Sit back, relax, and use your iPad like a MacBook Pro. Image: Rakuten
Sometimes, an iPad just doesn’t have the hardware features for serious productivity work. When that’s the case, you need a case that turns your tablet into a notebook.
The NoteBook Case for iPad does this with Apple style. It essentially transforms your tablet into a device that looks like a MacBook Pro, complete with a brushed aluminum finish and black chiclet keyboard. It also adds a USB and mini-USB port, as well as a lithium-polymer battery for extra juice to your touchscreen tablet.
The keyboard, which doesn’t appear to feature the backlighting that an actual MacBook Pro does, connects to the iPad via Bluetooth.
We rarely come across iDevice cases that mimic Apple’s design aesthetic so closely. We’ve seen a MacBook Air-like keyboard case that your iPad slots into at an angle. And the ClamCase is another option that gives your iPad the notebook treatment, providing your Apple tablet with a more ultrabook-like look via an entirely black, matte frame and soft-touch surfaces.
So, could the manufacturer of the NoteBook Case for iPad be hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Apple legal, since the case is such a copy-cat of Apple style? No, it looks like it should be in the clear since the manufacturer wisely didn’t include Apple’s logo on the case, instead leaving a hole for the iPad’s own logo to peep through.
And there are plenty of actual notebooks — ultrabooks like the Acer Aspire S3 — that mimic the look and feel of products, such as the MacBook Air. They haven’t been the target of legal action yet. Apple has gone after Samsung for infringing on design patents for the iPhone and iPad, but aesthetic appropriation is a different matter entirely.
The NoteBook Case for iPad is only available in Japan right now, for about $75 (5,980 yen). It’s designed for the iPad 2, but we’ve found most iPad 2 cases tend to still fit the third-generation iPad since its 0.6 mm thicker frame is only negligibly larger.
With brushed aluminum and a black chiclet keyboard, this case makes your iPad look like a MacBook Pro. Images: Rakuten