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£20 Case Transforms iPad 2 Into Netbook

There's a nice little accessory on sale at online retailer Expansys that can transform your iPad or iPad 2 tablet into a full-featured netbook, albeit with a couple of restrictions.

That unbranded portable iPad 2 leather case (opens in new tab) comes with an integrated Bluetooth white keyboard and a price tag of only £19.99 (that includes free shipping).

As a case, it protects the tablet from scratches and bumps and the proper physical keyboard means that you will be able to do some real work on the tablet.

Although it doesn't have a hole to enable the use of the camera of the iPad 2, it comes with special keys that activate unique iPad features like the screen brightness, volume, exit, play & pause, fast forward, playback, search and photoframe keys.

It is not that heavy at 465g but is rather thick, totalling 35mm in all. One customer said that the main issues were, that its dock connector cable stuck out beyond the case, and there was no proper way of keeping the case closed.

Note that it doesn't come with a touchpad (as expected), and unlike the optional docking station of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, this one doesn't charge the tablet and doesn't provide any optional features like audio out. We suspect though that the battery life is likely to be days rather than hours.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.