Quick Look – Case-mate iPad 2 Esquire Keyboard Case

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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:

Strong Points

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. 

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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