From typing up reports to checking email at the airport, Apple's versatile iPad is even more valuable for productivity when adding a hardware laptop keyboard . But, which one offers the best balance of functionality, cost and ease of use? To help your customers make the choice, the CRN Test Center has checked out a few of today's coolest wireless keyboards.
All of the iPad keyboards we reviewed connect through Bluetooth, and most are charged using an included cable and offer a stand as well as some level of protection for the screen. Not all are compatible with Apple's Smart laptop keyboard cover feature, which uses magnetic sensors to conserve battery life. Like so many other things, the decision comes down to a preference as to look and feel, convenience features and price.
Kensington KeyFolio Expert: $99.99
For people looking for a set-and-forget iPad keyboard, the Kensington KeyFolio Expert Multi-Angle Folio and Keyboard is worth a look . Its keys are comfortable to the touch and a dual-angle stand provides 60-degree and low-angle options. Kensington was the only model to provide a sticky "micro-suction" pad that keeps the iPad accessories securely in place. We liked the security of the sticky pad, but it tended to get dirty, and we worry that it might lose its stickiness over time. Also, having to peel the iPad off this very sticky surface when changing from landscape to portrait was inconvenient.
The folio does provide protection for the iPad, although we recommend not using this folio on the go; the floppy material is a bit cumbersome, dirties easily and doesn’t support lap use. The front flap has a magnetic panel for securing the folio closed, but it’s not Smart-Cover capable. The battery life is rated at 80 hours of working time with a standby of 60 days. Retail price is $99.99