Despite what Microsoft wants you to think, keyboard-packing tablet cases aren't a new idea. It's just that typically you have to settle for a cramped set of keys that are only a marginal step up from an on-screen layout. So borrowing an idea from IBM's old butterfly ThinkPad keyboards, Elecom has created a transforming iPad 3 case that doesn't leave touch typists feeling cramped.

As far as naming goes the TK-FBP048ECBK probably isn't going to stick in your head, but the clever mechanism that allows the keyboard to split in two and fold away into a footprint no bigger than the iPad 3 is worth remembering. A Bluetooth connection means the iPad's dock connector remains available for charging, and the keyboard's USB rechargeable battery should keep it running for weeks at a time. Combined with a built-in stand it looks like the ideal portable keyboard for people who use their iPads as laptop replacements. But at $210 it's a pricey alternative to just carrying a separate keyboard.

[Elecom via Damn Geeky]