Ok.. my keyboard folio from the guy 'chinesesmile' finally arrived 2 weeks ago, and now I have a little spare time so I write this small review for anyone that's considering buying it.
First thing. Sorry for my "macaroni" English... I'm spanish and there will be a lot of things wrong XD. Take it or leave it.
The case arrived in perfect conditions, though the packing was very, very simple, just a transparent sleeve of plastic with a little paper where they tell you to contact them if there has been any problem with the shipment.
Initially, it's a little thicker than I anticipated, but well, it's just the thickness of a regular neetboksmith, so no biggies. The case material is synthetic, as anyone could expect, you can't think you'll get a real leather case for that price. But all in all it looks good, textured black with a ribeted white thread all around, though I suspect everything is sticked with glue, not real sewing.
The closing stripe is magnetic and it's not very strong, but I will carry it normally in my backpack o grabbing it in my hand, so I think there's no real danger of accidental opening. Apart of this, the tablet binds (there are five of them, two at sides, two down and one up) are made of metal covered with the case synthetic material, they don't look too awful, and they fix the tablet in the case perfectly.
Inserting and extracting the tablet from the case is easy though, as the upper bind is different from the rest. It isn't hook shaped as the rest, and it allows you to pull the tablet out easily. It's more a "stopper" than a full bind, to prevent the tablet from sliding out if you turn down the case.
After two weeks of use, I've found the binds were getting loose, but affortunately, as they're made of metal, you can just retighten them by pressing them with your thumb and bending them again, so it's no biggie.
The tablet fits as a glove. It seems it's made specially for the Iconia, thought I'm sure its a standard case. On the back side of the case there is a foldable stand that allows you to have the screen almost vertical when the case is open, like a notebook.
You can also use the case folio style in portrait to take notes with a capacitive stylus (they sent me one with the case at no cost) with any of the myriad of applications for that purpose present at Google market.
As today, I haven't found any overheat or bending of the case during its use, you can even charge the tablet while it's inside the case, though I don't do it as I fear it gets too hot and run into problems. I always take the tablet out at night and leave it charging outside the case.
As I said before, the magnetic stripe is very weak and tends to flip alone. I'm gonna buy a little velcro sheet and stick it on the stripe. This way it will close perfectly. When I try this I'll tell you if it worked.
The USB keyboard in the case is totally integrated, and surprisingly, very well finished. It doesn't look like it's sticked in top of the case. Instead, it's placed between two layers or the case's material and it just protrudes one or two milimeters from the case's level.
The USB cable is very thin, so be careful not to strain it too much, as it could break. The reason is so thin must be for space purposes. A thicker cable would have made closing the case difficult.
When you unplug the USB cable from the tablet, you can make a little trick bending it in two and fitting it in one of the pencils' holes in the middle of the case... they're too thin to allow anything else.
It's a Windows keyboard, so, there are some keys that don't do anything. The layout is US, so if you need special characters for you language you'll have to figure out. I'm spanish and I need áéíóú and ñ, but I found out easily that Alt-e will let you make áéíóú and Alt-n will let you do ñ.
Someone wrote on this or other thread (or forum) that if you have your device rooted, you can modify the layout files in android to map the keys to whatever you need.
Another nifty combination of keys is holding down the Windows key and then tapping Alt... you can switch applications "windows style" ... it's very nice. The Esc key will work most of the times as "Back"...
The keyboard's feel is not the best, but you won't have problem to type anything quickly once you get used to it. When I say it's not the best, I mean it feels a little cheap, but you won't expect a mechanical cherry keyboard for that price.
As I told you before, unexpectedly, they included a free capacitive pen and it works like a charm. The only downside is that it doesn't fit in the case when you close it. So you have to carry it elsewhere (on your shirt's pocket, for example)
Overall, my reviews result are :
- Very robust.
- Good and reliable look.
- The tablet fits tight and perfectly.
- The keyboard looks very well integrated.
- You get a capacitive pen for the same price!
THE "NOT SO GOOD"
- The keyboard's quality is not the best, thought it's not bad either.
- The magnetic strip tends to open, it's very weak.
- You can't place the capacitive pen inside the case when closing it.
- The keyboard is meant for Windows, not Android.
- Maybe it's a little bulky. My backpack is small and it's difficult to fit inside.
- Nothing really bad after two weeks of use... I'll update this if something pops.
Here I post some shots of the case "In Action"