If there’s one thing for sure, there’s no shortage of cases for iPhones, iTouch and iPads. But how do you know when you’ve found the best one??? Hmmm. That is the challenge.
After trying the Freedom i-Connex Combi for a few weeks now, this is hands-down my favourite. Freedom Input Limited has taken into account iPad’s strengths, and kept them easy to access. For iPad’s weaknesses, they’ve come out with improvements. Let’s talk about those improvements first.
Typing on an iPad is, let’s admit it, rather pathetic. Sure, it beats typing on an iPhone, but that’s about it. When the keyboard pops up, it takes half the screen real estate. I haven’t found a person anywhere yet that has learned to touch type using the screen keyboard. Freedom’s solution is to pack a sleek, slim keyboard within the thickness of the back of the unit.
The keyboard is 23 x 12 cm (9 x 5 inches) and about 8 mm (1/4 inch) thick. The unique design of the Combi unit allows the keyboard to disappear into the thickness of the case back, and snaps into place face down. As you handhold the Combi, you aren’t accidentally pressing keyboard keys.
The keyboard has a full complement of keys. A separate Home button on the keyboard turned out to be a lot more useful than I thought it would. Multimedia keys control play, pause, fast forward and reverse. Two volume buttons raise or lower the audio level and two screen brightness controls are handy as well.
Three more buttons control copy, cut and paste. Along the bottom row, you’ll be happy to find Ctrl, Alt, Option and Command keys, along with 4-way arrow keys. The back of the keyboard includes a non-slip rubber coating that clings mightily to your desktop or lap.
On the flip side of the case, Freedom has a foldable flip cover that Velcro’s into place. That way, if you already have an Apple cover that you like, you can detach the Combi cover and continue to use the Apple cover. If not, the Combi cover does the same magnetic power on and off. With a couple quick flips, the cover will hold your iPad in either landscape or portrait mode on your desktop. With a suede-like feel to the cover, you feel like you have a firm, slip-proof grip on the unit. No fear of a slippery, shiny iPad slipping through your fingers.
The outside of the case is perforated which provides ventilation for your iPad and with the cover folded back, the iPad is comfortable to hold.
The other main feature that I really appreciated was full time access to all the peripherals on the iPad. With many other cases I’ve seen, the iPad might need to be removed to reach the power plug or headphone jack. With the Combi in place, everything was still easily useable.