I was very interested in the Brydge keyboard for the iPad, but that release was about a year after the kickstarter program, and by the time it was released, Ive sold my iPad 3 and got the mini. Ive always been fascinated by the macbook design, and was hoping Apple would eventually do somekind of hybrid tablet/laptop thing. Anyway! I stumbled upon a case that resembled the macbook keyboard, is built for the ipad mini, and is cheap!
The case is called "M9 Aluminum Alloy Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard with case for iPad Mini Silver". This is a wireless bluetooth keyboard that can hold the ipad mini, BUT pretty much work on any device with bluetooth compatibility support. The title claims this is aluminum, but I cant honestly tell if it is or not. I truly believe it is plastic. To me this is no issue at at, its the reason the case has a very reasonable price tag and is much lighter than a metal case would be.
The clamps allow the ipad up to 120 degrees tilt for viewing angles. The clamps contain magnets to attach the ipad, which holds the iPad quite well. I can actually pick the ipad up and shake it, and the keyboard stays attached (in the orientation it is meant for). If I hold up the ipad, or the keyboard, sideways the ipad stays in place, but if I shake it, it falls out. Though there shouldnt be any reason for you to hold the keyboard this way, I dont think its a problem at all; its just to show you the exact strength of the magnets. The case also contains the smart-case-like auto-lock and unlock feature.
The keyboard has a mini USB port to charge the battery (and comes with its own mini USB - USB cable). I havent really tested out the battery life of the keyboard yet. Ive charged it once in the past few weeks, but havent used it too much. A battery level indicator to show the exact charge of the keyboard wouldve been nice, but this is a review of what it is and not what it could be. There is an indicator light to show when the keyboard is charging, but as far as I know thats all its for. It could flash or something if the battery is running low, but this is pure speculation. There is also a bluetooth indicator light, which basically flashes when you turn keyboard on.
As for physical buttons, there is an ON/OFF switch. My only issue with this is that it isnt labeled, so I cant tell by looking at it whether it is on or off. There is another button next to that which puts the keyboard into the "search" mode for the bluetooth.
Next is the keyboard itself. The first thing that I asked before getting this was "how did they fit all those keys there and how big are they." Ive found that they've eliminated keys such as ` [ ] \ and put them as function alternatives for other keys such as q t y u i o p (which can be seen in blue in the keyboard images). If youve ever used a netbook or laptop whose keys have slightly different spacing than those standard, physical keyboards that we're all used to, then you know that it takes a bit of getting used to for typing, but over time you'll get used to it and it becomes pretty natural. My big issue with this is the placement of the / ? keys, as I use them often and Im still used to them being right next to the shift key (they were placed next to the spacebar and arrow keys). Despite all this, the big PLUS is that it has built in ipad function keys, such as the home button, and functions operations such as brightness control, volume control, music control, lock, search (spotlight), lockscreen photo slideshow, and the onscreen keyboard.
Overall, I do like the keyboard because of the function keys (which are pretty standard on keyboards now anyway), the price, and especially the macbook-like look. My cons for the case are just the the location of the question mark key and the fact that the on/off switch is unlabeled. Its very easy for typing on, after getting used to the key placements of course. You can get one yourself for a little more than $30 right here:
M9 Aluminum Alloy Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard with Case for iPad Mini Silver - Tmart.com
NOTE: I feel like I should mention this, when I first got the keyboard, the number buttons would get "stuck" (so to speak). The physical keys werent stuck but the number would just keep typing. Ex. I press 9 once, and 999999999999999999999999 appears on the screen. But I turned the case off, did a long press and hold of each key to kind of "break it in" and I havent seen the problem since.