Folio with Keyboard for iPad
Company: Sena Cases
Price: $149.99 USD
There are cases for the iPad, and then there are “cases” for the iPad. Sena Cases has decided to produce one of the latter ones for the iPad. The Sena Folio with Keyboard is a handsomely designed and executed iPad case that provides the best possible case for the iPad and includes the additional bonus of a bluetooth keyboard that just fits beautifully into the unit and provides the user with the best possible working unit.
Right off the bat I know that there will be those who look at the price and go “wait a minute there” but take a look at what you are getting for the money. First off, a quality leather case that presents itself as a step above some of the other leather cases that are available. Besides the basic black model, you can also choose from tan, red or brown in case you want something a little more different. The case can be secured by the strap that comes to the front of the case and snaps into place. On the rear of the case is another strap that unsnaps and when pulled out, provides the support for the iPad to allow you to type on the Bluetooth keyboard that is secured on the left side of the case.
Syncing the Bluetooth keyboard is fast and easy. Once you have your iPad secured in the case, you turn the keyboard toggle switch to the on position (the case comes with the keyboard already charged for your use) The power and the Bluetooth lights come on for several seconds and the keyboard is now ready to sync. You press the connect button on the top right of the keyboard and both lights will begin to flash. As with any other Bluetooth device, you would go to the general settings of your iPad, select Bluetooth and choose Bluetooth Wireless keyboard, type in the passcode numbers that appear on the iPad screen, hit Enter and you are now connected. Total time, less than a minute.
The keyboard that comes with the case is a full QWERTY keyboard, of course, smaller than a regular desktop sized unit. Differences noted were that there is no Shift key on the right side of the keyboard and the character keys in the lower right section of the keyboard, like the apostrophe, take a little bit of time to get adjusted to where they are located. Once you get used to the layout, typing is easy. The keyboard has an On/Off switch located in the upper right section, the connect button, appropriate indicator lights, a micro USB port for charging with the charging cord that is provided, F1 through F12 keys, a home key, and most importantly, a battery that just seems to go on forever. Sena states that the battery should last for 40 to 90 hours without a recharge. I have used my keyboard for well longer than 90 hours and it is still going. The case also has three slots above the keyboard that I first thought might be for a business card or two, but found out that is better designed for a credit card or similar item rather than a flexible business card.
I use the case at home to read and type emails, listen to music or watch a video. I have used the Folio with Keyboard in meetings, in my office at work to take notes and even at 32,000 while flying to another city. The way that the case opens up with the strap holding the iPad upright did cause a momentary pause as it extended out further than the fold down tray on the seat back. However, taking one of the ever present airline magazines located in the seat back pouch, placing it on the tray and then placing the Folio on top of that solved the problem. I had the passenger in the seat next to me on my left and another passenger across the aisle to my right start asking questions when I was typing and watching some music videos. Both thought it was a netbook and were surprised when I showed them that it was an iPad with a keyboard case.
So what one has to look at before purchasing any case is what you want out of the case. Sena presents quality, style, a choice of colors to choose from and a stable platform to work with. Cons that may be considered by some are the price, the way the case supports the iPad when typing and the small changes in the keyboard. Evaluating the case, I would still go with the pros more that the cons.
By the way, when the case arrives from Sena, it is inside a black box in a red velvet gift bag. Just opening up the box to get to the Folio with Keyboard says quality.
All in all, I give the Sena Folio with Keyboard for iPad a My Mac rating of 9 out of a possible 10.