The keyboard folio case that I have anxiously been waiting for has finally arrived. The good 'ol FedEX man dropped it off today and I was excited to strap my Xoom into it. I haven't had time to play around with the thing too much yet (it's on the charger now) but I do have enough to throw together some initial impressions for those wondering what and how the unit is like.
It's a leather (I'm guessing) case that seems to be fairly high quality. I'm not a huge expert in leather crafting but I have no complaints about the quality of the product just by handling and looking at it. It uses a magnetic clasp on the outside and two button clasps for the strap which also plays double duty to perk up the Xoom for display purposes. The fit was a little tight - the case has a "safety clasp" on the left side (which is essentially just another two button clasps) to snap down the Xoom. You insert it from the left, push it all the way to the right and then fight with the safety clasp to get it locked down. Unfortunately I have some bulges (in the photos) on the left and right side. I'm hoping it goes away with time, but it's such a minor annoyance right now, we'll see if it stays that way. I'm not sure if this is an issue with all the cases or just mine, I haven't heard from anyone else that has received theirs yet.
The keyboard case comes with its own micro USB charger. It has an on/off switch and a sync button, so it is its own power source and does not supply additional power to the Xoom unit itself. There's no sort of connections between the Xoom and the keyboard - hence being Bluetooth - so install is really just shoving the Xoom into the top case area and fighting with the two button clasp.
The keyboard itself is obviously cramped and takes a bit getting used to. I was already hitting the home key instead of the ' or backspace key several times. There are a ton of Android specific function keys, which is nice, though I'm a little perplexed as to why there's a Messaging key when there's no Messaging app on the Xoom. Yes, pushing it does absolutely nothing. I'm hoping there is a way to remap the keys to something more convenient.
My only major complaint as of right now is that there is only one viewing angle with this case. It's not a huge deal, but it would've been nice to have a couple more. It does certainly add some bulk to the entire thing, which almost defeats the purpose of a tablet for some. Weight however is not a major issue as the case and keyboard itself is pretty negligible. I don't have access to a scale but I can say it's not a deal breaker. The overall thickness though is thicker than my Lenovo X200, which I guess at the end of the day is a bit ironic. But hey, I bought a tablet for the convenience of a touchscreen and Android OS and I personally love the idea of pairing it up with a physical keyboard. Is it a laptop replacement? Surely not. But there's usages for each and now the Xoom just has more possibilities of being my email replying device or even my blogging device, further limiting what I'll actually use my laptop for. Wait, what do I use my laptop for now?
Yes this entire post was written on the Xoom. Hurrah!
Yep, I'm one of those people that turned my tablet into a laptop.