Since the iPad debuted a couple of years ago, people have been trying to turn it into a low-cost, lightweight replacement laptop. Adding a Bluetooth keyboard is a good start, of course, but then you’re stuck lugging around two separate items. That’s hardly an argument for being able to simplify your life with an iPad. Or is it? Logitech’s Fold-Up Keyboard turns your iPad into a Transformer, letting you use it tablet-style, or with a full-size keyboard when you need a productivity boost.
This week's Best Case Scenario takes a different spin on things: cases that add a bit of extra functionality to your already super duper iOS devices. Need a keyboard for you iPad? No problem. How about one for your iPhone? Stop your bellyachin'--they make those, too. We've even got cases to open beer bottles and carry your credit card. Read on to find out if these kitschy cases are really worth your cash.
Physical keyboards are handy to have for your iOS device, and this nifty contraption from ThinkGeek actually has the keyboard tacked on to an iPhone case. It slides out when you need it and stays put when you don't. The keyboard itself is responsive and easy to get a hang of, and it's powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that you'll -- unfortunately -- have to charge separately from the iPhone via a microUSB cord. Also, the addition of a physical keyboard on your iPhone means added bulk and weight, which is apparent when you're holding it up to your ear--especially the few of us that use our iPhones for phone calls.
In this edition Best Case Scenario, we're checking out new iPad sleeves from Timbuk2 and Haul, a hardshell case from iSkin, and we've got a special edition of Face Off, our new section where we review two products that are similiar in their utility, but different in their performance. This week, we're taking a look at iPad cases that transform you tablet device into a horizontal-standing Netbook, so you can show off to your Windows-loving brethern that you don't need to drop $300 on a cheap computer just to have the same mobile functionality as a full-sized notebook. Who's laughing now, eh?