The iHome type pro Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad (Review)
You never know just how your day will turn out or change your whole attitude until you wake up and face what may come head on. I follow a simple routine: I wake up, head to the gym, work out, shower, come home, fix breakfast for my daughter, take a deep breath or two, and then head into my office (a five second commute) to start my work day. And I do all that by 7:30 a.m. Some days I ask myself, “What’s my motivation.” Well, on Monday, I received, via UPS delivery, a new motivation: The iHome type pro Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad. Specifically, my iPad 4.
If you think that I’m being dramatic, you’re probably right. After all, why should I be so excited about an iPad keyboard case thingy? That’s what your formerly cynical self tells you about products like this. But having experienced the iHome keyboard case firsthand, I can tell you honestly that it’s one of the most exciting accessories I’ve ever used.
First, the case opens clamshell style to reveal a standard Apple keyboard–better still, an enhanced Apple-style keyboard–that’s right, it’s an Apple-style keyboard, but enhanced–enhanced with the Command key, the Option key, the Control key, and the fn key. It has the standard function keys along the top (F1 through F12), which perform double duty as special iPad device keys.
Now here’s the enhanced part. Those special iPad keys do stuff that you normally have to tap and swipe for–right there on your keyboard. You can close apps by using the Home key. If you press the Home key twice, it has the same effect as double pressing your Home button twice.
You can change the brightness of your screen with F1/F2, lock/unlock your screen with the F6 key, navigate through your music selections with the F7, F8, and F9 keys, and adjust your sound settings with the F10, F11, and F12 keys. When you need to use your function keys as function keys, press and hold the fn key while pressing the function key that you want to use.
Your iPad fits snuggly into the “screen” area with a couple of simple snaps. You can charge your keyboard case with the included mini USB charger and use it wire free or you can plug it in and use it wired and allow it to charge while you’re using it.
When you close the case, you have a sturdy metal shield on the bottom and a hard plastic cover on the top that creates a protective shell for your keyboard and your iPad. And the whole thing is roughly twice the thickness and just a little larger than your iPad without the keyboard case. The keyboard case feels sturdy too. It feels more like a netbook rather than a tablet plus a keyboard. You can easily carry the combo or slip it into a purse or backpack for easy transport.
I don’t know how long the keyboard’s battery life is because I’ve never had to charge it yet and my iPad has been in the case for several days, switched to the ON position, and not plugged in. I’ve used it quite a bit too. I’ve carried it from room to room, to an outside table, and to the bedroom as a laptop unit used on my ePad pillow desk. I’ve no trouble with it preventing any connectivity to WiFi and have had no issues with the keyboard.
The one exception to its otherwise perfect performance is that it seems that on my iPad, which has iOS 7, three of the keys don’t work–or maybe I should say that I haven’t figured out how to make them work yet. The Internet browser key (F3), the Search key (F4), and the Photos key (F5) have no effect when pressed. I believe it to be an iOS 7 problem because the icons on the keys look like the old symbols for those apps on iOS 6 and previous.
Why it’s frugal: The iHome type pro Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad is frugal because it protects your investment. Spending so much on your iPad means that you need to protect it plus it’s not just a case, you get a top notch keyboard to boot. The Apple Bluetooth keyboard will cost you $69.99 and it can’t be put into a case with your iPad. A great combo at a great price.
I know there are other iPad keyboard/case combos out there but this is the one that I like the best–that’s why you’re seeing it here. The iHome type pro Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad is sturdy, handy, appropriately proportioned for the iPad, attractive, and includes all of the features of an Apple keyboard plus a very nice case rolled into one package. All of your iPad ports remain available while in the case (open or closed) and your mini USB charger port on the keyboard is also exposed for easy connectivity.
Recommendation: If you want a sturdy case and a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, this is the one to buy.