Let your fingers do the walking with these best iPad and iPad 2 keyboards.
Apple has always said that the iPad isn't meant to replace a conventional laptop computer. Yet the iPad's lightweight and compact design does make it a really good portable word-processing device -especially when using apps such as Apple's own Pages, or even the Numbers spreadsheet.
But while the iPad's on-screen keyboard is fine for tapping out quick notes and emails it's not really ideal for serious typing. The glass screen doesn't provide any tactile feedback, and the fact that there are three separate screen modes for the QWERTY keys, numbers and additional symbols is constantly frustrating.
Apple's own iPad Keyboard Dock is an obvious choice for iPad users, but it's not particularly portable, so a number of manufacturers have produced more portable wireless keyboards that make use of the iPad's built-in bluetooth wireless networking features. Ofcourse, the iPad is technically capable of working with any Bluetooth keyboard, but we've focused on keyboards that were specifically designed for use with the iPad, and which provide features such as a 'Home' button for the iPad's main home screen, or for controlling music playback.
Some of these keyboard designs are ingenious rather than practical, but they all have features that will appeal to different types of users, so here's our guide to the best iPad keyboards currently available.
Keyboard combo: Great for your desk, but not for your backpack.
No Need to Dock: Portable Bluetooth alternative without the bolt-on unit
Thumb-typing is the key with this 'mini' option.
In case: The KeyFolio combines a Folio case with a Full QWERTY keyboard.
ZiggZagg: The tough aluminium keyboard case protects your iPad screen.
Genie iPad KeyboardPower pack: The Genie has a handy rechargeable battery.
There's not much doubt that the keyboard that works best with the iPad is Apple's own iPad Keyboard Dock. Most of these keyboards have basic iPad controls, such as a 'Home' key and the ability to control music playback, but the iPad Keyboard Dock can also put the iPad to sleep, wake it up, let you viewyour stored photos or activate the iPad's built-in search function. The integrated dock also lets you charge the iPad or connect it to speakers and other iPad accessories, making it an ideal base for your iPod at home or in your office.
But the big disadvantage with the iPad Keyboard Dock is that it's not terribly portable. The obvious alternative, of course, is Apple's Wireless Keyboard. This is a good choice, but was primarily designed for use with Macs, and doesn't have the same range of iPad-specific controls as the Keyboard Dock.
If you're looking for a portable keyboard then you've got several non-Apple alternatives. The KeyFolio From Kensington is a good idea, combining a keyboard and protective case in a single unit, but the cramped, rubbery keyboard is disappointing. The Zaggmate is a little more practical, providing a tough protective shell and a slightly larger keyboard, but still didn't really allow us to type at full speed.
However, for all-round portability and usefulness, the Zagg iPad keyboard with case has the most going for it. You have to hit the 'Function' (Fn) key to activate the iPad control keys. And it's much more portable than Apple's offering, which makes it a better overall solution in our book.
If you're working in an office then the iPad Keyboard Dock is the best choice, but the Zagg iPad keyboard narrowly nudges ahead of the Apple Wireless Keyboard For mobile use.
Sena Keyboard Folio for Apple iPad 2
Sena Keyboard Folio for Apple iPad 2
The Sena Keyboard folic gives the iPad notebook functionality. It’s available in several three different colors.