Review: Incipio ClamCase Pro iPad Cover and Keyboard

 Incipio ClamCase Pro iPad Cover and Keyboard

Until humans no longer require the arcane input method of typing on a keyboard, portable and sturdy wireless options will abound. Enter the ClamCase Pro ($149.99) iPad cover and keyboard from Incipio. Giving a nod to the MacBook's sleek design, this trim protector and input combo provide bottom and top cover to iPad mini. 

 Incipio ClamCase Pro iPad Cover and Keyboard

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The new Incipio ClamCase Pro doesn't turn the iPad mini into a MacBook, because a MacBook is like 10 times more of everything than a mini, but it moves you in that general direction. It also has a bit of the same styling (the one I reviewed was the silver and white version). The sturdy keyboard provides chiclet-sized typing that is adequate, if a bit cramped, while the look and feel remind me strongly of the superior MacBook's extruded thin and tapered aluminum design (minus the backlighting, which is sorely missed). A miniUSB charge port is located (also MacBook-like) along the right edge, and since I type practically all day long on a MacBook Air, I like that same silky feel of the texture along the edges and surrounding the keys. Pairing to Bluetooth was as easy as selecting the device in the settings app.

The cover isn't much more than attractively molded hard plastic with requisite openings in all the correct places, though the hinge helpfully folds all the way round to allow you to position the iPad screen in almost any fashion you like (use as a stand or folded up against iPad in a reader or tablet view). A headphone adapter dongle is supplied (which I'm sure to misplace). The hinge, however, is actually a very useful and often overlooked aspect of many keyboard/case combinations I have reviewed, and the Incipio goes one better—the keyboard is smart enough to deactivate in any non-keyboard orientation. It reactivates once you return to a more general typing position. Clever.

Pros

  • Flexible hinge with 360-degree rotation
  • Smart keyboard/cover reacts to orientation

Cons

  • Keys are nothing special
  • Some dropped keystrokes

Final Verdict

The down arrow was sometimes a little non-responsive and there were a few missed keystrokes here and there, though auto-complete often makes up for those minor issues (not uncommon for Bluetooth keyboards). I typed this review and performed my usual iPad activities over about a week and was quite satisfied. When folded under, the rather pronounced keyboard edges are not comfortable for extended periods of holding or gaming, which can be mitigated by opening it up a bit and propping on a knee or table. Minor complaints aside, the ClamCase Pro iPad cover with keyboard is a quality product, and garners the iPhone Life stamp of approval!

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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.