ClamCase

Post image for HighTechDad’s Father’s Day 2012 Reviewed Gift Buying Guide

Rev up those Father’s Day gift engines, it’s that time of year again! Yeah, I’m a bit late in getting together my list of products that you might want to consider for your dad for Father’s Day, but you will still have a few days to get those gifts (or write up a nice IOU card). Anyway, this is a gift guide of products that I have reviewed since the last Father’s Day (you can always look back at my 2011 Father’s Day gift guide for ideas as well). I have tested these products out (and may actually be still using them).

Fathers-Day-2012

So let’s cut straight to the chase here. Here is a chronological listing of products that I have reviewed over the past year, what they are, the price, my overall rating of that product and a link to the full review on HighTechDad.com. And I haven’t included every product that I have reviewed here. There are some items that aren’t quite appropriate for Dads and my car and automobile reviews can all be found here.

Clamcase for iPad

Review:  ClamCase Transforms Your iPad into a Netbook with iOS Benefits

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Post image for ClamCase Transforms Your iPad into a Netbook with iOS Benefits

I finally got my hands on a ClamCase. When it was first announced, long before there were all of the other hundreds of bluetooth keyboard cases for the iPad, the ClamCase design really intrigued me. Now I have spent a few hours testing it out and I finally have something to write about. Over the past year that I have had my iPad, I have tested out quite a variety keyboard cases. This one is quite unique in that it fully envelopes the iPad in essentially a netbook-sized keyboard layout.

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So, why would anyone want a case/keyboard combo that weight 1.8 lbs (note, the original iPad weighs about 1.5 lbs)? I mean, that is a 3 lbs. device all total. That is the same weight as the MacBook Air. And I have gotten a lot of comments to the effect of – “why would I want that. Wouldn’t a netbook or a laptop simply be better?” Well, for starters, you get the fun and flexibility of a tablet device but with the keyboard and its associated functionality of a netbook or MacBook Air. The MacBook Air will set you back about $1000 and a netbook is probably $300+. The original iPad (if you can find one) and ClamCase combo is about $300, plus the $119 for the iPad 1 version of the ClamCase. Version 2 of the ClamCase for the iPad 2 should be coming out soon.

Below you can see the innovative hinge in action. This one one of the nicer ways to view iPad content (e.g., a movie). Other cases I have found to be a bit clumsy at this, but it is quite easy to do with the ClamCase. At the bottom of the review, you can see another photo that shows the ClamCase in the “tablet” mode. Do note how thick it is.

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For many people, the iPad is fine the way it is…as just a tablet. However, for me, I needed something that was more than just a tablet but less than a laptop or even a netbook. That sweet spot requires one key thing…literally, a physical keyboard. So, why would anyone want to lug around a keyboard? I actually know quite a few people who do. There are two quite good external Bluetooth keyboards, one being the Apple Wireless Keyboard and another being a Microsoft one (that I reviewed). But personally, I didn’t want to lug around an external keyboard everywhere. Lucking there are quite a few Bluetooth keyboards that are popping up that are built into cases that protect your iPad.

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In this review, I’m going to look at 4 Bluetooth keyboard cases in particular:

I wanted to include one more in my review, specifically the ClamCase because it has a unique design but unfortunately they were unable to send me a sample to review in time for this article (perhaps later).

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