11.06.2010

Apple Wireless Keyboard - Cool, but leaves you wanting more.

iPad and a Bluetooth KeyboardImage via Wikipedia
I like my iPad. A lot. So much so that I treated it to a keyboard. You know, a real physical one. Soild keys, and not those virtual ones that think they how you type and what words you want to write. I even splurged on the fancy bluetooth wireless keyboard that they have at the Apple Store. It's the one you'll often see in the living room of an Apple enthusiast controlling their Mac Mini while streaming video or music. I opened it up, synced flawlessly with my iPad, and typed away. Less than two weeks later, I returned it. Find out why after the jump.


It's an iPad, not a Macbook Air.
I'll admit to getting some Air envy when the 2-3 pound beauties were released. However, after realizing that I didn't have a need (or an extra $1,000 lying around), I opted to make the most out of my iPad. With a keyboard, I would be able to type longer emails, surf for longer periods of time, and head to the coffee shop without lugging around a full 5 pound laptop. Wireless would be a must, and combined with an inexpensive stand, I would have a near Air experience. Unfortunately, while this sounds good on paper, the reality was that I didn't use the keyboard after testing it out of box. I just didn't see the setup as any more convenient than my Macbook Pro, and it was certainly less powerful.

How many devices do you want?
Again, the keyboard worked brilliantly, with the only noticeable downside being that you are unable to use both the virtual keyboard and the hardware one. Honestly, this didn't bother me much, whereas the lack of a trackpad with the keyboard was much more irritating. Given that the iPad is a touch enabled device, there's certainly no need for a plugin mouse. However, when you introduce the wireless keyboard into the mix, you create space between you and the iPad. This space then makes it more challenging to touch links, photos, videos, so despite having a keyboard at your fingertips, you end up wanting an additional trackpad as well. And that brings us back to square one and why I decided to give up on the keyboard.

Why I love the iPad (revisited)
The iPad is a tablet, and not a full computer. Although I would like to have Flash, not for the videos or games, but rather for complete webpages, the iPad makes for a great experience as a Tablet nonetheless. I use the device in bed when reading up on news, on the couch to follow a sporting event (while watching a move), and in the kitchen when cooking (check out the new Allrecipes app). Touching and interacting with the web along with the convenience of an anytime, anywhere device (WiFi for me) remains the strength of the iPad, and the device has given Apple a fine head start on the emerging market. Although some would find a wireless keyboard a welcome addition, I have opted to keep my iPad exclusively as a Tablet.

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