Photobox iPad keyboard case review

Photobox is well known for its wide range of gifts that can be personalised with your choice of photo.

The iPad keyboard is a relatively new addition to the line-up. It's a battery-powered Bluetooth with a built-in stand that’s compatible with an iPad 2, 3 or iPad 4. Technically it will work with an iPad Air, but you won't be able to use it as a magnetic cover as you can with the old-style iPads, and it doesn’t fit snugly into the slot in front of the stand. Essentially, if you have an iPad Air, look elsewhere.

The keyboard doubles as a cover, attaching to the side of the iPad with strong magnets, exactly like Apple’s Smart Cover. This means it’s compatible with rear shells that have the appropriate cut-outs for the Smart Cover, including Photobox’s own iPad Photo Case, which costs £37. See also: Best cases and covers for the iPad 2, 3 and 4

It's simple to create your design on Photobox's website. There are various templates allowing you to have just one image, or build a montage of several. We tried both approaches and both have their charms.

Your photos are printed onto a metal cover which is then pressed and attached to the keyboard. We were more or less happy with the colour accuracy of the finished cover, but recommend disabling the colour enhancement that's turned on by default if you want natural-looking colours.

Print quality is acceptable from a distance, but scrutinise the print up close and you'll immediately notice the grainy appearance, reminiscent of an inkjet printer from 15 years ago.  

Photobox iPad keyboard case review

Onto the keyboard, and it's clear that inspiration has been taken from existing iPad keyboards. Keys are a decent size and as long as you don't have overly large digits, you should be able to type long documents with ease.

The layout is pretty good, although we don't like the half-height Enter key. Also bear in mind that the cursor keys double up as page-up, page-down, home and end keys, with these secondary functions requiring the use of the Fn key at the bottom left of the keyboard.

An extra row of keys at the top provides shortcuts to common functions including search, brightness, volume and playback controls.

Photobox iPad keyboard case review

Keys have plenty of travel and are comfortable to type on. We found it was generally responsive enough to touch-type but did on occasion miss the odd keystroke or double up on a letter when we tested it in our office full of Bluetooth devices. Overall, it worked well and is ideal for anyone who wants to write long documents on the move without lugging a laptop around.

The keyboard can be charged from any spare USB port using the included cable, and the battery is claimed to last 100 hours between charges.

Photobox iPad keyboard case: Specs

  • Bluetooth 3.0 wireless keyboard
  • Dimensions:190x240x7mm
  • Attaches magnetically to iPad
  • Compatible with: iPad 2/3/4
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 100 hours between charges (claimed)
  • Energy-saving sleep mode
  • Bluetooth 3.0 wireless keyboard
  • Dimensions:190x240x7mm
  • Attaches magnetically to iPad
  • Compatible with: iPad 2/3/4
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 100 hours between charges (claimed)
  • Energy-saving sleep mode

OUR VERDICT

Although you can buy an iPad keyboard for less, the personalisation make the Photobox version worth the extra money. Plus, Photobox often has discounts which means you can get it for closer to £50.