It seems that iPad-compatible keyboards are popular more than ever, so manufacturers and designers need to pay extra attention to make their cases fit or complement any third party keyboard. What more, it seems that a new trend in iPad case design appeared, so now more and more cases come with a wireless keyboard included. This still seems like a new territory, so designers are still trying out different combinations in order to see which one will transform your tablet into a full featured netbook.
New Trent is a company which specialized in different kinds of smartphone accessories, and recently introduced a product named the Airbender Mini. This is the case made for the iPad mini, which offers very strong protection and also features a keyboard. What’s interesting about this product is that it’s priced at $40, which does sound like unbelievably good deal, since most similar products are priced around $100. Continue reading to see how this case performs, and what features you can expect for this price.
Once you open its packaging you’ll see several parts which need to be assembled. First, you’ll need to place your iPad mini into a two-piece plastic frame which very strongly snaps around your tablet. After you’ve placed this frame you’ll now need to snap a smooth rubber case onto it. You’ll also receive a screen protector, which means that your tablet will be protected from all angles. As I’ve said in the previous paragraph, you’ll also receive a wireless keyboard which comes as a single part that you simply attach to the part that you’ve just assembled. Keyboard can be used independently, and can be carried with your iPad by using it as a cover. What is really interesting about this product is that you’ll also receive an arm which can connect the keyboard to your iPad, so you’ll get something that resembles a mini iMac. I was surprised by how functional this whole construction is, since I was able to choose the perfect viewing angle and use my iPad mini in a way that I’ve never used it before.
When it comes to protection, the Airbender Mini is doing a great job. It is made of quality materials, and seems sturdy enough to keep your tablet protected even if you drop it. This product looks like one of those rugged cases which completely covers your iPad in plastic, so some people might have a problem with this kind of aesthetics, while other won’t mind it.
Now a few words about the included keyboard. It is able to offer you up to five hours of continuous use, on a single charge. You’ll certainly need some time to adjust to this keyboard, since it’s quite small and you’ll actually need to learn how to fully utilize it. I’ve used some much more comfortable and more powerful keyboards, but those cost $150 and up. So by having on mind that this product only costs $40, you’ll actually receive a very nice and functional keyboard.
PROS: Quality made. Very interesting combination of a case and a keyboard. Very affordable.
CONS: Takes time to adjust to this keyboard. Some won’t like this kind of aesthetics.