Mar 26 2011

Sena Cases Ipad Folio with BT Keyboard Review

I love my Ipad. In fact, it occasionally gives my laptop an inferiority complex as it is just far more convenient. It is there for me when I want to read something, take a quick glance at my email, check the Googles for info on something I can’t quite remember or view a video.

For me, it really only has one fatal flaw. I just can’t hang with the onscreen keyboard. OK, for short answers, quick tapped notes or simple stuff, it is fine. But for document creation and editing?  Forget it!

So, if it is going to sub for the laptop for me on short trips that is an issue I have to address. I carried around the Apple BT keyboard for awhile but it was just not portable enough. I never quite had it when and where I needed it. Too clunky to pack in a small case, to likely to have dead batteries when I needed it.

Now, I have been a Sena Cases customer for a good, long time. I have a case for my Ipod, for a Qtek PPC and something else that I can’t quite recall. When I popped onto their site and saw that they were taking pre-orders for a BT keyboard/case combo, I was pretty sure I had hit the personal jackpot. The case is available in Black, Brown, Tan and Red.  I chose the brown, because it matched cases I already owned. The leather is high grade Napa calfskin. It oozes quality and the products are handcrafted and artisan assembled.

I love the spin on the website: Turn on your best Latin accent and read along with me.

“Leather is one of nature’s most versatile and sensual materials. It offers comfort and durability in a variety of beautiful finishes, textures and colors. When it comes to encasing your mobile device in leather, there is no better choice than Sena.”

Encased in leather…oh my! Rob Halford would love this case.

There is nothing quite like the smell of new leather when it arrives! When someone can figure out how to include that in an unboxing video they will have a million hits on Youtube.

It is a simple book style case that features a BT keyboard built into it. The Keyboard charges using the same connector as the Ipad, and the battery seems to have a good long life. I am simply not patient enough to run it into the ground since with my usage patterns that could take weeks.

I like the looks of the case because it reminds me of a classic organizer. I don’t feel like it says “steal me” like the case with the big white Apple logo does! The front flap is sealed with a snap.


The leather is beautiful and the stitching is well done. The only place it has shown any wear is at the corners of the inside of what would be the spine of the book.

The keyboard works well and sleeps intelligently so you can actually leave it on for a week at a time and tap on it when you want it to wake up. It is completely sealed so there is nowhere for foreign matter or liquid to get inside the keyboard. The big hassle with leaving the keyboard on all the time is when you fold the keyboard behind to use it in a full tablet set up the onscreen keyboard won’t come on!

There are obviously some compromises when you shrink a keyboard down to this size.


All the modifier keys are only on the left hand side and some of the punctuation keys placement (particularly the quotes) drives me bonkers. The feel is pretty good , but I do have to spend a couple of seconds retraining myself when I use the keyboard after a lay off. For some reason it will give me a lot of doubled characters. Than I pay attention, take a breath and it begins to behave itself.

You can see the three slots for business cards above the keyboard and there is just enough room under the keyboard to stuff a small cleaning cloth. Other than that don’t plan on storing anything else in this case.

The backside of the case has a kickstand that allows you to tilt the screen back and have the case in a kind of a laptop mode for using it on a flat surface.

In general, I really like the case but I do have a few small complaints. The Ipad is held in to its slot on three sides by the leather edges of the case and on the side toward the keyboard with a single tab about 1.5 inches thick. It has a tendency to slide a bit and while I have never been in danger of the Ipad slipping out, I wish it were a bit more secure.

There is almost no way to use the keyboard in your lap. I do miss the Apple case’s ability to do that low angle when you are typing on the onscreen keyboard. This is doable with the Sena Case but not as elegant. Finally, there is the price.

Even for “real Corithian leather” and a BT keyboard with a rechargeable battery inside, $149 seems a bit on the steep side, and I probably would not have made the leap without the pre-order discount that was offered.

Having said all that…you can’t have my case. People stop me in Panera and ask me where I got it. I get accosted on a regular basis for a quick demo.

How ironic would it be if someone stole my Ipad on accident BECAUSE it was in a Sena Case? It could happen.



1781 McGaw Ave.
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: (949) 757-0408
Toll Free: (888) SENA-USA

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