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Padacs, $109.95


LONG emails and quick tweets can be a chal­lenge for iPad users. Re­plac­ing your net­book with a tablet is even more dif­fi­cult, par­tic­u­larly when cre­at­ing long doc­u­ments. In these cases, you can choose to be­come a touch­screen typ­ist — or add a wire­less key­board to your gad­get stash.

Aus­tralian-based Padacs has re­leased a new iPad case that can help with the last op­tion. The Ru­bata Key­board is a key­board and case in one, stow­ing the iPad in one pouch and a six-row key­board be­neath it. Once in place, it makes the iPad look like a slen­der lap­top.

The Ru­bata is the com­pany’s high­est qual­ity case to date. Its stiff-sided form is cov­ered in black leather. Fin­ish­ing de­tails in­clude fine stitch­ing and easy ac­cess to ports. The case wraps around the iPad, fold­ing into place with a mag­netic seal.

The Ru­bata’s keys are made from hard plas­tic and are highly raised, a com­bi­na­tion that mim­ics the con­struc­tion of a reg­u­lar lap­top key­board. The change is ob­vi­ous as it makes typ­ing eas­ier and quicker than you might ex­pect of a 24cm-long tar­get.

This key­board comes with plenty of com­mon func­tion keys — in­clud­ing two Shift keys, Con­trol, Op­tion and Com­mand but­tons — plus a row of keys that con­trol the iPad.

These give users one-but­ton ac­cess to lock­ing the iPad, clos­ing apps, se­lect­ing text, per­form­ing searches, play­ing photo slideshows or play­ing songs. Even vol­ume con­trols and cut and paste tools are of­fered in this handy row of keys.

There are trade-offs, though. You’ll have to turn on the iPad’s Blue­tooth con­nec­tion, which will drain the bat­tery faster. You’ll also have to charge the key­board ev­ery 72 hours.

This case will add 583g to your iPad, and its stiff ex­te­rior can be dif­fi­cult to fold when view­ing the iPad in por­trait mode.


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