The Trooper – the latest limited edition iPad 2 Keyboard Case from ClamCase – has got some rave reviews as one of the iPad keyboard cases on the market.
I just got mine a few days ago, but I thought I’d share some early notes and impressions on it. Here they are in no particular order, sort of a stream of consciousness while getting to know it:
— It feels much lighter than I expected this type of accessory to feel. That’s mostly a good thing, although it also makes it feel a little less solid than I expected, including at times when typing (it feels a little wobbly).
— It doesn’t feel terribly ‘Apple-like’ to me initially – not elegant at all in its look and feel.
— The integrated keyboard wasn’t charged when I first got it out. It charged up in a reasonable 20 minutes connected to my MacBook Pro via USB.
— Bluetooth pairing with the iPad 2 was easy and quick.
— It’s easy to insert the iPad 2 into it and it fits very securely, even with my ultra-slim Gelaskin on it. It’s relatively easy to remove it from the case, but it takes some time – it’s not a quick action to get it out.
— The lid / top of the case is very flexible (due to its innovative 360 degree hinge). I’m not sure yet how much benefit there is to this, and have spotted one drawback to it – the lid does not neatly close all the way. There’s nearly always quite a notable gap when it’s closed. This shouldn’t have any functional impact – it just looks a bit off.
ClamCase talks up the quality of The Trooper’s keyboard quite a bit:
ClamCase’s slim scissor keys provide the tactile feel of a laptop to help you type faster and more effectively
So far I can’t say I agree on that at all. The keys do feel nice at the outset but the minimal spacing between them makes them feel awkward to use – at least at the outset. Perhaps I’ll get used to them with more time but in a few quick practice runs I made far more typos on The Tropper than when using the ZAGGfolio keyboard (which has much more generous spacing between keys).
That’s about it for early thoughts. I’ll do a proper review when I’ve had more time with The Trooper, and probably a comparison post of it and the ZAGGfolio as well. If you have any questions on the The Trooper or specific things you’d like to know about, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to give you answers.