Review: Avantree Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case

39288For the last three days I’ve been travelling blogging over on the other site while in Hobart. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Avantree Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case for my iPad.

As the name suggests this combines a cover for the iPad with a keyboard and I have to report it worked well. First the keyboard itself: The keys have a nice return; they aren’t too small and I found I could type at almost normal speed. The only truly annoying thing about the keyboard is that the top right control turns off the iPad and it’s very easy to hit that button when stabbing at the delete key. Making that a single-press key, instead of one requiring Function to be pressed as well, was a poor design decision. If I was usng the case long-term I’d get used to this, but over the weekend I found myself shouting at it a bit.

The iPad sits neatly on the case; it’s stable enough to use easily on a hard surface and, with a little care, on your knees.

The polished aluminium case looks good and doesn’t add too much to the weight of the iPad. For travelling purposes the hard case provided a reassuring sense of invulnerability which more than balanced the slight additional weight. It was easy to take the case on and off.

Sadly in terms of looks the keys themselves have a slightly cheap look about them, as if some of the labels were stuck on by hand. It’s by no means a big deal, but it lacks the polish you’d find on something produced by Apple – but then if it was produced by Apple you’d pay a lot more for it. The case retails for just over $33. The case connects to the iPad using Bluetooth and pairing it was trivial. The on-off button is, however, tiny and feels a little insecure. I didn’t have any problems with it, but it might become an issue with long-term use.

Overall I found the Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case excellent and would happily recommend it to someone looking for a keyboard case.

The experience of using it, though, did remind me that Apple’s decision to not allow a pointing device to work with the iPad is sheer stupidity. I kept on reflexively searching for a trackpad to move a mouse-pointer to edit what I’d written. The external keyboard’s arrow keys made navigating significantly easier than stabbing at the screen with my fingers but neither can replace the precision of a mouse.

The Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case was supplied to us for review by the lovely folk at MobileZap.

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