Lots of folks are fans of Apple’s iPad, but even more would be happier if they would more easily hook up a traditional keyboard for mail, messaging, and even word processing without having to carry around an extra peripheral. ClamCase is offering a solution: a hardshell protective case for the iPad that includes a Bluetooth wireless keyboard—and the case can also be converted into a stand for viewing images and videos.
The ClamCase doesn’t tie into the iPad’s docking port: the keyboard pairs with the iPad device via Bluetooth, leaving the docking port free for other iPad peripherals. To use the case, users don’t need to do anything more complicated than pop the iPad inside and turn on the integrated keyboard’s power. (There is a power saving mode in case you forget to turn it off again when you’re done.) The case can be closed to protect the iPad while it’s being carried around, and opened 360 degrees, so the iPad can be propped up as a image or video viewer in either landscape or portrait mode. The keyboard is also compatible with other HID-compatible Bluetooth devices, so it can be used to control things like a PlayStation 3 or TiVo DVR.
One potential downside of the ClamCase is that it doesn’t include a trackpad or other pointing device: users will still have to smudge up their iPad screens to interact with many applications and tools.
The ClamCase is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2010; the company has not yet announced pricing.