Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

iPad combined bluetooth keyboard and case

Posted: November 19, 2010 by jacquiak in Accessories

When we first purchased our iPads back in May, we invested in the Apple cover/protector for $48 AUD to ensure that the devices were protected and because the case itself allowed you to use the iPad on an angle to allow for easy typing and input. The cases are good, but not great and do attract the dirty easily.

So, last week when Thinkgeek.com advertised a combined blue tooth keyboard and case for$60 USD Judy and I thought we’d splash out and give them a go. Judy mainly because she thought she would use her iPad more with a keyboard attached and me because I am a touch typist and even though the on-screen iPad keyboard is very usable, it doesn’t quite have the same feel as a standard keyboard. So this device seemed like a good option.

(Having said that, my partner Dave did point out that if he’d wanted a keyboard for the iPad, he would have bought a Macbook instead and he may have a point there… but let’s ignore this comment for now  :))

We placed the order and it arrived in under a week. Although the cases themselves did smell like leather glue for awhile, after a few days the smell dissipated and it’s barely noticeable now.

The case comes with a USB connector (to charge the keyboard) and it claims that once charged, the keyboard will run for 90 hours.

To connect the keyboard to your iPad you simply slip the iPad into the case, and once the keyboard is charged, ensure that it is turned ON and click on the Bluetooth Connect icon on the keypad. The bluetooth blue light should come on.

You then simply go to your iPad Settings > General > and turn Bluetooth On. Your iPad should be able to discover your bluetooth keyboard and you simply select the bluetooth keyboard on your iPad. At that point, you’ll be prompted to enter a unique code on your keyboard and once you hit Enter, the device will be paired.

NOTE: Once you have paired the keyboard with your iPad, if you turn off the bluetooth, the connection pairing will be lost and you will need to go into the iPad Settings to pair it again.  At first I found this highly annoying, as I tended to turn off the keyboard whenever I put the iPad away – but since realising this, I have simply left it on continuously.  I may as well find out whether the claims that the keyboard will last 90 hours is actually true!

Ease of Use

I’m currently using the keyboard to draft this review in Pages and I have to admit I really like it.  I expected the keyboard to be one single piece of moulded silicon however the keys are separate, individual pieces of rubber which provide noticeable tactile  feedback.  I do find that when using the iPad with the keyboard,  I keep reaching for a mouse as if I’m using a netbook and then have to remind myself that I have a touch screen device.  It’s also a little odd to be using a word processing app, as whenever I accidentally misspell a word, the suggested word appears in my app – and I still have to touch the screen to select the autocorrect.  So switching between the keyboard and using the touch screen takes a bit of getting used too.

The keyboard also comes with inbuilt function keys: Home, Search, Volume and iPod Controls  which all work seamlessly.

Pros

All in all, a good purchase.  Easy set up, fast delivery and a decent price compared to buying the Apple cover ($48) and Apple blue tooth keypad/dock ($89) – which only allows your iPad to be oriented vertically, whereas this case orientates your iPad in the horizontal position.

Good sized sillicon keyboard which will be useful when avoiding beverage splashes and the leather water resistant appears to be well made and looks very professional.  The case also has a magnetic strip in it to

As mentioned previously it uses a USB connectior to charge the (rechargeable) battery via a computer, so no extra batteries or power are required.

Cons

Once you turn your keyboard off you DO have to pair the devices again once you turn it on.

Plus the case itself is a little heavier and bulkier than the Apple case but it does offer more padded protection, plus you are also now carrying around a fully functional keyboard.

Overall I think buying this case will encourage me to use the iPad more, particularly to take and record notes during meetings, or to jot down ideas at home without having to boot up the desktop computer or laptop.