By Louis Senecal on Sat, 01/22/2011
In Part 1 of this review, I provided the unboxing and general case pictures and features. The link for that is here:
This is the fourth keyboard case I have used in the last few months. Two of the folio style cases were from Kensington and Handstands. I think the Kensington Folio is the one that I can really compare the Sena Folio to. I will add the links at the end of the review to those cases so you can make your comparisons as well.
Before I go into my thoughts and opinions on this case, let me give you a quick tour of the Sena Bluetooth Folio, which is a re-design of their original.
Front Outside Cover-The only thing on the front is a snap receptacle for the strap that keeps the folio closed when not in use.
Inside Cover-This is where you will find your rubberized covered bluetooth keyboard. There are three slots that look like you can fit business cards in.
Inside Base-This is where you slide the iPad in. It slid in perfect and all the openings and buttons are properly exposed. There is a little flap also that folds under the iPad in the case that secures the device so it does not slide out.
Outside Back Cover- You will find your folio stand that is held in place by a snap closure.
After I had received the case, I removed it from the packaging and could immediately see that this beautiful case had a smaller footprint than the Kensington. I am not sure fully how Sena accomplished this but it looks and feels more compact. The way that Kensington made their stand resulted in more material. You can see that clearly in that review pictures. The Sena folio I am using is a black leather case. The leather is tight and the case is designed and constructed very well. Excellent Sena craftsmanship.
The second thing I immediately noticed was the bluetooth keyboard. This is the same style and design that I had tested out previously on the other brands. I was a little worried that this may affect the overall review experience. But there are a couple things here that surprised me that are different and for the better. The main thing is that there is better key feedback. The keys are pretty sensitive and responsive. Compared to the other cases, it felt like you had to really press the keys to get your letters and words on screen. I'm typing my review right now on the keyboard and it's going pretty smoothly. There are a couple words here and there that I have to go back and correct but it almost feels like I am using a regular non rubberized keyboard.
The other keyboard item I found was that Sena did not construct the case so it was attached to the physical keyboard. If you recall in my other two folio keyboard reviews they were. Instead, Sena designed the leather so the keyboard could just slide in place. It is also secured by a leather flap that folds behind the keyboard. A second benefit of this is there is space like a pocket behind the keyboard that may fit a couple of your notes, cards etc.
Sena designed it like this so the user could remove the keyboard and place it in a different location if they wanted to. This also helps for warranty purposes, as the keyboard can be easily replaced and witched out if need be. While the outside looks like the other keyboards I tested, it definitely worked better.
I will add the keyboard specs and features at the end again. Sena includes the mini usb power cord to charge the keyboard. Like the other's I reviewed, there is a power button on the side, charging and bluetooth lights, as well as a button to pair with the iPad. I had no issues pairing the bluetooth.
To use the viewing stand, unclip it and open it up. There is a piece of material that supports the stand. There is one viewing angle.
Even though this design is more compact, it obviously adds some extra weight. In my previous reviews, I stated that if I was not going to use the keyboard everyday, that I would use a secondary case with this, especially while I was chilling in my chair or on the couch. There are many times when I just want to use the iPad in true slate mode, as it's more comfortable and easier to hold. This case is no exception in regards to this, as I still think it's a little awkward to hold the case with the keyboard flipped over for any extended period off time.
There are definitely a lot of good things going on with this case. At the time of this review and comparing it to the other keyboard folios I looked at, The Sena Keyboard Folio is undoubtedly the best. The top two reasons are the improved keyboard response and the compact design. The full grain genuine leather adds that Sena touch.
This Folio comes in four colors: Black, Tan, Red and Brown.
Features and Specs:
-Hand-crafted from the finest quality full grain, genuine leather
-Leather book style side-folding design
-Recessed collapsible back stand
-Soft velvet lining with light protective layer-
-Cutouts for play-thru functionality
-Charge/sync port opening
-Secure strap with snap closure
-Sena craftsmanship and quality
-Integrated Bluetooth keyboard (V2.0)
-Approx. 45 hours of use, or 55 hours of standby time
-Approx. 3 year lithium battery life
-Features function buttons and sound/music control buttons
-Ergonomically sound with its low profile and soft buttons
-Silicone face is resistant to water and spills
-Features charge and connectivity indicators
For comparison purposes: