iPad What's the deal with Clamcase?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Starter, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Starter, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015

    Starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #1
    Durable, near-Apple OEM quality, perfectly thought-out iPad-into-laptop solution, worth the hefty asking price? Or not?

    Been looking into them, and so far I'm not impressed enough to part with that kind of dough... Some things that bug me...

    1. Apparently a tiny headphone cutout, that only fits the (terrible) Apple earbuds... And despite that being the number one complaint for all previous models, they do it again with the latest model, and then kind of unapologetically put up a FAQ about it? Why not just fix the issue?

    2. No backlit keys. Really? At $170? Okay. If everything else is perfect, I can live with this, honestly. But still...

    3. Apparently some connectivity issues? Over on Amazon the Pro model for the first-gen Air has 25 5-star, and 25 1-star reviews, kind of dead even. Many of the 1-star reviews mention connectivity issues.

    4. Who's at the wheel over at corporate? I've sent two email inquiries, no response. Called their number four times, nobody picks up. Who isn't in the office at 2 in the afternoon on a Wednesday? How does that bode for any support issues that might crop up?

    So what's the deal? Have I just had a string of bad luck in terms of what I've read and the whole failed communication thing? Or do they kind of suck for the money? I'd like to like them... I really want a great Apple OEM quality keyboard case solution, and have no problem paying $170 (actually $150 with discount) if that's what I'd be getting...
     
  2. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #2
    I think #4 contains all the information needed to make a decision. Ignore this company and move on.
     
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #3
    They outsource customer support. Did you use their form?
     
  4. jryu90 macrumors member

    jryu90

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, D.C. Metro Area
    #4
    I actually ordered one for the iPad Air 2 back in December. I received a $25 discount and ended up having to pay only $144 and some change, which definitely made it more palatable, considering I paid almost $140 for the ZAGG Slim Book which turned out to be a nightmare in terms of hardware quality and feedback. It arrived in the second week of January and I've been using it daily since as my laptop replacement.

    1. They actually closed up the headphone jack port to the point that NO headphones fit. The product ships with an adapter that's essentially a jack extender on end to fit the thin and recessed port. It was a minor annoyance initially, but in the end, it became irrelevant since I primarily use a pair of Bluetooth headphones, or stream music to Bluetooth speakers.

    2. I agree that, for the price, they probably should have added backlit keys, but I never particularly found myself agonizing over their absence. I rarely type in the dark and even in dimly lit rooms, the iPad's screen is usually a good enough light source to see the keys. The keyboard itself is spacious and the typing feedback is amazing, so I never found the need to have to hunt and peck.

    3. I haven't experienced any connectivity issues so far, other than the keyboards automatic-off function. After a certain period of inactivity, the keyboard puts itself to sleep in order to conserve battery life (the same feature exists for a number of iPad keyboards such as Logitech and ZAGG). Waking up the keyboard requires a key press or two, but once it's back up, typing is fluid and accurate.

    4. Which number did you call? I actually called them several times and every time I called, I had someone pick up the line. Customer support over the phone was very thorough and encouraging on my end. I haven't tried email them though.

    If you think Clamcase is expensive, then you should check out Brydge. They're priced at the same $169, but offer less in terms of protection, and a step below in terms of quality control. I ordered a Space Gray Brydge Air for my iPad Air 2, and found the aluminum to be coarse and fit and finish subpar for the price. There was even a gap in the aluminum frame. Sure it had backlit keyboards, but the rest of the keyboard was a bit of a let down.
     
  5. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #5
    Yeah, the keys are white, and so they stand out very well coompared to the keyboards that use light gray labels. I don't know what they're made out of, but even after six months mine still looked brand new. The aluminum is the more fragile part because if you knock it around, it'll seperate. That and the hinge are the two main things you need to be careful with on these.

    I'm surprised they allowed me a free replacement even though I took mine apart to try and realign the aluminum. :eek: Saying that, it's actually very easy to open and get into. You could totally mod a different topcase into this thing and replace the hinge. It's just a little bit of glue, torx screws, and clips. That was a smart move. I'm really surprised they don't sell refurbished for that reason.

    iOS 8 has issues with bluetooth in general. I wouldn't say it was the CC because mfi controllers are also suffering from problems.
     
  6. Starter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the replies...

    Was able to get in touch with someone over there...

    @Jessica and jryu90: Are you guys completely happy with the overall fit and finish? Comparing it to other aluminum keyboard cases, like the ZAGG Slim Book, Belkin Quode, and Logitech Ultrathin, do you feel it's worth the large price difference? Is it solid and substantial like how a macbook feels?

    Also, how about the cutout for the lightning port? Can you charge or otherwise connect lightning cables to the iPad while it's in the Clamcase?
     
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #7
    Why wouldn't the lightning cable work? :confused: Yeah, I have an outlet on the floor next to the couch, so I have my iPad charging while I'm typing this with it on my lap...

    The only bit of aluminum is the bit covering the outside of the keys. I'm not sure how the other guys do it, but this is just a really, really thin sheet that they've glued down on another piece that overlays ontop of the keyboard and other bits, with an additional bottom piece clipped on. I don't understand the differences in finishes to really give you a good answer, but it gets as dirty as a MacBook would and it has handled the many times I've wiped it down fine.

    To be honest, the case isn't very exciting for the most part. You get it out of the box and it's actually pretty disappointing until you stick it on and try it out. I haven't tried the other ones so I can't compare them. But yes, I am happy enough that if I had to get another iPad and keyboard, I'd get another one of these. At this point, I'd be afraid that the others might have lesser quality keys, because at the end of the day that's what really matters to me.
     
  8. Starter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #8
    @jessica,

    Well, selling a case with a headphone port too small for any headphone on the market, including Apple's, is a little eccentric, ha ha... I figured it best to double check on the charging port before moving forward... Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #9
    Been using this for quite a while now. Better than Clamcase, all aluminum, backlit keyboard with ipad specific function keys, fits the ipad air 2 perfectly, has smart case functionality (auto sleep and auto BT connect when you open it), the hinge is similar to the MBP in that you can set it to any angle and leave it, and to top it off, I charged it 2 months ago and it is still on the same charge.

    All for $63 from Amazon. Clamcase and Zagg are overpriced.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PQBDQPO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  10. Starter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #10
    Looks intriguing, thanks for the link! Beyond the all-metal construction and price, what about it made you like it over your Clamcase? Which Clamcase model did you have?
     

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