Review: Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case for 12.9″ iPad Pro – a great typing experience with a few compromises

When Razer first announced its Mechanical Keyboard Case for the 12.9″ iPad Pro, I had mixed feelings about the idea. On one hand, the thought of using a true mechanical keyboard with decent key travel, real actuation, and reset points sounded glorious. On the other hand, just how good could a mechanical keyboard case for an iPad possibly be? 

To be honest, when you consider what typical mechanical keyboards look like, the whole idea seems a little absurd. Mechanical keyboards are, in general, big hulking contraptions that take up lots of space. That’s not a knock against these keyboards, as they are wonderful to type on, but it just sounds odd to think of two devices, which traditionally couldn’t be any more different in style and design, working together.

It might also seem weird to think of Razer — a company who’s best known for making PC gaming peripherals — creating an iPad accessory. Keep in mind, however, that Razer also makes PC laptops, and if you’ve seen its hardware, you know that it cares deeply about looks and design. I’ve even heard some refer to Razer as the “Apple of the PC world” — a sort of backhanded compliment about its design-focused products.

VIDEO REVIEW

Keyboard surface design

Razer’s Mechanical Keyboard Case is, for the most part, a good-looking product with obvious nods to the current machines in its laptop line. The keyboard surface itself is one big slab of dark gray plastic that evokes thoughts of the company’s Razer Blade laptops.

You’ll find enough real estate on the keyboard surface to have an adequate amount of space to rest your wrists. The experience felt so similar to an actual laptop surface, that I found myself instinctively reaching for a non-existent trackpad.

Case and kickstand design

Razer’s Mechanical Keyboard Case consists of two parts. There’s the keyboard surface portion described above, and the case portion that the 12.9″ iPad Pro fits snugly inside of. As you would expect, the case features cutouts that keep the Lightning port, speakers, camera, and microphones free from obstruction.

While the case protects the sides of the iPad Pro via a slight lip, the top and bottom of the tablet is more or less exposed to the elements. With this in mind, don’t expect this case to fully protect your iPad Pro even when the clamshell is closed. You’ll still need to exercise care when placing it in a bag, backpack, etc.

Razer’s keyboard case features a built-in metal kickstand. The kickstand affords users a variety of viewing angles on the fly, which is better than most keyboard cases that only offer a handful of possible viewing angles.

Razer Kickstand iPad Pro

Adjusting the iPad Pro away from the user has a very laptop-like feel, because the kickstand holds the setup in place as you adjust it. Moving the iPad Pro towards the user requires that you hold the kickstand while moving the iPad forward.

The kickstand adds another moving part to the picture and can get in the way at times. You’ll need two hands to close it, and even then, it tends to want to pop out so that it doesn’t sit flush with the rest of the case. For all of its merits, using the kickstand, and especially putting it away, feels a little cumbersome.

Detachable case

If you need more extreme viewing angles, or you simply wish to use the case as a standalone stand, it’s easy to detach the keyboard portion of the setup from the case that houses the iPad. The keyboard attaches via magnets, and can thus be removed and reattached with ease. Not only does this allow for more flexible typing setups, but it also means that you can pair Razer’s mechanical keyboard with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Detached Razer Keyboard Case iPad Pro

Because of the strong magnets that attach the keyboard portion of the setup to the case, I found that it was possible to type with the iPad Pro in my lap. I doubt that Razer would actually recommend such a setup due to, at the very least, potential ergonomic issues, but I was able to lap type with little to no problems.

It’s a little bulky

There’s no way around the fact that once you start adding all of the parts together, Razer’s Mechanical Keyboard case is quite bulky. That’s probably why Razer opted not publish weight and dimension specs on its product website. A quick look at Amazon shows that the keyboard case weight is 2.2lbs, and the dimensions come in at 9.5 x 0.9 x 12.3 inches.

Once you have your iPad mounted inside the case, and you factor in the mechanical keyboard surface and the kickstand, it’s not hard to imagine how bulky it is. The 12.9″ iPad Pro is already a behemoth in its own right, so it shouldn’t be surprising that adding a keyboard case, a mechanical keyboard case no less, is going to add some significant bulk to the equation.

MacBook vs iPad Razer

For me personally, that kind of bulk is a deal breaker for everyday usage. But I’m also the same guy that opted to edit 4K videos on an underpowered 12″ MacBook Pro, so take my opinion in that area with a grain of salt. To be honest, save for Apple’s own Smart Keyboard + Smart Cover setup, I’m not a big fan of any of the iPad Pro keyboard cases due to how bulky they are.

Typing

Coming from a 12″ MacBook with limited key travel, Razer’s mechanical keyboard is a pleasure to type on. Don’t expect to have the same typing experience that you’d get from a full-sized mechanical keyboard, but typing on the Razer’s keyboard is a definite step up from any other iPad-centric keyboard cases that I’ve tried.

First and foremost, you get excellent key travel for an iPad keyboard case. The mechanical key switches are real key switches, albeit low-profile ones, that fit inside of a relatively thin housing.

Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case for 12.9%22 iPad Pro 6

Yet, despite the diminutive setup, there is real key actuation to be found here, and it requires a certain amount of pressure — 70 grams to be exact — to invoke each key. Mechanical key switches are what give each key press that satisfying clicky sound that makes it evident, both audibly and tactile-wise, that a key was pressed successfully.

Granted, the low-profile switches are still a far cry from the Cherry MX Brown switches that I enjoy on my full-sized mechanical keyboard for the desktop. That said, if you’re someone who does long form typing from an iPad on a regular basis, this keyboard is worth strong consideration.

Backlit keys

The Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case comes with backlit keys that feature 20 brightness levels; that’s four more than the 16 brightness levels that you’ll find on a MacBook’s keyboard. The backlight can be adjusted via two dedicated keys next to the screen brightness shortcut keys.

Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case for 12.9%22 iPad Pro 4

One downside to the backlit keys is the extreme effect it has on battery life. Without backlighting enabled, Razer’s case can last an assured 600 hours on a single charge via the included microUSB cable. With the backlight set to maximum brightness, the battery life drops down to a mere 10 hours.

No Smart Connector

If you’re a fan of Apple’s iPad Pro Smart Connector, then you’ll be disappointed to learn that Razer’s keyboard case doesn’t support the feature. Although support among third-parties is limited, the Smart Connector is superior to traditional Bluetooth connectivity in a couple of ways: first, it negates the need to charge peripherals, because the Smart Connector delivers power directly from the iPad; two, it allows peripherals to instantly pair with the iPad Pro without needing to mess with Bluetooth settings.

If you’re currently using Apple’s Smart Keyboard Case, or one of Logitech offerings that takes advantage of the Smart Connector, then going back to a Bluetooth keyboard case may seem archaic. While I tend to lean that way as well, consider a couple of reasons why Razer made the decision to go Bluetooth-only.

Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case for 12.9%22 iPad Pro 5

First and foremost, using a Bluetooth connected keyboard case won’t drain your iPad’s battery as much as a Smart Connector-enabled case. When you consider the fact that Razer is offering backlit keys that can drain the case’s battery in as little as 10 hours, it’s clear to see that Bluetooth was the right way to go.

Even more importantly, Razer’s keyboard surface can detach from the case that houses the iPad Pro. This, of course, automatically disqualifies it from relying on the Smart Connector for connectivity.

Conclusion

If you use your 12.9″ iPad Pro for work on a regular basis, and your work involves long form typing, then the Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case is worth strong consideration. Thanks to the low-profile mechanical key switches, I was able to type much faster on the Razer keyboard than even my 12″ MacBook keyboard, and I enjoyed the flexibility that the detachable case + kickstand brought to the table. I was also able to lap type using this case, though that’s probably not something that Razer would recommend doing.

The biggest downside with this case is its bulkiness. It’s considerably more bulky that my 12″ MacBook, and thicker than a 13″ MacBook Pro. When you start getting into that area of bulk, it makes one begin to question the practicality of such a setup, even if the typing experience is far and away better than typing on Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

The kickstand is also, for all of the positive value that it brings to the equation, kind of finicky. It doesn’t always want to close easily, and it adds another layer of cumbersomeness to set up.

If you can live with the bulkiness of the case, the lack of a Smart Connector, and its steep price, then head over Amazon.

 

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Lego iPhone Case Drop Test | POPSUGAR Tech

It seems like we’re on an eternal hunt for the latest, greatest iPhone case . . . but the solution to all of our woes has been under our noses the entire time. When YouTuber TechRax DIYed an iPhone 6S case out of Lego bricks and decided to drop-test it from 100 feet, we were almost positive that the whole situation would end up a disaster — after all, stepping on Legos is some of the worst pain we can think of. But we were pleasantly surprised! Watch the video to see how the Lego case worked out for the device, and it might inspire you to make your own.

Leaked iPad Air 3 case images hint at Smart Connector support, rear camera flash, and more

A new leak spotted by Macoatakara that first appeared on an Alibaba site appears to hint at some potential changes coming with the iPad Air 3. Earlier this month, Mark Gurman reported that Apple announce a new version of the iPad Air at a March press event alongside new Apple Watch models. Now, a leaked case design suggests some of the potential new design changes that the iPad Air 3 could feature when it launches to the public.

The first thing you’ll notice in the image below is that there appears to be a cutout for the Smart Connector. Apple first introduced this connection with the iPad Pro, using it for a more stable and reliable connection for things like keyboards. This case leak suggests that Apple plans to add the Smart Connector to the iPad Air lineup with the March revision.

Another change is that the camera cutout on the back of the case appears to extend further down, perhaps hinting that the iPad Air 3 will gain support for rear camera flash, a feature the iPad Pro does not have. Finally, the leaked images appear to show holes for four speakers, a change that was first reported earlier this month.

15755-12220-Screen-Shot-2016-01-31-at-13819-PM-l

Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported last month that the iPad Air 3 would not feature support for 3D Touch due to a production error. Of course, the iPad Pro doesn’t have support for 3D Touch either.

Case leaks are something that should also be taken with a hint of skepticism, as sometimes case makers build designs off of rumored features without any confirmation from Apple itself. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see another source potentially corroborating otherwise sketchy reports.

The iPad Air 3 should launch in March alongside the iPhone 5se and new Apple Watch variants.

5 Elegant iPhone 6/6s Cases for Professionals

We’re an outdoorsy bunch here, and we love to feature the best in rugged gear for your iPhone. However, I’ve found that, although, I love rugged cases when I need them, I can’t stand to use them when I don’t. On the daily, I want to retain the elegance of my iPhone and add a touch of personality or class with my protective case. These iPhone cases won’t save your phone from water damage, but they’re beautiful and perfectly professional for day-to-day life.

Leather Zip Wallet ($69.95)

Placement for a passport is what sold me with this case for iPhone. It includes four slits for credit cards as well, making it a great option for the business professional who likes to travel light. The tan leather is gorgeous, and I love multipurpose products.

iWood for 6/6s ($89)

Look at this beauty. It’s an all wood, fitted case for your iPhone. They’re carved out of a single block of wood, made in Holland, and available in multiple different types of wood. Each piece is custom, so you can request specific engravings to be added. These will add a serious touch of class to any iPhone user.

Isa Snap-On Wallet ($54.95)

This shock-absorbent case with exterior card slots comes in four different color combinations. The periwinkle and gold edition caught my eye immediately. Wrapped in genuine leather, the case is a slim-fit with raised edge to protect your screen while providing a professional feel.

SurfacePad ($39.99)

Made by Twelve South, the SurfacePad is marketed as a leather jacket for your iPhone. I’m a big fan of Twelve South’s BookBook and generally everything the company creates. Keeping with its high standards, the SurfacePad is a leather case with suede interior that has two card slots on the internal sleeve and doubles as a simple stand. Uniquely, the iPhone attaches with a SurfaceGrip modern adhesive, meaning you won’t have to pop it in and out.

Walnut iPhone Bumper ($59 $16.99)

If you appreciate an iPhone sans case but want to cover the edges beautifully. This minimalist case leaves the front and back of the iPhone exposed while creating a bumper around the edges for style and protection.

iRumors store Bestseller: The Veil.

caudabe-the-veil-review

I’m always looking for the best possible case for my needs. I’m not the type of person that requires a bulky case with a lot of drop protection, but it’s nice to have something there to protect against scratches and small dings. The only option I’ve had in the past is to use a skin. It’s not always the best solution though, as a skin is nothing more than a thick sticker that will eventually start to wear and peel up at the edges.

Recently, I discovered Caudabe and their ultra thin iPhone 6 and 6 Plus case, The Veil. This isn’t the most protective case in the world, but it’s the perfect solution to my problem. It offers the same protection as a skin, with the advantages of a case. If your goal is to keep an iPhone clean and thin, there’s no better option…

The Veil is only 0.35mm thick. Yeah, that’s crazy thin for a case. Putting on The Veil is as easy as you’d assume. Just plop the iPhone inside of it and press down around the edges. This case features an open bottom design, much like Apple’s leather case, and has cutouts for all of the buttons and the mute switch. Once installed on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus it’s almost like nothing is there at all. The case is made from plastic, slightly flexible, and is available in Frost or Wisp Black with a matte finish. It’s a bit slippery in the hands, but nothing worse than the iPhone 6 itself. I wish it had a rubberized finish to add some grip, but that’s not a deal breaker for myself.

Check out our review video below:

Just in case you were wondering, The Veil will not solve any protruding camera issues you may have with the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, but that’s because it’s thinner than the camera protrudes. So you’ll still have a little bump there, but that’s never been an issue for me. What you’re gaining is the experience of having a naked iPhone, but with added scratch and bump protection. Also, the front of The Veil is perfectly formed to the curved glass edges of the iPhone and leaves plenty of space for a screen protector.

Keep in mind, a case like this will not provide any drop protection. If you drop your iPhone with The Veil covering it, you might as well have dropped it without a case. I don’t see much protection coming from a case that’s 0.35mm thick, but that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m interested in this case because of its protection against scratches and small bumps.

the-veil-2

I’ve never dropped a device before and The Veil will help protect the iPhone from things inside of my pocket and whenever I may put it down. Let’s face it, most of us sell our old device when upgrading and scratches will bring down its value. The Veil will help keep your iPhone looking fresh, but without the expense and sacrifices that come along with a traditional case.

Again, if you need rugged protection, you won’t find it here. That’s nothing I’ve ever cared for though. I’m a minimalist that needs a small amount of protection and combining The Veil with a screen protector is just enough. If you’d like to check out Caudabe’s Veil case for yourself, it’s currently available for the iPhone 6/S and 6 Plus/S for just under $15. Just in case you don’t have Apple’s latest flagship, Caudabe also makes The Veil for the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 5c.

Nice rear: iPhone 6s Plus housing leaks.

iphone-6s-plus-leak

Ahead of a probable announcement in September, it looks like we can already get a sneak peak at the iPhone 6s Plus – or at least the back of it. The rear housing leaked and there are plenty of photos to gaze at and of course scrutinize for months to come. Some very small differences in the casing have already garnered some attention.

For one, the source that leaked the photos to Future Supplier got some hands-on time with the casing. Though there’s no word on whether it’s thicker, the source said the hardware feels smoother and noticeably stronger than that of the current-generation iPhone 6 Plus. This very well may be Apple’s answer to the “BendGate” problem that had the Internet in a tizzy last September. Realistically, it wasn’t a problem for most people, but Apple probably wasn’t thrilled with everyone laughing at the flaws of its newest baby.

The other noticeable change is the location of the two screw holes on the bottom of the iPhone. They’re slightly higher up in the iPhone 6s Plus. These screws hold the speaker module in place, so it’s possible that the iPhone 6s could be getting a new or altered speaker module. It’s only speculation, but it’d be pretty sweet if Apple upgraded the sound quality.

Overall, the 6s Plus housing is largely similar to the 6 Plus. The “s” models of the iPhone tend to stick with the hardware designs of their predecessors.

We still have a couple of months to go before the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus presumably make their debut, but it’s never too early to treat yourself to some leaked photos. Check out the full gallery at Future Supplier.

An iPhone 6 Case Roundup 1- Post CES 2015.

This case round-up looks at the first big wave of iPhone 6 cases that I received after the Consumer Electronics Show. Keep in mind that price doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality or protection attributes of the cases. It is very difficult to compare cases to each other because you need to include your own personal use case in the equation. As you read these reviews, think about the following questions:

  • Do I drop my phone a lot?
  • Do I drop my phone occasionally, but usually from a pretty good distance?
  • Do I want the case to complement the iPhone’s design, or just protect it?
  • Do I want to protect my iPhone completely (front-and-rear)?
  • Do I want to protect my iPhone from the elements (water, dust, dirt, etc.)
  • Do I want to use my iPhone case for something other than protecting my iPhone? If so, do I want a case that also holds cards, money or ID? Do I want a case that will keep my iPhone charged longer (and I’m willing to trade-off weight for longer battery life)

How you answer these questions for yourself will help you triangulate on a case that works for you. Perhaps your case isn’t on this list. There are hundreds of different cases and dozens of manufacturers. These evaluations give you an idea of how these cases stack up. Look to the table at the end for an overview.

Ion Element Case ($54.95$49.95 & FREE Shipping.

An outstanding, well-designed case that provides the iPhone 6 with protection that enhances the look and hand-feel of the bare iPhone. The combination of high-impact materials and a real carbon fiber back plate also makes for a great looking case.

Sector Pro Element Case ($139.95)

The Sector Pro takes the Ion to the next level and beyond. The precision machined aluminum case requires some dexterous disassembly and reassembly, but the final product is worth the effort. Not only does the Sector Pro offer protection, but it is a piece of engineering beauty that makes the iPhone look like something out of a spy movie. There are two downsides to precision though: the assembly process makes it a chore to take the case on and off (but with such a cool case, why would you?); and because of the precise fit, using a screen protector with even the slightest profile keeps the cover from aligning properly. Tools and spare parts included.

Loop Straightjacket for iPhone 6 ($34.95)

There are wallet cases, and then there is the Loop, a simple bumper with a series of straps across the back that accommodate credit cards, money, or business cards. Another clever Kickstarter that turned an idea by a few into a product for the many.

Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case ($99)

Tylt has created the first near-perfect solution to a charging case: a case within a case. The interior case, however, is just basic. I love the direction, but would like see Tylt design a more attractive case for the iPhone when it isn’t in the 3200 mAh battery. Functional and utilitarian, with a very cool innovation that is likely to be the next trend in battery-powered cases. Unlike many other battery cases, the headphone jack is large enough to accommodate a standard Apple headphone jack.

Tylt Alīn ($19.95)

This product proves the design acumen within Tylt: a screen protector with an alignment tool. No more guessing at how to align the screen protector by meticulously floating it down from some arbitrary set of lines in space that never seem to end up hitting the phone where they should. With Alin, place the edge of the screen protector on the tool and just lay down the protector on a clear surface of the iPhone 6. Brilliantly simple.

Urban Armor Gear Folio ($39.95)

Urban Armor Gear (UAG) cases live up to the brand’s hip intonations. This wallet case looks like something out of an urban adventure for the team from the movie Red. Offers 360-degree protection, a place for stuff, a soft interior cover, shock absorbing material, and a magnetic closure. Looks bad ass, and is bad ass.

UAG Maverick ($34.95$19.99 & FREE Shipping

Simple and cool. The one reviewed was clear with black accents, and studded with the cool little Urban Armor screws (just for looks, not functional). This one tough little case that makes you iPhone 6. I’m hoping it was inspired by a little James Garner and a little Top Gun. Includes a screen protector.

Moshi Sensecover ($44.95)

For people who don’t like Bluetooth headsets, cases with covers often present too much case, with the opening and closing and folding back of the cover. So what’s the option? Place sensors in the cover so it can stay in place to answer the phone or silence alarms. The Sensecover features 360-degree protection, but without extra shock absorption. A magnetic closure snaps it shut. I’m not a fan of the satin exterior material.

Moshi overture ($44.95)

This wallet case offers good, all-around protection. There is room for three cards inside. I really like the removable screen cleaner include as a little microfiber feature inside the front of the case. As above, I’m not a fan of the exterior material, which has a satin finish. But if you like satin finishes and want a wallet, this case may be what you are looking for.

Moshi iGlaze armour ($39.95)

A nicer than basic case that combines a plastic interior with an aluminum exterior. It looks clean and professional and should handle most bumps and scrapes.

Moshi iVisor AG ($24.95 ) and iVisor Glass ($29.95)

If you want complete protection for the front of your iPhone, consider these Moshi products and their unique edge adherence which completely eliminates bubbles by engineering the adhesive away from the screen. The AG is a clear plastic cover that can be washed and reused, while the iVisorGlass sports IonGlass™ which is harder than tempered steel. Both are pretty low profile, but make sure your case isn’t so precisely fitted that the screen protector interferes with the case.

Toast Covers ($29)

If you want a case that isn’t a case, and a material that isn’t plastic, consider a Toast real wood cover. The Toast cover is anything but wooden. This very thin cover adheres directly to the iPhone, with precisely cut edges that wrap around the phone. There are versions that cover the back only, or the back and the front. This cover isn’t going to protect your iPhone from a big drop, but it will keep it nick free from everyday bumps and help connect your high-tech device to natures high-touch.

Speck MightyShell ($49.95)

The Speck MightyShell is a solid, second-tier case, meaning it isn’t just a cover, but offers solid drop protection as well. Swirls of protective material keep the iPhone off the back of the case, ready to absorb shocks. The case comes in multiple colors. As with most cases, I like the clear version so I can see the nice champagne tone of the gold iPhone through the case.

Lenmar Maven Battery case for iPhone 6 ($99.99)

Lenmar’s Maven 3000 mAh Battery Case isn’t as flexible as Tylt’s Energi Sliding Powercase, but its slide-in, slip-out design makes it nearly easy to swap (if you don’t count removing whatever case you may already have on your iPhone 6.) The finish is outstanding. Requires an audio extender for headphones. Speaker ports design to channel music out rather than muffle it.

Acme Made Charge ($49.95)

The Acme Charge is kickstarter case that does what many a kickstarter programs do: add one clever idea to a something that exists. In this case, the existing thing is a basic iPhone case with a built-in stand. The clever part? Including a Lightning cable under the stand. The case itself is rather basic. The stand is fine, but it doesn’t exude quality or engineering. The lightning cable is convenient but as with all things with part, even something with a compartment is something that can be forgotten. Because the cable is short though, its likely it will be used via the USB port on a computer rather than on a charger plugged into the wall, which will make it easier to remember.

Incipio Offgrid Express for iPhone 6 ($79.99$54.82 & FREE Shipping

Incipio’s offering in the iPhone 6 extended battery department provides yet another way to mount an iPhone to a battery: insert the phone into the case at a slight angle, lay it flat, and then install a bumper around the phone and the battery. The 3000 mAh Express looks good when assembled, but not as complete a solution as Tylt’s.

iPhone 6 Case Round-up Feature Comparisons

 
Case
Drop Protection
(H, M, L)
Design
(out of 5)
Coverage
F/B/2/S
Elements
Holds Suff
Material
(out of 5)
Power
Stars
(out of 5)
Element Ion
H
5
B
N
N
4
N
4
Element Sector
H
5
B
N
N
5
N
5
Loop Straightjacket
M
4
B
N
Y
3
N
3
Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case
H
5
B
N
N
3
3200mAh
5
Urban Armor Folio
H
5
2
N
Y
4
N
5
Urban Armor Maverick
H
4
2
N
N
4
N
4
Moshi Sensecover
M
4
2
N
N
3
N
3
Moshi Overture
M
3
2
N
Y
3
N
3
Moshi iGlaze Armour
M
2
B
N
N
3
N
3
Toast Cover
L
4
S
N
N
4
N
4
Speck MightyShell
H
4
B
N
N
4
N
4
Lenmar Maven
M
3
B
N
N
3
3000mAh
3
Acme Made Charge
L
3
B
N
Y*
2
N
3
Incipio Offgrid Express
M
3
B
N
N
3
3000mAh
3

Legend:

Drop protection: High, Medium, Low

Coverage: Front, Back, 2=both, S=some front, not screen

Elements: sealed case Yes/No

* the Acme Made Charge does not hold items beyond the Lighntning cable beneath the stand.