a nice leather case for the CruxSKUNK.
Take a look at the project, which will probably be fully-funded by the time this post is published, in the following video. I leave it to CruxCase's Brian Probst to prove to us that iPad laptop cases are really a good idea -- let us know when the review samples are ready to go!
Apple iPad Air 2