Review: ClamCase ClamCase+ for iPad Air 2
While we've reviewed ClamCase's ClamCase Pro multiple times — most recently for iPad mini 4 — ClamCase+ ($150) is a new iPad keyboard case from the company. ClamCase+ distinguishes itself from the ClamCase Pro line with its LED backlit keyboard and slimmer frame. The Bluetooth keyboard case comes with a micro-USB cable for recharging. ClamCase notes the keyboard can run for six straight hours with backlighting on, 100 uninterrupted hours with backlighting off, and it takes three hours to fully recharge the keyboard. ClamCase+ comes in space gray, as seen here, or black/gold.
We like the look of ClamCase+ quite a bit — the space gray colored plastic goes well with the keyboard’s typical aluminum finish. That, paired with the thinness of the keyboard paired and the effective hinge make ClamCase+ look and feel like a premium product. As usual, the hinge can be moved to push the iPad Air 2 all the way to the other side, for video viewing, and folded over completely for what some companies like to call “book mode.” ClamCase+ also offers full button coverage.
While there will likely always be concessions made for iPad keyboards, the size of the Air 2 lends itself well to typing, and ClamCase+ does a very good job in this regard. The six row setup of nice, springy keys is a smaller approximation of a MacBook keyboard, complete with a row of shortcut keys. While those with very large hands might find the experience uncomfortable, we’d guess most users should be able to type on ClamCase+ with ease for an extended period of time. ClamCase is positioning the backlit keys as a main selling point, but really, it’s a nice bonus — some users may find them more necessary or useful than others, and there are three brightness settings. (If you don’t need backlit keys, you’d do well to take a look at ClamCase’s ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2, which we haven’t reviewed.)
When we reviewed ClamCase Pro for the first iPad Air almost two years ago, we liked it quite a bit, but it was restricted to a general recommendation due to its high price. Two years later, the improved, backlit ClamCase+ comes in at about $20 less than the debut price of the Pro (ClamCase is now selling the Pro for both iPad Air and iPad Air 2 at $130.) While $150 is still a fair amount to ask for a Bluetooth keyboard, ClamCase+ for iPad Air 2 offers a refined fit, look, and performance, and is one of our favorite iPad Bluetooth keyboard cases thus far.