The keyboard is no longer available from Amazon, but looks like you can still order it from the manufacturer. I’ve never ordered directly from them before, so you’re on your own there… That said, the keyboard doesn’t even work anymore with my iPad. I don’t know if an iOS update broke it or something, but it’s like the keyboard isn’t maintaining a solid bluetooth connection for the iPad to connect to. ANNOYING. There’s an alternative by FlyStone available on Amazon, but looks clunky & heavy. [/note]
Ever since I got an iPad, I rarely use my Macbook. Most of my day-to-day computing needs are met with the iPad, leaving my Macbook for things like Photoshop work or downloading large files. That said, typing anything longer than a couple sentences with the on-screen keyboard is a total pain in the butt. I was given one of those folio-style bluetooth keyboard cases, but it’s been sitting in my nightstand since I got it. I hate the bulk those kind of cases add, and I want to be able to throw my iPad into my bag & go (with room left for my emergency makeup bag & camera).
After some researching, I came across the ClamCase Pro – which retails for a cool $170 (?!?). I really almost bought it, but after reading reviews that mentioned its plastic build, hairline cracks that appeared after normal use, and tipping issues if you tilted too far back, I decided to pass. More research turned up a CRAZY cost-effective option: Alpatronix’s Bluetooth Clamshell Keyboard for $36. I bought it and am using it now (along with the Blogpad Pro app) and love it!! Your iPad slots into the top hinge, and links to the keyboard via bluetooth. It look a lot like a mini laptop, and the keys feel almost exactly like the ones on my Macbook – same coloring & tactile feedback. It’s a little weird to not have a trackpad & have to touch the screen in lieu of a mouse, but I’m getting the hang of it. I love that it doesn’t add much weight or bulk to my iPad – the keyboard by itself is 15 ounces, and together the whole thing weighs 2lb, 4.8 oz.
So far, only a couple cons:
- It feels a little back-heavy, but it’s sitting on my couch right now and not falling over from the weight of the iPad. On my lap is a different story, but my wrists resting on the front are enough to keep it upright.
- You can’t have any kind of cover on the iPad or it won’t fit into the hinge socket, so other ways of protecting the back are necessary – I’ve had a Zagg InvisibleShield on it since day one, so I’m not too concerned about scratches.
- You’re limited in how far back you can tilt the screen, but it’s a decent angle – I’m not having issues.
This is exactly what I was looking for in an iPad keyboard, and for a completely affordable price!