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Third-party iPad clamshell keyboard case revealed in FCC filing

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
A new third-party iPad peripheral coming soon to the U.S. will turn Apple's touchscreen tablet into more of a traditional laptop form factor, with a clamshell case that provides tactile input via an attached Bluetooth keyboard.

Because keyboards accessories must connect to the iPad wirelessly, the Bluetooth device required approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which is how the forthcoming accessory was exposed. Created by Shenzhen Paoluy Silicone Technology Co., Ltd., the product dubbed "BL-BKB76" passed through the FCC last Friday and will likely be available for sale in the U.S. soon.

The clamshell design allows the iPad to be used in a laptop-style configuration, with the screen propped up and a flat keyboard to type on. Such a product would also allow the screen to be protected when stored.

The product is also set for debut in the U.K., where it is dubbed "KeyCase iPad Folio with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard" and carries a price of £59.95, or $92.72 U.S.

The product's manual says keyboard has a reported standby time of 100 days, and offers a "theoretical" uninterrupted working time of 90 hours, though the U.K. retailer pegs the usage time as 45 hours. The battery, which must be charged separately from the iPad, takes between 4 and 4-and-a-half hours to charge, and can be charged with a standard Apple USB iPod connector cable.



Other advertised features include a "durable leather style exterior," a magnetic fastener that keeps the case closed, and auto-sleep mode when idle for 10 minutes.

A clamshell Bluetooth keyboard concept was shown off soon after the iPad was released and gained considerable attention, but that product was simply a hypothetical rendering and never became a reality.



Though it does not ship with a keyboard, opting instead to let users rely on the virtual touchscreen, the iPad is compatible with nearly any Bluetooth keyboard, including Apple's own hardware. Apple also sells a keyboard dock made specifically for the iPad.

Even with its lack of standard keyboard, the iPad has been viewed as a threat to the low-cost, low-power netbook market. Major netbook makers have reduced shipments for the remainder of 2010, after sales of those products have slowed since the release of the iPad. Meanwhile, Apple's touchscreen tablet sold 3.27 million units in its first three months.



post #2 of 78
Yea... Now my iPad can be a real netbook! (sans the USB ports, media card reader, web camera, full-fledged applications, et al... that is)
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post #3 of 78
Pretty cool idea. Is a bit bulky, but hey if you really want to knock out those iWork documents on your iPad this could be the case for you. It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation though, and I don't really think that this would change it. If you want a laptop get a laptop I guess is what I am trying to say.
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post #4 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Yea... Now my iPad can be a real netbook! (sans the USB ports, media card reader, web camera, full-fledged applications, et al... that is)

Why can't apple just make a product and let people choose whether they want to buy it or not? Why does it drive so many people crazy that their products don't offer every single feature on earth? If you want a netbook, buy a netbook. Then you can be content with your USB, camera, etc. If you want what the iPad has to offer, then buy the iPad.

DaHarder - I'm sure you're perfectly able to draw a reasonable conclusion such as this, but instead chose to be an ignorant troll. Shame on you.
post #5 of 78
Looks like they sorta missed the boat on this one... if they had only let the iPad slide forward to cover the keyboard when touch-only was needed, they would have a nearly perfect solution for hands-free use. Expect their competitor to offer this option in 3...2...1...

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post #6 of 78
Well this turms the IPAD into a netbook. But wait, If I wanted a netbook or Laptop thats what I would have bought to begin with.
Its a nice accessory for those that want a physical keyboard and don't mind the additional weight.
post #7 of 78
Fugly.
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post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

... It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation though ...

This is both a false dichotomy and an inaccurate characterization.
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

DaHarder - I'm sure you're perfectly able to draw a reasonable conclusion such as this, but instead chose to be an ignorant troll. Shame on you.

Don't be too hard on him, it's just who he is.
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkAdrian View Post

Fugly.

I agree. They could have given it a slightly more Apple-ish look!? (E.g., aluminum, chiclet keys....)
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

This is both a false dichotomy and an inaccurate characterization.

Actually, it's not a false dichotomy, nor a dichotomy at all. The perception is that the iPad is "more for" consumption than creation. It is not that the iPad is "exclusively for" consumption. A dichotomy requires mutual exclusivity.
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Yea... Now my iPad can be a real netbook! (sans the USB ports, media card reader, web camera, full-fledged applications, et al... that is)

Why did you buy iPad if you wanted a real netbook?
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post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

Actually, it's not a false dichotomy, nor a dichotomy at all. The perception is that the iPad is "more for" consumption than creation. It is not that the iPad is "exclusively for" consumption. A dichotomy requires mutual exclusivity.

Yes, it does, in part, and your statement a) promotes the idea that one is either consuming or creating, that an activity is one or the other, and b) ignores the fact that there is plenty of creative activity going on on iPads. Using consumption vs. creation as a classification system, and looking at actual user activity, one can claim that a PC (including Macs) is more for consumption than creation, making it rather pointless as some sort of distinguishing feature.
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Pretty cool idea. Is a bit bulky, but hey if you really want to knock out those iWork documents on your iPad this could be the case for you. It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation though, and I don't really think that this would change it. If you want a laptop get a laptop I guess is what I am trying to say.

Personally, when at a place where I can sit down and knock out a few emails or edit a few html documents I often find myself wishing for an external keyboard for my iPad. I like this idea.
post #15 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

Why did you iPad if you wanted a real netbook?

Um, it's sarcasm?
post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, it does, in part, and your statement a) promotes the idea that one is either consuming or creating, that an activity is one or the other, and b) ignores the fact that there is plenty of creative activity going on on iPads. Using consumption vs. creation as a classification system, and looking at actual user activity, one can claim that a PC (including Macs) is more for consumption than creation, making it rather pointless as some sort of distinguishing feature.

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post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The clamshell design allows the iPad to be used in a laptop-style configuration, with the screen propped up and a flat keyboard to type on.


So now those netbook fanatics have no excuse whatsoever. This is the last coffin nail in the netbook category.

Buh Bye, Acer!
post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

If you want a laptop get a laptop I guess is what I am trying to say.


But the iPad does most everything better than a laptop.
post #19 of 78
its not as elegant as one thinks
remember palm pilot, they had a fold up tiny BT keyboard for data entry
thats all one needs to be light and compact

something a student can use without the bulk
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post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Um, it's sarcasm?

NO. I was curious.
Yes. You got it.
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post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Well this turms the IPAD into a netbook. But wait, If I wanted a netbook or Laptop thats what I would have bought to begin with.
Its a nice accessory for those that want a physical keyboard and don't mind the additional weight.

Why do you assume that someone would leave it attached full-time?

You buy a netbook and you are stuck with a netbook full-time. With this you have the option of a netbook when that's appropriate (ie, long emails, etc) and the option of a tablet when you don't need the keyboard. Doesn't look like it would be very hard to take the iPad in and out as necessary. And it even doubles as a stand even if you don't need a keyboard.

They only flaw would be that I'm not sure you are allowed to use bluetooth devices on flights, as that seems to be a logical place to use this type of accessory. Perhaps a wired keyboard option would be better? (The downside being that you couldn't use any other dock accessory at the same time.)
post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

But the iPad does most everything better than a laptop.

Not really. I have both. But I think before taking iPad to work.
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post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

So now those netbook fanatics have no excuse whatsoever. This is the last coffin nail in the netbook category.

Buh Bye, Acer!

Acer got a tablet coming, mind you! Apple must be pissing. lmao
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post #24 of 78
It's fine to bring out a keyboard setup like this, but at the moment, keyboard combos aren't implemented fully -- for example, you can't "Open Location" with command-L when you are in the browser. Lots of other combos aren't there either. I unpaired my Bluetooth keyboard because of this problem; I really hope Apple fixes it in the near future.
post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

its not as elegant as one thinks
remember palm pilot, they had a fold up tiny BT keyboard for data entry
thats all one needs to be light and compact

something a student can use without the bulk

I don't recall a BT keyboard for the Palm OS devices (although, maybe I was just done with them by that time and missed it) but they did make a nifty little folding keyboard that you docked the device on and, although it didn't have the best feel for a keyboard (a bit flimsy), was great for inputting a lot of text. The whole keyboard folded up into a little box-like thing that was small enough to fit in a pocket, quite nice.

I like the virtual keyboards, though. Sure, you lose some screen real estate, but you don't have to carry extra stuff around, and they work quite well.
post #26 of 78
Ughh! Is Steve Job's the only person in the tech industry with any taste?
post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

Why did you buy iPad if you wanted a real netbook?

Because I Can...

Note: I already have several netbooks/ultra-portables anyway, it's nice to have choices... Next Up = Samsung Galaxy Tab 7!
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post #28 of 78
If only this had a trackpad, then the iPad could be jailbroken and have 'mouse' installed.
netbook one minute, tablet the next.
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Ughh! Is Steve Job's the only person in the tech industry with any taste?

I know- have you seen Dell and HP's all-in-one offerings? yeeuuchhh!
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, it does, in part, and your statement a) promotes the idea that one is either consuming or creating, that an activity is one or the other, and b) ignores the fact that there is plenty of creative activity going on on iPads. Using consumption vs. creation as a classification system, and looking at actual user activity, one can claim that a PC (including Macs) is more for consumption than creation, making it rather pointless as some sort of distinguishing feature.

Sheff said, "It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation"

You then called that a false dichotomy, implying that there is a misconception that the iPad is somehow only for content creation. (I agree that the iPad is for both creation and consumption).

My clarification was that Sheff never implied that the iPad is ONLY for consumption, as per his words "more for" consumption than creation, not exclusively for consumption.

Therefore, nobody implied a dichotomy. If they did, then yes, i agree it would be a false dichotomy. But no such dichotomy was posited.
post #31 of 78
...Never really thought about the iPad, but with the keyboard add on and the 64GB model, that would really raise its value to me in terms of real world versatility.
post #32 of 78
"the product dubbed "BL-BKB76"

Must have been named by Dell's marketing department.
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

"the product dubbed "BL-BKB76"

Must have been named by Dell's marketing department.

post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation though,.

This is interesting, wrong but interesting, there is a nice article on PC World about corporate IT depts and how fast iPads are gaining recognition and approval.

Quote:
A report from the Wall Street Journal states "The company's tablet-style device seems to be sidestepping the resistance that the iPhone and other consumer-oriented devices have faced in the corporate environment. Indeed, many businesses have raced to snap up iPads."

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscente..._invasion.html
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

Sheff said, "It has basically been common knowledge that the iPad is more for content consumption then creation"

You then called that a false dichotomy, implying that there is a misconception that the iPad is somehow only for content creation. (I agree that the iPad is for both creation and consumption).

My clarification was that Sheff never implied that the iPad is ONLY for consumption, as per his words "more for" consumption than creation, not exclusively for consumption.

Therefore, nobody implied a dichotomy. If they did, then yes, i agree it would be a false dichotomy. But no such dichotomy was posited.

The dichotomy posited is consumption vs. creation, otherwise, why discuss it as a point. One must consume or create, not both. My point is that the two are not mutually exclusive even in a single activity.

I also disagree that it's "common knowledge". It may be commonly said, or commonly thought, or commonly repeated, but 'knowledge' grants it a status I don't think the assertion merits. It's an entirely mistaken notion that consumption is necessarily the primary activity on an iPad. And, as I pointed out, meaningless as any sort of distinguishing characteristic of the device. So, why go about saying it, especially when most people spend considerable amounts of time on PCs consuming, and often very little creating?
post #36 of 78
Why can't the iPad just be different?
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

............

Note: I already have several netbooks/ultra-portables anyway, it's nice to have choices... Next Up = Samsung Galaxy Tab 7!

Must carry a bulky bag with you or don't you use them?

Buy just one, a decent Mac, save your strength and your wallet. That's the Apple Tax (hint: it's negative).
post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post

Must carry a bulky bag with you or don't you use them?

Buy just one, a decent Mac, save your strength and your wallet. That's the Apple Tax (hint: it's negative).

We love gadgets... can't have just one.
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckh1272 View Post

...Never really thought about the iPad, but with the keyboard add on and the 64GB model, that would really raise its value to me in terms of real world versatility.

On the first look it seems to be nice. .... Just don' look twice!
honestly now, I have bought my iPad 64GB 3G along with a Bluetooth Keyboard because well I just thought along similar lines as you do. But guess what, I never ever used the Keyboard, because the virtual one is always at hand, adapts perfectly to the tasks you need, and it saves so much space. So to conclude: on the second look this keyboard-shell thingy is about as usless as a refrigerator built into an iglou. Sorry for the manufactoring company.
post #40 of 78
IMHO it is very LAME of these manufacturers that they don't move on... It is NOT a goddamned f**king netbook/notebook, if you want a physical keyboard THAT badly on the road, buy an Acer/Asus/Lenovo/Whatever!!!

I'll be proven wrong if this thing sells like hot cakes, though...
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