Well, this keyboard well-and truly removes the bad taste of the last one.
It’s a no-name keyboard with the usual mangling of English you find on things from China. If I could get in contact with them I’d be happy to offer my proofreading services to them. Hey-ho though, onto the review.
Out of the box, it looks like a metal keyboard, in the same silver as the iPad back case. However, it’s made of plastic. There are pro’s and cons. The pro is that it’s very light, 235grams in-fact. The con with this is that the keyboard has a visible bulge in it and I’m not sure how long the keyboard will last. I’m not sure I’d like to drop it, but then-again, if it’s got my $400 iPad in it, dropping it isn’t high on the list of priorities anyway!
Putting it together
The simplicity of this keyboard is in its hinged slot at the back. You just drop your iPad into the slot and it’s held in place with a not-too-stong, not-too-weak magnet. You can push the iPad out or pull it out but it won’t fall out by itself.
The hinge is, however, rather stiff. I’m marginally concerned with the pressure of the fulcrum on the part of the iPad edges that sit within it, but again, one is metal, the other plastic.
The keyboard is powered by an internal battery which is, according to the specs on the box, a Lithium polymer battery of 150mAh. It takes around 20 minutes to charge from totally dead (I tested this accidentally by leaving the keyboard on all day). Note to self: Remember to turn the keyboard off. It doesn’t have an auto-off unfortunately. Nor, it seems, a battery warning when it’s getting low. It’s charged with a micro USB cable, free in the box. That I have to carry around an additional cable is a minor irritation at this point.
The final quibble is that the iPad doesn’t auto-off when you fold everything down like a laptop would. Even the Apple Smart Covers do this and all that would be required is a small magnet in just the right place on the keyboard edge.
Trying it out
So it’s a bluetooth keyboard, so has to be paired with the iPad. It’s a simple case of selecting the keyboard in the bluetooth panel, entering the code and you’re off.
Using the keyboard
Well, I’ve typed this entire review using the keyboard, so I’d call that a positive result. Oh this is nice! The keyboard is responsive and easy to use. he keys are almost standard in their positioning (although the delete key is one row down and I keep forgetting that and getting =+- symbols when trying to backspace. The ; and / keys are next to a rather small spacebar and the arrow keys have lots of space; if these were further compressed (or even not there at all this would be a grand improvement. There’s a FN key which could mean the arrows could be placed on alphanumeric keys for example, as other symbols are.
The final thought
It’s a great little keyboard that means I’ll actually use my iPad more than I did as it’s effectively now a touchscreen mini computer (though not the ultrabook on the box). That I can pull it to pieces if I just want the iPad, or leave it whole if I want both.
Where can you get it
You can get this keyboard from the mobilezap website with a bunch of other keyboards and cases. This one retails for $79 and I think it’s worth it.
I received this keyboard free of charge for review purposes. And I’m keeping it!