Time to use my iPad keyboard?
I got the goods when I got my iPad. in addition to the killer machine with the most memory and best connectivity, I also got the apple case, the doc keyboard and the terribly named "camera connection kit", a name that's a little like calling a fork a "steak spearing machine", grossly understated and overstated all at the same time.
I've used the case pretty much constantly. In fact my iPad is rarely naked. I am now apt enough at typing on the virtual keyboard that having my machine landscape in my lap and propped up with the cool case flippy thing is my preferred method of composing. (By the way, don't put this on a table covered with maple syrup, because when you flip it closed, the syrup will be on the iPad screen... just sayin')
I've used the USB plug several times with my camera (to pull off pictures) and with other devices (just to see if they work). It's pretty much a must have.
What I haven't used much at all (until right at this moment) is the keyboard. I've been carrying it around in my backpack and once in a while I'll think about it, but in the end it's more convenient to leave the iPad in the case (you cannot use case and keyboard simultaneously... I'll explain in a sec) and type on the virtual keyboard.
Here's what is not terrific about the keyboard.
#1 - It's portrait only. I prefer the wide expanse of landscape, so this is against my preference. But the plug is where it is (like an iPod) so there's nothing to be done about it.
#2 - It doesn't work with the case. The case is super uber mega thin. But there is simply no room for it between the iPad and the keyboard "cradle". If there was, then putting it in the cradle without the case would make it flop around like fresh fish. Which brings me to #3.
#3 - The iPad is not sturdy in the keyboard. Flat surface, yes, definitely. As secure as you would want it to be. However, as I mentioned earlier, if you carry it around like this it is likely to fall (mine did on my toe) and it is not comfortable or practical to hold in your lap.
What is terrific about the keyboard.
#1 - It feels so good. The chiclets are so sweet I just want to lick one of them and see if it's mint vanilla. It's like my typing gets a turbo charge the moment I touch these keys.
#2 - It has some bitchin' specialty keys. A quick exit to apps, jump to the search screen, brightness control, jump to slideshow and all the other standard Apple keys. There is also a mystery key. Yes sir, right in the middle of the top row is a blank key that does, ready for this, absolutely nothing. Genius!
#3 - When on a tabletop or desk, it makes for a terrific display dock for pics or whatever, and you can charge it simultaneously and plug in external headphones or speakers if you like. If you are going to get the dock anyway, you might as well get the one with the keyboard.
In the end, the keyboard is what turns the iPad into more of a standard operating desktop computer. It becomes a machine in need of a place to sit, one where composing it bullet fast.
And as I write this on my iPad, with my keyboard dock, I realize that the portrait view is just as functional as landscape, and that this is just another example of how versatile this machine can be.
Still loving' the iPad.
Posted by Casey Freeland at 13:47