The iPad is, by far, my favorite portable device. In fact, it is very close to being my favorite device of all, which is saying quite a bit since I am not a huge fan of Apple. The iPad is a very versatile device even though it is a tightly controlled device. Over the past several months, I took my son and nephew on several weekend trips to various theme parks and destinations and never took my laptop. I was able to just take my iPad and a couple of accessories like the camera connection kit. One of the things I did miss, however, was a keyboard. Oh, I had the keyboard dock, but it didn’t lend itself to travelling. It is fairly heavy and a bit cumbersome. Works great on a desk, not so much for travelling.
Recently, however, I was shopping at a Brookstone store and found a nice iPad case that happens to include a nice Bluetooth keyboard. Finally, my desire for an actual keyboard that was easy to carry was fulfilled.
The case is a tri-fold case with a near full sized keyboard. Of course, to keep it simple and easy, the keys are rubber, but don’t feel all that bad. Now, I would not want to write the next best seller on this, but for email, browsing and note taking, it is perfect.
The case comes in a box about an inch or so thick. It comes with a manual and USB cable to charge the keyboard’s battery.
The case itself looks like you paid a premium (and you do) for it and has a nice leather like feel. The flap has magnets to keep it fastened and does not look cheap.
There are several ways you can adjust the iPad for viewing, which can be a bit cumbersome. I was using the official Apple case, which folds in such a way that it takes little room and you can hold it comfortably. This is, sadly, not so with the Brookstone case. I find a little awkward to hold and if you do not want to use or see the keyboard, you can fold the iPad over the keyboard, but then you add quite a bit to the thickness. You will have to fiddle around to figure out what works best. However, this is a minor thing and does not detract from the overall usefulness of the case.
Pairing the keyboard to the iPad is simple and took just a minute and is just like pairing a Bluetooth headset.
According to the manual, it takes four hours to charge the keyboard and it should last for ninety hours. The keyboard will go to sleep after about fifteen minutes. Tap a key to wake it up.
I found touch typing relatively easy once I got used to the tactile feel of the keys. I wish they were full travel keys, but, for what they are, it is more than adequate.
The keyboard is available at the Brookstone store or through the catalog or web site. It costs ninety-nine dollars.
There are other solutions out there, but this is best I’ve seen with the keyboard as part of the case.