May 17, 2011 in Gadgets
Just a quick review of the keyboard I picked up for my iPad. I was not looking for any thing special, it just had to work, I wanted it to be (or nearly be) full size, and I did not need (or necessarily want) it to be part of a case. I was not looking for a keyboard that was mobile or portable. I really just needed something for when I am at my desk. Things like updating documents or blogging can be kind of cumbersome when using the on screen keyboard.
I was in Best Buy looking at a number of different models ranging in price from $59 for a Taurus keyboard, to $69 for the Apple keyboard, to the $99 Zagg. These were all specifically designed to be used with the iPad. All of them are nice and will probably do a fine job but I noticed a Bluetooth keyboard on an end cap for just $49, the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard 6000. The helpful Best Buy employee didn’t think it would work – I mean it didn’t say so on the box – but I did a quick Google search on my phone that returned results from others using it without issue. I also found that I could have got it for a few bucks cheaper online, but I was already in the store so it went home with me.
So far so good, in fact I am using it to type this post. The keyboard was very easy to setup. Just install the 2 included AAA batteries, turn on the power switch, enable Bluetooth on the iPad, and connect. The iPad prompts you to type a series of numbers the first time you connect the keyboard but from then on it connects to the keyboard whenever Bluetooth is enabled, the keyboard on, and the keyboard is within range.
I did not try to figure out the maximum range but it did work across the table (about 4 feet away). The keyboard kept up fine with my typing, no noticeable lag. The keyboard is a nice size and I found it very easy to type on – did not feel crowded like some other portable/mobile keyboards I have tried. Not that I would need them but the volume control and mute keys also worked.
It would be nice if there was a way you could adjust the angle the keyboard sits at when on a flat surface and the addition of Caps Lock indicator would be helpful. The Home key and more importantly the End key are not dedicated, they have to be used with the Fn key. These things are minor issues that should be easy to over come.
All in all I think it is a pretty decent keyboard, especially for the price, that will serve my purpose well.