iPad Keyboarding With A Twist

I’ve searched the world over for the perfect iPad keyboard. Turns out that it’s like most things in life. It was in front of me all the time.

Since my first iPad (April, 2010), I have been searching for a external keyboard solution that provided both a great typing experience and a simple and elegant usage model.

ZAGGmate Case + Keyboard for iPad

For the original iPad, I settled on the ZAGGmate Keyboard/Case combo. It worked well, but I never considered it a case. The inset keyboard seemed to be somewhat confining when typing. I don’t know how much the “confined” feeling was actual or perceived due to the shape of the enclosure.

When I purchased the iPad 2, my first keyboard was the iPad 2 version of the ZAGGmate (actually manufactured by Logitech). It still had a “confined” feel to it, but it served me well.

Staying with the ZAGG family of keyboards, I moved to the ZAGGKeys Solo

ZAGGKeys SOLO

keyboard. This keyboard lacked the confining enclosure. The keyboard provided a flat typing surface with chiclet key spacing.  A good keyboard, but like all the other ZAGG models, there was no slant to the typing surface.

All these keyboards have moved on and found homes with other iPad users.

Logitech Wireless Keyboard for iPad

My next keyboard candidate was the Logitech Wireless Keyboard for iPad. This keyboard, unlike the others, provided a typing slant. The keyboard had a nice feel to it. No complaints for the keyboard. The one complaint I had was the companion case. The case  was somewhat cumbersome to deploy. The case provides a  flip-out, plastic  connector that snaps in place. The snapping into place activity and the unsnapping to close operations were not enjoyable. I always had a fear of breaking the plastic clasp.

Now we come to the latest, and best, keyboard I have used with my iPad; the Apple Wireless Keyboard. I recently “retired” my Apple Wireless Keyboard for use with my desktop for the full-sized Logitech Solar Keyboard K750. This left

Incase Origami Workstation

my Apple keyboard on the sidelines. While strolling through a local Apple Store, I noticed the Incase Origami Workstation keyboard case. The case is designed to work explicitly with the Apple Wireless Keyboard. The case provides two velcro straps. Using the straps and the “origami” folding action of the case, the Apple keyboard can be quickly and EASILY deployed or placed back in the stowed position.

Now my favorite keyboard and favorite device are paired. It just took that Origami “twist” to bring them together.

 

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Apple vs Logitech…Keys to Victory

Best Buy

As I often do, I made a quick reconnaissance tour through the local Best Buy store this afternoon. As I turned the corner at the Apple Kiosk, I noticed a new stack of accessories; the Logitech Wireless Keyboard for Mac K750.

This full-sized keyboard sports a solar panel across the top which supplies the power to charge the onboard batteries. There is also a neat little app (SolarApp) available from the Mac App Store that can be used to track the battery level and the charge rate available from the surrounding ambient lighting. Begin a Mac keyboard, all the Mac keys are there.

 

With Father’s Day approaching, I decided to give the keyboard a try. I have been using the AppleWireless Keyboard for quite a while and it is perhaps the best keyboard I have used. Good, but not perfect. One thing the Apple keyboard lacks is a numeric keypad. One difficulty I have is typing a correct series of numbers and notation when filling out numerical amounts. I inevitably miss the correct keys and enter amount that are too small or too large.  Not a good thing when paying bills online.

I have tried a Bluetooth keypad, but the device was flakey; not always detected by the Mac. Due to this hit or miss behavior, I abandoned the keypad (Read my review).

As with all other “wireless” keyboards I have used from Logitech, the “wireless” is accomplished by means of a Logitech USB dongle that syncs to the keyboard. No Bluetooth here so be sure you have a spare USB port.

The keyboard itself is very thin, about 1/3″. The keyboard is wider (front to back) than a standard keyboard. The additional width is used to accomodate the embedded solar panel.

The keyboard also features an on-board “Check Light” button. The button is used to determine if the keyboard is receiving sufficient light to charge the device. If the SolarApp is installed, pressing the key brings up the app which displays a Lux gauge and a battery level. I was surprised to note that the ambient light in my office was more than sufficient to operate the device.

The construction appears to be solid; not quite the feel of the Apple Wireless Keyboard, but a good, solid typing experience.  One skeptical feature was a pair of flip-out legs used to provide a typing tilt. I’ve been using the keyboard all evening with absolutely no complaints and no numerical entry errors now that I have access to a full keypad.

At $59.95, the keyboard seems worth the price. If the Logitech continues to perform, the Apple Keyboard may be re-tasked for use with my iPad.

 

 

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Please Sir…Can I Have Another?

Three versions of the Apple Tablet have been release and I have purchased each 64 GB/AT&T/Wi-Fi model  on pre-order.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

When the iPad 2 arrived, the original iPad went to live with my youngest daughter. Being an Apple aficionado, like myself, I knew the old iPad would find a loving home and a useful life.

Over the past year, the iPad 2 served me well, both at home, work and play; mostly play. As the launch date for the new iPad approached, I suffered through the “buy/not buy”  struggle. Perhaps “suffer”” and “struggle” are a bit strong. I thought about it…once…briefly…I think.

The new iPad arrived in all of it’s retina display glory. The plan was to pass the iPad 2 along to my wife. She was laboring along with an old Dell laptop running ancient Windows.

That lasted until my wife and I visited said daughter in April. Soon after, the iPad 2 made it’s way to my daughter and the original iPad continued it’s useful existence in the hands of her roommate. My wife an I returned home, sans iPad 2. She moved back to the old Dell laptop, the dog ate the Backspace key off the laptop keyboard and we arrived at the service department at a local Ford dealership the Friday before Memorial Day. (One of those whirlwind re-cap scenes in the movie)

Box of a recently purchased white iPad 2.

As we waited for the crew to complete the maintenance, my wife leaned over and whispered, “I need an iPad. One that you won’t give away. And I want White, not Black.”.  We arrived home that day with a newly serviced automobile and a White iPad.

I need to begin planning for next year.

 

 

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