Brookstone sells the aptly-named “Bluetooth Keyboard Pro with Leather Case for iPad Tablets.” While I have to think that a better name could have been thought of, don’t let the genericness fool you. This case actually packs some surprises.
While no one should consider dropping $150 on an iPad case without good reason, Brookstone does deliver some features to make it worth checking out. Namely, the case comes with a full size Bluetooth keyboard that can be detached effortlessly and reattached with magnets. And that, my friend, opens up a world of possibilities.
I’m not easily impressed by Bluetooth keyboards. Apple’s own wireless keyboard won my heart over long ago, and most of the iPad case + keyboard combos out there haven’t caught my eye since. When I want to type on my iPad, I’ll usually just unpair my wireless keyboard from my Mac and take it with me.
Brookstone’s iPad case with keyboard is actually quite usable for typing. The keyboard is charged via mini-USB and the battery lasts quite awhile for casual typing. By default, the keyboard sits inside the Brookstone case’s giant book binding. Once the iPad is inserted, you fold the tablet upwards and rest it horizontally to type. What’s neat is that the keyboard can be quickly detached by simply pulling it off its magnetized base. You can then fold the case in a different way and use the keyboard on a table or even your lap. The keyboard itself is then, durable, and fully fitted for your OS X needs.
What I do like about this case’s abnormally large form factor is that it feels rock solid. Your iPad feels clutched inside the pages of a classic, leather-bound novel. The case feels well made, and all of the iPad’s buttons and camera holes are easy to access.
In the age of razor thin notebooks and tablets, it feels almost wrong to slide your iPad into a giant book-like case. I understand that it’s a design choice, but the sheer size of Brookstone’s case can be a little overwhelming. The case is closed with magnets, but it won’t put your second or third-gen iPad to sleep automatically.
Brookstone’s leather iPad case combines luxury with functionality well. It doesn’t feel cheap, and it gets the job done. If you’re not worried about weighing down your bag, then this case may be something to consider. Similar offerings like the DODOcase are much thinner and lighter, however.
The one killer feature of this case, however, is the removable keyboard. It’s light and large enough for some serious typing. I like the versatility that the removable keyboard allows. You can use the iPad at a couple angles once the keyboard is removed from its magnetic slot.
Is Brookstone’s leather iPad case worth the $150 price tag? I’m content to stick with my Incase book jacket, but if you’re looking for a large case with a keyboard to boot, this one won’t disappoint. Brookstone also offers a $15 one-year and $20 two-year protection plan.