Logitech has solved that issue with a new folio-style case that holds an iPad 2 or third-generation model on one side with a Bluetooth keyboard built into the other. Although the case is thin and lightweight, the keyboard has is solid and responsive with one additional attraction - it comes with its own solar power source.
The solar cells embedded into the cover of the Solar Keyboard Folio won't power the iPad, but they will deliver a steady flow of current to the keyboard. There's no need to turn off the keyboard and no batteries to replace. Logitech says a fully-charged Folio will run for two years, with two hours of typing per day, even in the dark.
The folio cover unfolds into two positions. The upright position emulates a notebook computer so thoroughly that when my wife saw it, she accused me of buying a new computer. The arrow keys control the sound volume and the Ctrl key launches a slide show from your photo collection.
So far, the case has been a welcome replacement to my previous iPad folio. I appreciate having a real keyboard always available for emails, notes or more extensive typing. The only thing that worries me is the outer edge of the case. The think rubbery edge looks like it could quickly get beat up from normal daily use. The folio's $129 price tag might also make potential buyers think twice.
If your wallet can stand it, you can find the Solar Keyboard Folio at amazon.com, Mac Connection, and other online sources.