Ever since the launch of the iPad, companies the world over have been falling over themselves to come up with a range of accessories to tempt owners of Apple’s popular tablet to part with their cash.

A new one being distributed by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is a little different from what’s gone before, and could well be just the ticket for the following kinds of people:

- anyone who’s looking for a useful iPad case

- anyone on the hunt for an iPad-compatible keyboard

- anyone who regrets choosing to buy an iPad over a MacBook Pro

Before you start to get any ideas, this looks-like-a-MacBook-Pro iPad keyboard case merely makes your iPad look like a MacBook Pro (albeit a small one) — it doesn’t, of course, magically transform your device into Apple’s laptop and give it all the power and capability that goes with it.

It does, however, provide a useful solution for anyone on the hunt for a case who prefers to type on keys rather than tap away on a pane of glass.

The innovative MacBook-Pro-style keyboard/case, which retails for 5,980 yen ($73), incorporates a lithium-polymer battery that should keep your iPad going for around 55 hours. It also has both a USB and mini-USB port and connects to the iPad via Bluetooth.

A hole in the back of the case allows the Apple logo to show, no doubt serving to cause further confusion among those wondering if you’re using an iPad or MacBook Pro.

On the item’s webpage, it says it’s only compatible with the iPad 2, though if it proves popular we assume its maker will waste little time in producing one for the new iPad as well.  

The keyboard/case currently appears to be available only through Rakuten’s Japanese site, so if interested, keep a lookout on its global site, where it may soon appear. Of course, there’s a chance other e-commerce sites are stocking it, but we’re not aware of any others at the moment.

So how about it? Would you be happy sitting in your local coffee shop tapping away on this or do you think you’ll soon become tired of having to answer the same two questions: 1 – Is that a MacBook Pro? and 2 – Why didn’t you just get a laptop?

[via Ubergizmo]