The iPad's touch screen provides an easy way to tap-out short text messages, compose quick emails or strew a flurry of run-on hashtags across your social media posts. But what if you want to be a real whiz and put your classic keyboarding training to use while on your iPad? You can use an aftermarket keyboard accessory to type more easily and, in some cases, protect your iPad from damage at the same time.
It may seem odd to want to type in a more traditional sense on an iPad, but some argue that doing so has a few key advantages over using your MacBook or other laptop. For starters, an iPad is smaller and lighter than a laptop, meaning that it's easy to slip it into your airport luggage or daily carrying bag, according to columnist David Flynn in Australian Business Traveller. When you're elbow-to-elbow with someone in an airplane economy seat or sitting in a crowded café, the iPad can fit right in and help you get things done. Flynn recommends using an iPad keyboard to upgrade your iPad's potential in such settings.
What are the best keyboards?
Most iPad keyboards, including Apple's official one, use Bluetooth wireless technology to pair-up with your iPad. They have similar key layouts to a laptop, but they do not feature MacBook-styled track pads because iOS does not support mouse-like input, explained CNET's Scott Stei. Because they are Bluetooth-based, iPad keyboards can be placed either directly under your iPad (to simulate the look and feel of a laptop) or kept elsewhere, such as on your lap, according to Apple's iPad accessory descriptions. The Bluetooth connection will use up a bit more power, but this drain probably won't cause you any issues since iPads typically have long battery life.
So what should you look for in a keyboard? Perhaps the main thing to consider is whether the keyboard has an accompanying case. Stein cited several models from Logitech, Zagg and Belkin that feature a folio design, which connect the keyboard to a case or stand. In some of these models, you can fold up the iPad and keyboard to create a protective carrying case. Keyboard-case hybrids come in a variety of materials, ranging from basic plastic to leather or microfiber.
With great battery life, a small profile and the keyboard of your choice, your iPad can become a second laptop. Don't let anything make it less useful: bring to iResQ if you need iPad repair. We'll have it back to normal in a flash.