It reflects poorly on a man who treats his toys with disrespect. Case in point: you spend however much you spend on a svelte, powerful Google Nexus 7, and then deposit it into a dumpy leatherette keyboard case that looks a lot like your grandmother’s clutch. You might as well accessorize with opera gloves.
Apart from being a very useful gadget, my N7 – and, by extension, its smaller N4 sibling – are sources of enormous pride for this open-systems fetishist. I will reduce neither to man purse status.
So you might imagine my near-giddy delight when I accidentally happened upon the altogether lovely MiniSuit Google Nexus 7 Bluetooth Keyboard Case and Stand. I was in search of a different object of First World lust – it might have been replacements for The Underground Woman’s apoplectic wireless keyboard and mouse; I don’t recall – when Amazon.com very cunningly dazzled me with a thumbnail of what would soon become my new MiniSuit.
I immediately forgot about The Underground Woman’s fit-pitching keyboard and lunged at the Add to Cart button as if it were a cockroach scurrying across my screen. Sadly, the device is fulfilled by Amazon, who, apparently, can deliver all sorts of goodies to my door but not this particular item.
(I was an Amazon merchant for many years – one of the first, actually – and that “Fulfilled by Amazon” notice never fails to irritate. Amazon now has thousands of third-party merchants, many of whom sell the same products at virtually the same prices. So Amazon weights its search results in favour of sellers who opt in to the company’s fulfillment scheme; after its cut of the sale and sundry packing/shipping/service charges, you’re left with precisely nothing. Conversely, if you don’t opt in, you and your business might as well not exist. It’s kind of evil.)
I checked Amazon.ca – no luck, and hardly any surprise. But MiniSuit, I promptly discovered, ships directly from its headquarters to Canada by US Postal Service (with tracking) for a paltry US $5.95. Enter coupon code PSTHLDTWT12 (working as of this date), and you get a tidy 15% discount, for a total price of $27.12 for one unit. Delivery is from the New York City borough of Queens and takes three business days to Ontario. Impressive.
The keyboard case itself is a very tasty bit of design. It snaps onto the N7’s aluminum surround with a satisfying click, yet isn’t difficult to remove. I especially enjoy the back of the MiniSuit, which is made of the same black rubberized grippy stuff as the posterior of the Nexus 7. Fitted together, the keyboard case and N7 look like one of those fashionably sleek clamshell travel alarm clocks that were widely available in the 1960s. Call me a Baby Boomer, but I used to love those things. My dad had one. It was very cool.
The keyboard case doesn’t come with a charger, but uses the same micro-USB cable as your N7/N4. The MiniSuit charges in 4-5 hours and offers 55 hours of uninterrupted working time. Bluetooth connection is flawless. It takes a bit of concentration to master the smaller keyboard, but the keys yield firmly and N7 response is immediate.
Apart from the backing, the case is plastic-y with that curious faux aluminum finish that looks more faux than aluminum. Be that as it may, the overall visual and tactile effect is not cheap.
Best, the MiniSuit really shows off my N7’s curves, making it a bargain for the tablet power user, and, finally, a satisfying buy for the electronics esthete.