With all of the Bluetooth keyboards that have appeared over the years for the iPad, there was one that really stuck out in my mind as the best overall and that was the ClamCase Pro. When it came to letting me type quickly on an iPad, have flexibility in how I viewed the iPad screen, and overall build quality, ClamCase did an amazing job. It took a while for the ClamCase Pro to show up in a version for the iPad Air, but it is now available to order for US$169 directly from the manufacturer. How does it stack up to the original? Read on.
- Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.30 x 0.75 inches (247.40 x 185.42 x 19.05 mm)
- Weight: 1.2 pounds (0.54 kg)
- Materials: White polycarbonate, aluminum
- Hinge range: 360°
- Battery life: 6 month standby time, 100 hours use time, recharge in 120 minutes, battery life indicator
- Special function keys: Home, search, on-screen keyboard, media controls, lock, cut, copy, paste, volume controls, caps lock, Siri, battery, Bluetooth
Design-wise, the ClamCase Pro hasn't changed much from the previous version that worked with the iPad 2, 3 and 4. It's still made of white polycarbonate, has an aluminum base portion for solidity, and a unique hinge design that makes it simple to hold the iPad screen at any angle. Want to fold the keyboard out of the way for gaming? Not a problem. Want the screen at less than a 90° angle for "tummy typing" in a cramped seat somewhere? That works too.
There are four small rubber feet on the bottom of the ClamCase Pro to ensure that your iPad doesn't go sliding across a table while you're typing. There's only one switch on the device; an on-off switch if you wish to shut the keyboard off for longterm storage. Other than that, the keyboard wakes up when you open the ClamCase Pro, and goes to sleep when you close it. Yes, this is a feature that many iPad keyboards provide, but I've found that the ClamCase Pro wakes and sleeps every time, while it's a hit-or-miss proposition for most of the other keyboards.