I recently reviewed the MagicQ case and stand for the 11″ MacBook Air from Opt. In the same shipment, Opt sent along a couple of other cases, one for an iPad and one for the Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard. We’ll be looking at the KeePad Wireless Keyboard Case for Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard in this review. It’s more than just a case for the keyboard, though. It serves as a stand for the iPad while you’re typing. After looking at a large number of iPad cases with built-in keyboards, I’ve decided that they tend to be undersized and hard to type on. I’m now on a search for alternative keyboard cases, and I’m especially interested in cases that use the full-size Apple Bluetooth keyboard.
Click any image for an enlarged view.
Just like the MagicQ case, the KeePad is made of a rubbery plastic material that has thousands of little dimples in it. The material has a good grip, so it’s easy to carry in hand. It’s available in black and in the same orange as the MagicQ case. It also has the metal Opt logo embedded in the front bottom right corner. Like the MagicQ, it has an angular flap with a Velcro-type closure.
It measures 11.1″ long X 5.5″ tall X 1.2″ deep. It weighs 9.3 ounces on my digital kitchen scale.
The back is plain, with no pockets. The stitching on both the front and back is even and straight. Both the front and the back are reinforced with stiff plastic or similar material. This serves to both protect the keyboard while it’s stored in the case and to serve as a stable stand.
The hook-and-loop tape used for the closure isn’t like the normal Velcro I usually see. It makes the rriiiipp sound you expect from Velcro, but it’s quieter, perhaps just because the pieces are small. Both sides of the tape have both hooks and loops, and therefore both sides are scratchy. Since one piece is on the “wrist rest” area and could scratch your skin or pick your clothing, I tend to just turn the flap under the case when I’m using it.
Here’s the Apple Bluetooth keyboard in the case. You can see two dense, padded bars that lay along the top and the bottom of the keyboard. They keep the keys from being constantly depressed, which could cause mechanical failure of the keys. You can also see the keyboard has a definite slope; this isn’t due to the case, but to the shape of the keyboard itself.
Lift it and fold the “wings” back to form a stable stand for the iPad. The two raised circles you can see on each side of the front cover are magnets that hold the flap in place when it’s not being used. One of the padded bars that protect the keys serves as the brace to keep the iPad in place in the stand. My uncased iPad fit easily in the stand. I think you’d also have room for an iPad with the Smart Cover or even a back cover. I’m not sure an iPad wearing both would fit well.
The stand seems most stable when you pull the two wings back and fit them into the depression, as shown above. This means you have a fixed angle for viewing the iPad, but I don’t think the stand would be as stable if you didn’t lock the wings into that depression.
You can also see three raised bars on the interior of the back cover. The keyboard’s battery compartment fits in between these bars. This prevents the keyboard from sliding around while you’re trying to type. As I mentioned before, the case doesn’t lift the keyboard. The angle comes from the battery compartment itself.
The hard reinforcement piece on the back folds around to make two little sides to keep the keyboard from sliding out the sides. These pieces cover the ends of the battery compartment, which means you’ll have to lift the keyboard out of the case to turn it on/off or to change the batteries. This isn’t difficult, since the keyboard just sits in the case.
Here you can see my new iPad sitting in the KeePad case with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. The case is very stable and sturdy when used on a table top. If your legs are long enough, it’s also stable enough to use on your lap. You could also stretch out on the sofa and put the case on your legs. I wouldn’t recommend it on your lap if you are a rambunctious typer.
You can also use the stand with the iPad in the vertical orientation. This was very steady on a table top, but I wouldn’t trust it on my lap. It seems a bit “tippy” in the vertical orientation while sitting on something as uneven as legs are.
I like the KeePad. It’s an elegant storage case to protect your Apple Bluetooth keyboard in your bag. It’s a sturdy stand to support your iPad, or even your iPhone or iPod touch, while you use the external keyboard. It works great on a table top, and can even be used on your lap if you’re careful. It adds some size and weight to the keyboard, but it does protect the keyboard and adds a stand, so it’s a good trade off. Seems like a good deal to me!