Although we’ve seen a number of similar options over the past few months, GreatShield’s 2!Go Leather Case with Detachable Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 2 ($80) is the least expensive hard-key keyboard case to arrive here for testing. In general, we prefer this style keyboard to the squishy rubber ones that were so prevalent for the original iPad and in the early days of the iPad 2. Unfortunately, the lower price of this particular unit does come with some serious tradeoffs.
2!Go very closely resembles iLuv’s iCK826 Professional Case with Bluetooth Keyboard, at least as far as the folio-style case portion is concerned. The frame is almost exactly the same, with the same cutouts and tuck-in flap at the top, while the scoop for the front camera is a bit larger on this model. Button access is what we’ve come to expect from this style of case: not great because of the flat back, but still accessible. There’s a stand built in to the back, and a magnetic latch that holds the folio shut, but attaches to the stand so as to get out of the way. Even the material is very similar between the two, although GreatShield is insistent that they’re using the real stuff as opposed to iCK826’s faux leather.
The layout of the keys on the keyboard is pretty good, and looks somewhat like a Lenovo ThinkPad. Everything is where we’d expect it, save for the right Shift key which seems a bit out of place on the far side of the Up arrow. Like many iPad keyboards, there’s a row of iOS-specific function keys along the top. All of the buttons are plenty responsive, but there is a problem: they’re just too small, with no space between them. Our hands felt cramped when we tried to type, and it wasn’t nearly as comfortable or easy as some of the other models we have seen. On top of that fact, we were disappointed by just how much space the whole case took up in typing mode; because it relies on the stand on the back, it’s a very deep setup. One benefit of the solution, however, is that the keyboard is removable, and attached via Velcro. GreatShield doesn’t offer any information on the life of the rechargeable battery, which charges via the included Micro USB cable.
Overall, while we really appreciate affordable hard-key case solutions, GreatShield missed the mark by a little bit with this one. The case is fine, but the keyboard is just too small—not enough to be unusable, but surely uncomfortable. For those reasons, it’s worthy of only a limited recommendation. Price-conscious users may want to consider it, but there are better options for not too much more.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad 2