ClamCase Pro for iPad Air review

The ClamCase Pro is designed to turn your iPad into a MacBook substitute.

That sounds like a tall order, until you actually insert an iPad into the polycarbonate case. Within minutes, you’ll be inadvertently tracing your finger on the aluminium keyboard base, expecting a trackpad to be there.

The iPad is easy to install, sitting securely in the case without obstructing the hardware buttons or camera.

Establishing a Bluetooth connection is swift during setup, then instantaneous any time the case is opened up. Typing is a joy, thanks to the layout of the keyboard and the higher profile of the keys — sitting quite tall compared to cheaper iPad keyboards.

It weighs in at 680g, a noticeable addition to your load. The bulk of the ClamCase’s weight is in the keyboard base; the upper part of the case feels light and flimsy by comparison but does the job.

Usage on the run is where the ClamCase shines. Sit the case on your lap on the bus and the iPad won’t slip out. Balance it on the edge of a tiny table at a coffee shop and still type at full speed. Prop it on the handrail as the lift stops on every floor while you bash out a quick email.

Rotate the keyboard 360º to sit behind the iPad and use it as a traditional tablet. Claims of 100 hours’ uninterrupted in-use time should mean months between recharges — we never had to plug it in during our month-long test period, despite daily use.

The one caveat? Be prepared to be asked, “Is that the new MacBook?” a lot, as the ClamCase garners a whole lot of attention.

Verdict: Just about transforms your iPad into a mini MacBook, but is still easy to remove when not wanted.

Price: $199
From: ClamCase

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5