Review: ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
We've seen ClamCase Pro a number of times already — for iPad Air and iPad mini. Though Incipio recently acquired ClamCase, it doesn't look as if too many changes have been made to ClamCase Pro ($130) for iPad mini 4. ClamCase Pro retains its look, as a white plastic enclosure with an aluminum keyboard inside. The Bluetooth keyboard case comes in black or white, and its battery should go for months on a single charge.
The one major difference between this edition of ClamCase Pro and the previous is a missing row of keys — this newer edition limits its keys to five rows, using the function key to take care of the likes of playback and volume. Why this decision was made, we’re not sure. There’s already enough room on the keyboard section to easily accommodate that missing row. A power switch is found on the left side of the keyboard, with a micro-USB port for charging on the other side. ClamCase Pro comes with a micro-USB charging cable and headphone adapter. One of ClamCase Pro’s nicest features remains — the hinge can fold back to place the case in a tablet or viewing mode when the keyboard’s not being used. As a case, Pro offers proper button coverage for the iPad mini 4.
Typing feel is a personal thing, and while we thought we might prefer ClamCase’s keyboard to the recent BrydgeMini II — solely based on ClamCase’s more uniform key size — we didn’t find that to be true during use of the two keyboards. Overall, we preferred the feel of BrydgeMini II, as we never quite felt comfortable when using the ClamCase Pro, whether in our lap or on a desk. The size of an iPad mini keyboard is unfortunately inescapable, but ClamCase’s keys don’t feel great to us, either. We got used to the keyboard enough to cut down on our errors, but it never approached being a pleasurable typing experience.
On its surface, there’s a fair amount to like about ClamCase Pro. It offers a good viewing angle, and provides proper coverage for an iPad mini 4 as a case. But we still can’t recommend it, based on its general feel. If you don’t mind spending $130 on an iPad mini keyboard, we’d look at the BrydgeMini II first. Otherwise, we’d check out cheaper options, like Zagg’s Folio Case with Keyboard.