Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Trent Airbender 1.0 Wireless Bluetooth Clamshell iPad Keyboard Case: Reviewed

I have have my ipad 2 for a few years now. We had purchased it on a whim when we we going to make a long road trip to see family about a 22 hours drive up North from our state. Our daughter was 14 months at the time and was not the best at handling long car drives over 2 hours long. We had first purchased a similar tablet with less options, however quickly a few days later, returned that and decided an ipad was best for our needs. I planned to sit in the back of the SUV and hold the ipad while my daughter would watch a pbs kids program (to watch ONLY if she got fussy---we do not normally promote tv watching or electronic use for little kids, but wanted the calmest, least stressful drive possible.) I figured when she slept, I could play around on it. We had purchased a leather cover which I still use and LOVE. (it is almost a Tiffany blue green color and real leather).

After those 2 weeks of being up North on our trip, we did not use the ipad much due to the fact that typing long emails or blogging, etc. is not the most comfortable or easy with a touch screen. I use a stylus (pink of course) as I do not like fingerprints on the screen, and so that is not so easy to do when you need to type for any length of time.

The ipad sat neatly in its leather case in a drawer of my night stand for a little over a year and a half, only used for quick 1-2 hour car rides and short non essential use (random games or browsing). I had always wanted a keyboard, however never really looked into getting one.

I recently had the opportunity to test out a wireless Bluetooth keyboard that fits ipad 2, 3, and 4. It is from the New Trent company and is a hard "thermoplastic clam shell". It is the Airbender 1.0. It is approximately 9 5/8 x 8 x 1 in measurement. It arrived to me in a nice looking box and included a small user guide and a usb cable.

This case is black with a shiny aluminum piece near the bracket of the stand. The clam shell is a matte finish and looks nice, perfect for a student or business person. It blends in and would not distract during a meeting or class session. I of course would have preferred a light pink option, but that is unnecessary I know. I also would have liked this to be more rubberized and grippy in texture. The case has many cutouts for all the necessary ports, camera, etc. At the back of the case, you can adjust the angle of the ipad with a pull out bracket, and there are 2 trays for which to rest the ipad when using. This provides a variety of viewing angles. There are 4 rubberized feet at bottom of case. The ipad snaps into the shell with ease and can be displayed in vertical and horizontal positions. Taking the ipad out of the clamshell took some patience. I wanted to be light handed and gentle(I baby this ipad) but also want to see how I could get it out. I have seen previous versions of this Airbender that allow the keyboard to detach from the top of the clam shell. I would have preferred this option so I could use my leather case and use this keyboard with my ipad. I prefer a softer material against my laptop as I worry that the screen will get scratched over time. There are tabs that are intended to protect the ipad screen from laying against the keyboard, however I am a slight bit concerned about overall wear to the screen. I am extremely gentle with my ipad.

The keyboard at first glance looks nice and the keys are flat across, as compared to our laptop keys which are curved in slightly. I had not experienced using a keyboard previously with my ipad so I cannot compare it to other keyboards on the market. These keys seem comfortable to use. I do like having a keyboard and find typing to be much easier and this will allow me to use my ipad instead of letting it sit. I like the on and off button at the top of the keyboard, which is designed to save battery life. The ipad and keyboard go into a sleep mode when unused for a few minutes, this is nice as it also saves battery. Pressing one key brings my ipad back to life and at the password screen, ready for use.

It will take some time to get used to the shorter width of the keyboard (as compared to our laptop) however, this is meant to fit a tablet and still improves my experience over just using a touch screen and stylus. The keyboard is fairly easy to use and seems nice. The Bluetooth paired quickly and provides an access code. The keys are quiet. I did notice that my version does not have a LED light showing the CAPS lock on. This made things a bit frustrating. I notice other customer images on this listing show a LED light and indicator for CAPS at the top right of the keyboard (see their images). My keyboard is different.

My desired improvements:

I would like my keyboard to be able to be a stand alone keyboard when needed. I would have liked a more rubberized, grippy case. I also was surprised that there was not LED indicator for my CAPS button---I had thought that was standard with all keyboards (whether pc, laptop or wireless for tablet).

If you found this review enjoyable or interesting, please let me know with a friendly comment. I am fond of writing reviews and hearing feedback about what I have written. I feel that reviews help those interested to make an informed decision before purchasing. I also feel that honest and informative reviews improve a product by providing insight to the company. Reviews should always be honest no matter whether an item was free, at a discount, or purchased. This was sent to me as a sample, as courtesy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

For more information on this keyboard or to purchase, you can find this on Amazon: New Trent Airbender 1.0

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