How I turned my iPad into a netbook with this super slim DIY keyboard case
Since the iPad was released last year and despite its huge success (10-15 millions have been sold in 2010), there has been lots of discussions with regards to using the iPad as a work/productivity tool. It certainly rocks as a family and traveling entertainement device (music, web, movies, games, etc…) but it seems to lack a few things to act as your perfect work companion. If multi-tasking (introduced with the latest 4.2 iOS update) has helped, here is another way to bring that iPad closer to your business need: a keyboard. Read more to see how I have attached one to the slim Apple iPad case.
Although the iPad on-screen keyboard is a very decent way to take a quick note, enter a URL or a login/password on a website as well as composing a short-to-medium size email, adding a physical bluetooth keyboard makes a huge difference when it comes to heavy email duty or word processing from your iPad. A few solutions exist: the Apple BT keyboard is great to carry along and a few vendors offer leather or metal cases with built-in bluetooth keyboards. Take a look at this one from Zagg and that other one from eGear. As the first one (my favorite from its picture) was not available yet, I gave the eGear one a try (found it at Changi Airport, Singapore, you can also buy it online from KrisShop). Its small rubbery bluetooth keyboard works well but the leather case that it comes with is WAY TOO THICK AND BULKY. After less than an hour or two, I put the iPad back into its slick native Apple case (still my favourite to date). Before I decided to give it away and loose my SGD 139 (about USD 100), I realized that the eGear BT keyboard is only glued on the inside of that huge leather case and it is fairly easy to pill off. It was then a matter of seconds before that very same keyboard ended on the inside of my Apple case (with no additional glue, what was left from pilling it off was more than enough to make it stick again), turning the iPad into a very reasonably sized portable pad/netbook.
Update: you can use almost any object such as a pen or your phone to hold the screen up on a table by locking it in the insert on the back of the Apple case.