A couple of iPad 2 keyboard cases have caught my eye recently. The first of them is the iPad 2 Esquire from Case-mate. I’ve already tried out (and still own) a couple of other keyboard cases for the iPad 2. Two things about the iPad 2 Esquire appealed to me – the sift leather used on the case (as opposed to the hard covers used on my other two keyboard cases), and the magnetic tab closure.
Here’s a little intro on the case and its key features, via its Case-mate product page:
You’re always in sync with the Esquire Bluetooth® Keyboard iPad 2 case. The leather case connects the iPad 2 to the included keyboard with wireless Bluetooth® technology.
Essentially turning the iPad 2 into an instant laptop, the refined case is ideal for working on-the-go. The Bluetooth® keyboard, which resembles a laptop style keyboard, is seamlessly attached to the case and connects wirelessly to the iPad 2.
- Bluetooth® keyboard iPad 2 portfolio case
- Genuine black pebbled leather
- Full keyboard with plastic keys
- Magnetic closure to secure the case shut
- Up to 90 hours of battery life
And here are some of my thoughts on the iPad 2 Esquire after using it for a couple of days:
I really like the case portion of the iPad 2 Esquire. The pebbled leather looks very handsome and feels great, especially compared to the hard covers I’m used to on my other iPad 2 keyboard cases. The Case-mate name and symbol are applied discreetly to the bottom left of the front cover, and it’s nicely done.
The magnetic closure tab works mostly well. It supports the iPad 2 automatic sleep/wake feature – so the iPad 2 will automatically go into sleep mode when you close the cover, and will automatically wake up each time you open the cover. This works nicely as advertised – the only issue with it is that it sometimes sleeps and wakes the iPad 2 when the cover moves around, when it’s not meant to. It’s not a big issue, but it’s not quite flawless.
It’s very easy to get the iPad 2 in and out of the Esquire case. It slides in smoothly and has a tab that folds below it to hold it well in its frame. The iPad 2 feels completely secure while it’s in the case.
Bluetooth pairing with the iPad 2 was also very quick and easy, as it is with all of these keyboard cases that I’ve used. The viewing angle of the iPad 2 when working with the keyboard is good, though there’s not a lot of leeway for adjusting the angle.
The keyboard (again, like many of these keyboard cases for iPad 2) has a top row of special function keys to go to the home screen, Spotlight search, adjust the volume and brightness, toggle the on-screen keyboard, music player and volume controls, and more.
Not So Strong Points
The keyboard is a big disappointment. It’s touted as a ‘laptop style’ keyboard, but it’s really nothing like one. Yes, the keys are plastic – but they’re also quite small and positioned very close together. My hands and fingers are not huge by any means; I’d say I’m well within the Medium size group – and I’m finding the keys spacing way too small for comfortable quick typing. This of course leads to a lot of mistyping.
If the keyboard was better the iPad 2 Esquire would be my instant favorite iPad 2 keyboard case. Sadly it’s nowhere near as good as the keyboard on the ZAGGfolio. I like nearly everything else about the Esquire though – and the case definitely looks and feels great.
I hope Case-mate may decide to update and improve the keyboard for the Esquire at some point. It’s a reasonably priced keyboard case at $90 – if the keyboard is improved it will be a very attractive option for anyone looking for an iPad 2 keyboard case.
If you want to see more detail on the iPad 2 Esquire, or place an order, check out the Case-mate product page for it: http://bit.ly/ybI77r
Disclosure: This case was independently purchased by the post author. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page.