Clamcase turns your iPad into a netbook

With the iPad's support for keyboards via Bluetooth, the dock, and even low-power USB, we all the "turn your iPad into a netbook" accessories coming, right? Clamcase seems to be first out of the gate, with renders of what they claim will be shipping later this year.

The concept is simple, the "case" holds your iPad like a screen and is hinged to a Bluetooth keyboard. There's no Bluetooth trackpad functionality for the iPad, however, but that means you get extra space to rest your hands between screen swipes and pinches.

Since iPhone OS 4 includes keyboard support for the iPhone and iPod touch as well, I'm guessing we'll see similar products offering to turn those into clamshells or sliders as well.

Check out the video after the break and let us know -- you want?

[Clamcase via MacRumors]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Clamcase turns your iPad into a netbook

33 Comments

Very cool video, very cool case. I like the idea but I don't know if it's for me personally. I want the iPad to replace lugging my laptop around with me so I like the more personal closeness.

This is only HALF the right idea, however. What I want to see is a MacBook/iPad hybrid. When attached to the "base", the iPad becomes the "dumb" screen for the "real" computer in the base. When you pop the screen off, it becomes an iPad.
Sort of like the old DuoDock system, but not really.

I think you'd really have to use Pages a lot to make this worth it. What else are you going to do really serious and heavy typing on? They also missed a chance to add an extended battery in here, could have pushed battery life from 11 to 20+ hours, now that would really be something.

Cool idea. Why not carve out space to slide the iPhone into a slot in the keyboard dock, for when tethering becomes a reality?

Why would you want to turn your sleek and cool iPad into a cheap looking netbook? With the added fun of gorilla arms and the extra bulk you can count me out. Nicely done teaser ad tho.

If I wanted an Netbook I would have bought one. The iPad is a more personal device in my opinion and I don't see the need for wanting to turn it into a netbook.

This is awesome, and I want one (or I will as soon as Apple gets the iPad released in Canada! Get to it already Apple!) I also need a slider style keyboard case for the iPhone. The only thing preventing my sister from switching to an iPhone from her Touch Pro2 is she wants a hardware keyboard.

I think this is a dumb idea. If you wanted a Netbook, then why did you buy an iPad and an external keyboard for twice the price? To accent your iPod, camera and GPS you carry alongside your iPhone?

My concern would be about balance. That base would have to have similar mass/weight as the iPad to support it properly, I think, which would effectively double the weight of one's iPad. That is a deal breaker, even thigh I find this very, very compelling.
For those wondering why we would want to do this, you may as well ask why anyone would want a wired or Bluetooth keyboard, a dock, a camera adapter, a VGA adapter, etc... when we could have bought a netbook. It is about versatility.
Just like Apple sells Bluetooth and wired keyboards for use with iPads, because there are specific times when one needs to have that functionality and convenience, this device could work as a solution in a familiar form factor, JUST for those times you need it. When you want slim and sexy, again, undock it.
I expect to use such a device when I plan to do a butt load of typing while in the bed - a place where propping up the iPad WHILE typing a lot on it is a challenge.

@West3man
Good answer. Not sure I would buy one, but I can see the use this if I was going on a trip where I knew I had long typing sessions ahead of me and could not/did not want my laptop.

Show me a Windows netbook that never crashes, is not sluggish, with 10+ hours battery life, instant-on and instant 3g connectivity - and maybe then the argument against this product will have some merit.

Gorgeous. Exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for. Haters: you know that you don't have to leave your iPad in there permanently, right? It looks great for slipping it in to do some lengthy typing or watching a movie, then slipping it out when you're done.

The genius of the iPad is total liberation from the mouse, the the keyboard, "could not reconnect all network drives," etc. Why re-introduce the relics that should be relegated to the dustbin of history?

@ Andrew CK
That is exactly what I would use it for, being able to remove the iPad is what makes this a cool accessory.

Not specifically directed at Jeffrey, but I hope that people who ask questions like "The genius of the iPad is total liberation from the mouse, the the keyboard, “could not reconnect all network drives,” etc. Why re-introduce the relics that should be relegated to the dustbin of history," actually listen to the answers.
People keep asking despite the fact that we have already answered this question quite well, if I do say so myself. :-)

The space in front of the keyboard looks like a great place for a second battery! Can you imagine if you could get 24 hours or more of life from your ipad with this case? Heck, then I'd think about actually getting an ipad.

This is a nice idea but what I would really like to see is a fully functional touch screen macbook pro with the same reversable flip down top that only runs iphone os. But I think iphone os has a ways to go before it gets to this point.

West3Man: Maybe the next one will have a trackpad or a plug in mouse. Someone will post a video on You Tube of an iPad running Flash (and crashing). Someone else will figure out how to get Windows 7 up and running on the iPad. The possibilities are endless.

I like it and would consider it.
I do agree an additional battery in the base would be the deal maker for lots of us, ad another 10-12 hours working time and your a world travler. also the weight of the battery would be needed to keep it from tipping over. Charging your iPad while docked and on the go would be great, then leave the base in the office / hotel to recharge while out and about. This would extend the functionaly of the iPad
VERY COOL

Let's see what they'd do for the iPod Touch - very interrested. I do a lot of data entry for work; productivety is what I'm after.

So I guess you are trying to discourage people from buying this case? A junkbook (aka netbook) is the last device on this planet that I, and many others, actually want. Thanks for saving me some money and turning a revolutionary device into junk.

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