The i-Connex Combi, an iPad case and keyboard from British accessory maker Freedom Input, is one of the better entrants of a limited genre.
Announced earlier this year and available now, the multi-part product includes a Bluetooth keyboard and a hardshell smart case with a detachable front cover. It’s meant to allow the user to, effectively, use their iPad as a laptop, perhaps taking it on a business trip with the expectation that the iPad will remain unbroken.
Working with both the iPad 2 and third-generation- although a Mini version has been announced- the product is better than many others of its kind that I’ve tried before. For one thing, the keyboard isn’t impossibly tiny. Also, the Bluetooth works well, and the protective case provides actual, dependable protection.
However, the i-Connex Combi has a pitfall in common with most other keyboards of its kind: there’s no mouse, or a keypad resembling a mouse. So this requires the user to reach up to the touchscreen periodically. I just couldn’t get past this, although I’d imagine many who use their iPads for business might be more comfortable with it.
In just about every other way, though, the i-Connex Combi is top-notch, if a tad pricey at $74.99.