With the iPad image still in the process of transforming itself into the latest high-tech icon recognizable anywhere on the planet, its latest look may include one that is a bit different but could make it look—and work—better.
Industry observer Tecca Tuesday reported that Japanese accessory maker Rakuten has come up with an iPad keyboard case that would make the iPad tablet perform with the efficiency of a laptop, the tablet’s older, more versatile mobile computing brother.
The Rakuten iPad keyboard case primarily provides a secure nest for the iPad, but there is more. It has a netbook-sized keyboard that looks exactly like that of another Apple product, the MacBook Pro notebook. The Rakuten keyboard communicates with the iPad via Bluetooth and charge within five hours, providing the iPad-case combination with 60 days of standby time or 55 hours of continuous use.
Tecca reports that the keyboard case is actually made of plastic and retails for $75, but only in Japan for now. Rakuten has outlets in the US but the new accessory for the iPad is not yet available in North America.
The keyboard case, which includes USB and miniUSB ports for charging, was originally for the Apple iPad 2 and not operational for the older iPad 1.
The Rakuten description of the device, which appeared at on its website this week, failed to mention the keyboard case’s compatibility with the iPad’s latest model, the new iPad, which is a bit thicker that version 2.
Its availability at Rakuten’s US stores will answer this question.