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January 10, 2011

Review: Wireless Keyboard for iPad

For Christmas, I asked Santa for the iPad Keyboard Dock. I was finding the iPad internal keyboard is a bit awkward for extended typing. It was fine for brief emails or tweets, but not for writing blog posts or lengthy emails.

Seting up my new keyboard was super easy. It combines a dock for charging your iPad with a full-size keyboard, which includes special keys that activate iPad features. I just wanted to type with it so didn't play with the other features. After two weeks I realized it isn't what I want.

I can't hold my iPad on my lap when it is in the dock, as it is too awkward and the iPad is at the wrong angle for me to see the screen. Putting it on my coffee table worked well except I had to lean forward and down to type which proved very uncomfortable after a short time.

As well, I found it extremely tedious to remove my iPad cover every time I wanted to use the keyboard! The iPad only fits in the dock when it's "naked". So I had to take the cover off, put the cover back on, take it off, put it on.. you get the picture.

Sure I could put it at the dining room table but if I'm going to do that, i might as well use my main computer at my desk! I want to sit on the couch and work from there.

Also I soon realized that the keyboard was not very portable with it's big extension dock on the back. And I need to take it to Salt Lake City when I am at RootsTech, since I'm one of the officlal RootsTech Bloggers.

Originally I wanted the wireless keyboard for the iPad but I misunderstood the description on the Apple website! Under "Minimum System Requirements" it says it requires a  "Bluetooth-enabled Mac computer with Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later" I thought that meant I had to have a stand alone Mac computer for the initial set up. Wrong.

The wireless keyboard works on Bluetooth technology and is as simple to pair with your iPad as it was to pair up my new Jambox with my iPad (more on that little delight in another blog post!)

I purchased the wireless keyboard and am loving it. It was easy to pair with my iPad by going into Settings, then General, then selecting Bluetooth. It automatically found the keyboard.

It is super easy to use. I can sit the keyboard on my lap and the iPad on my coffee table (propped up in its case) and type away.

I kind of wish I'd bought the folding wireless keyboard but if I tell hubby I am buying a third keyboard I think I'll hear about my bad decision-making for quite some time... and I do like this one.

It is going to work for portability and that's a huge plus!

I do need a sturdier dock of some kind to hold the iPad a bit steadier and at a slightly different angle, but I'll hunt around for something suitable. I would also like to have the iPad in landscape position instead of profile, but the angle is wrong when it's in my case and on the coffee table. 

It is much easier to type on the external keyboard. I recommend it.

I'm giving the wireless keyboard 4 out of 5 Olive Tree Genealogy family trees, and the keyboard dock gets 3.


Becky Jamison said...

I'm not as familiar with these new tools but I'm wondering what the advantage is for using your current set-up that you're written about here (even at RootsTech) over simply using a laptop on your lap on the sofa or at RootsTech? I don't have a netbook either, but that would be very portable. Can you explain the advantages of this iPad with the wireless keyboard setup? I'm just trying to learn.

Genealogy Blogger said...

That's a great question Becky and I like it so much I'm going to write a blog post addressing it. Please stay tuned, it will either publish today or tomorrow.