Razer, the company known for its super-sleek laptops and gaming accessories, is going in a different direction with its latest offering, instead catering to the mobile crowd with a new mechanical keyboard case for the iPad Pro.
For what it's worth, Razer making a keyboard accessory can hardly be considered new. The firm has plenty of experience with creating keyboards such as the Deathstalker and BlackWidow lines, but the introduction of a keyboard accessory designed with an iPad in mind is truly new territory.
So, what's the deal with Razer's Mechanical Keyboard Case? To start, it employs a new switch called the "Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical Switch" that has true actuation and a reset. The keys themselves require 70 grams of force, so this goes beyond being like a keyboard adapted for use on a mobile device — it was built from the ground-up and is almost like a real keyboard.
"We're commonly thought of as a company that makes phenomenal products for gamers, but to design the very best products, we've had to innovate from the ground up — even from each individual component such as mechanical switches," Razer chief executive Min-Liang Tan said in a statement. "We're excited about the potential of our Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical Switch and look forward to exploring other applications in addition to the mechanical keyboard we've designed for the iPad Pro."
The keyboard also has backlighting (as is to be expected from Razer keyboards) and features its own battery, which will last 10 hours with backlighting at maximum brightness or 600 hours without, to power it. Oddly enough, the device connects through Bluetooth instead of the Smart Connector, which leaves it in an interesting position. Being Bluetooth-enabled, the keyboard is compatible with other devices, but the downside is that it requires its own battery and charging to function, as well as faces possible interference if used in an area where other devices on the 2.4 GHz spectrum are in use.
Aside from that, the complete package is much of what you would expect from Razer. The keyboard case features a metal kickstand that folds out from behind and offers an alternative to the folding one-position version that comes standard on Apple's proprietary accessory. Since the kickstand is hinged rather than fixed, Razer's case offers more adjustability for positioning the tablet as you type.
In addition, the keyboard comes with a detachable polycarbonate case (it is a case, after all) which can be put over the back of the iPad for protection, if needed.
Razer's Mechanical Keyboard Case is already available to order on its website, but before you go rushing off to get your hands on one, there is still one thing that needs to be addressed: its price. As it bridges the gap between a regular desktop keyboard and a mobile keyboard, as well as possessing Razer's premium, the accessory comes in at a whopping $169.
Yes, the case offers a great non-touchscreen typing experience on a tablet, but at a $169 price point, it costs as much as a tournament-level gaming keyboard.