Bluetooth keyboard and case

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by Waterbabies, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Waterbabies

    Waterbabies iPF Novice

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  2. jsh1120

    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    There are a number of these "no name" keyboard/case combos available from sources like e-Bay. Unless someone happens to purchase from the same e-Bay seller as the one you're looking at there's little chance that anyone can tell you if they purchased exactly the same brand/model. From the user reviews I've seen here and elsewhere many people are satisfied with their purchase, at least initially. On the other hand there are several points to keep in mind.

    () One usually gets what one pays for.

    () Keyboards are mechanical devices. It's no trick to make a cheap keyboard that lasts for a little while and fails in one way or another under extended use. Remember that the failure of a single key usually makes a keyboard useless. And if it does fail, to whom do you return it?

    () The combo iPad/keyboard cases almost without exception have reduced size keyboards, a design that stems from the fact that the keyboard can be no wider than the iPad. If you're used to a full size keyboard or even the keyboard on an 11" laptop, the keyboard may well be difficult to adjust to.

    Personally, I find a good keyboard indispensable. It's for that reason that I prefer to stick with a known brand such as Logitech, Apple, or Targus. In my case, I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard combined with an Incase Origami Workstation and carry both the iPad and the keyboard in a Travel Express case from Waterfield Designs. (Need a case or bag for your laptop, tablet, mobile device, smartphone, or gadget? We've got you covered - WaterField Design - Made in USA.) There are less expensive alternatives (including one from Logitech) that I suspect are equally functional but I would not purchase a keyboard from e-Bay from a vendor I don't know. YMMV.
     
  3. MattIM

    MattIM Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The vendor selling you this keyboard is a designated "top seller" and has achieved near perfect positive rankings and has been an ebay seller since 2004. Those are pretty good credentials. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this product from this vendor. BUT it is not my money I'm spending.

    The picture looks like a Logitech Keyboard and carrying case for the iPad2. I have a similar keyboard and case for my iPad1-->it is a Zagg/Mate. I have owned this accessory going on 12 months and it has served me very well. In fact this is what I am using to write this reply. Besides being a fantastic carrying case, it has up and side arrow keys! It has number keys! It has function keys. It is a real keyboard but smaller--to fit around the iPad.

    I waited until a local store had one available to test it out. I recommend the same to you...this is a very personal device. I'm a touch typist, so I had to be compatible with the keyboard. The previous poster offered alternatives, but the design of being a keyboard and a carrying case was my requirement and it has worked very well.
     
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  4. jsh1120

    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    The previous poster presents an alternate view and it's quite reasonable imo. I would point out, however, that "seller ratings" on e-Bay generally represent a buyer's experience with a purchase and an initial impression of a product rather than long-term experience with a particular product or experience with repair/replacement. Further, I wouldn't count on the keyboard matching the quality of the Logitech Keyboard Carrying Case cited by the previous poster despite their superficial similarity, nor that of the Zagg/Mate that many users have found to be very satisfactory. (Though to be fair, there have been complaints about the quality of the that product, as well. Not surprising considering the volume of sales for the Zagg/Mate.)

    The previous poster did make one point I'd heartily endorse. A keyboard "is a very personal device." If you're an occasional typist, you have small hands, you don't use a full size keyboard on a regular basis, and you want to carry the keyboard with you at all times, you may have a very different set of requirements from someone who doesn't share those same attributes. Like the previous poster, I'm a long-time touch typist, probably type about 40 pages of text a day, and I'm admittedly VERY picky about a good keyboard. I hate on screen keyboards and the mushy keyboards on most laptops drive me nuts. In short, I'm a tough to satisfy keyboard snob who swoons over features like scissor action keys.

    So, bottom line. Evaluate your own requirements and set your own priorities.
     
  5. superhoops

    superhoops iPad Fan

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    Hi
    I have one of those keyboard cases. Have to be honest and say I don't use it and it was a waste of money.
    Problems - Its very light and if you put the ipad in portrait position it can topple over backwards. Also I find it very hard to type on as I very regularly catch the edge of the key next to the one that I want. Another problem, for me anyway, is that its a pain to clip the ipad into it when you want to move around with it. Your ipad does fit snugly onto the keyboard but its fiddly to remove it again- not impossible but fiddly. When you have your ipad "slotted" onto the keyboard ready to type it just sits there loosely and if you try to move even just across the room with it like that your heart stops as it starts to slide out the groove.
    Just my opinion, others may feel differently about this product. I intend soon to buy an all in one keyboard case instead in the near future.
    Any others questions please ask
     
  6. Waterbabies

    Waterbabies iPF Novice

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    Thanks for that.
    What I would really like to know is whether it disables the virtual keypad automatically when they connect?
     
  7. MattIM

    MattIM Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it does disable the virtual keyboard.
     
  8. madhatter61

    madhatter61 iPad Enthusiast

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    I use this exact combo with the Apple keyboard. With the Origami support, it works equal as well in portrait as in Landscape. Not so with the Zagg or Logitech cases. It has the nicest touch of any keyboard I have ever used. I can also use it on Mac Mini, which is also very nice.

    As for the virtual keyboard, it has its place. I can hold the iPad2 in my left hand, and type good enough with the right. I know where are the keys are and it works while lounging, and sitting where my laptop would be clumsy. If you tried out the virtual keyboard, and got somewhat used to it, you might find it to be rather nice at times.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  9. madhatter61

    madhatter61 iPad Enthusiast

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    No it is not an auto switch over, as far as I know. I have to go to control panel and activate or disable bluetooth. If bluetooth is not active, then the virtual keyboard is always active.
     
  10. jsh1120

    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    I, too, use the virtual keyboard for short data entry tasks but seldom for more than a few sentences. And I appreciate the Origami Workstation/AWK combo that enables me to leave the keyboard on my desk when I take the iPad to the couch, functionality that's lacking when the iPad case and keyboard are combined.
     
  11. MattIM

    MattIM Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are describing the equipment you use madhatter61, then your experience is different from mine-->the Logitech/Zaggmate keyboards does disable the virtual keyboard...without going into settings. This keyboard automatically hibernates after 5 minutes of no use. You have to touch a key to wake it up. Once re-awakened the virtual keyboard is disabled.
     
  12. jsh1120

    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Matt clarifies a frequent source of confusion in this post. Most bluetooth keyboards go to sleep if not used for some period of time in order to save the battery. Thus, they must be awakened in order to be recognized and once recognized to take over from the virtual keyboard. Depending on the app and the "sleep mode" setting of the keyboard, the virtual keyboard may appear and then disappear or have to be "taken down" before the bluetooth keyboard can be used. If the bluetooth keyboard is "awake," however, it will usually take the place of the virtual keyboard. That assumes, of course, that bluetooth connectivity is enabled in the iPad settings.

    BTW, it's often worthwhile to turn off bluetooth on the iPad when transporting it in a bag with a bluetooth keyboard. If you fail to do that, you may find the iPad begins serenading you with music as a result of accidentally pressing a key on the keyboard. It took me a week to figure out why my iPad decided to play music while in my bag.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011

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