Brydge+ keyboard with Bluetooth speakers for Apple iPad (review)

Brydge+ keyboard with Bluetooth speakers for Apple iPad (review)

Summary: The Brydge+ keyboard helps give your iPad a MacBook Air look and feel, but there are limits that prevent it from being the ultimate keyboard accessory.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPad, Reviews

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  • Close up of key design

  • Bottom of the Brydge+ keyboard

  • The hinges let you lay the iPad nearly flat

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad, Reviews

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  • that's why surface exists...

    All the limitations - The web browser button, center in the top row, doesn't do anything on my iPad 3.
    Cannot navigate to the next email using the directional arrows.
    Cannot navigate between apps and folders on the home screen with the directional arrows.
    Entering a letter on the keyboard does not filter your app list or jump to an app on the home screen.
    There is not Alt-Tab function to launch a task manager.

    are the ones imposed by iOS. Thats why apart from text entry, I see no use for a keyboard on the iPad. The Surface RT is infinitely more productive precisely because its superb keyboard integration. Any keyboard connected to the Surface RT is infinitely more useful than any keyboard connected to the iPad as of iOS 6.
    • Surface Keyboard

      The Surface keyboard (Touch and Type) are hardly usable when trying to balance it on your lap, unless you have tree trunks for legs. It's meant to be used on a flat surface such as a desk. I can get by with it on my lap, but it's not easy.

      I, for one, would welcome a clam shell case for my Surface.
  • The problem with iPad keyboards... that they're trying to to take a tablet that isn't designed to work with a keyboard and make it (sort of) work anyway, but with limitations, in this case, at a combined price of $850 (for a 32gb iPad plus retail price Brydge +) and with no trackpad either.

    By comparison, a 32gb Surface RT (including keyboard cover) costs $600, they keyboard shortcuts actually work (meaning you can get things done without touching the screen if you don't want to) and there's also a trackpad.

    A 64gb Envy x2 will cost you $700 (after rebate) and again, the keyboard shortcuts actually work and there's a trackpad.

    Obviously the question of whether either of the above alternatives is a better purchase for you depends on your use case, but given that using a keyboard likely means you are using your tablet for work (rather than just watching movies or playing angry birds) surely a tablet that (a) runs full-fat Office (AND LibreOffice, should you prefer) and (b) has an actual usable keyboard plus a trackpad has to be a better (and cheaper) way of doing things?
    • Sorry - typo

      The cost of the iPad & Brydge + is obviously $820, not $850. Point remains unchanged...
  • All iPad keyboards are doomed to the same fate

    iOS doesn't support keyboards so all the limitations will always be there unless someone can shim a layer over the OS between all APPs which I doubt is possible. Keyboard support is left to the APP and that makes it universally inconsistent at best with no navigational ability at the OS kevel at all and many APPs not supporting keyboarding at all either.

    Quit wasting your money on iOS keyboards they cannot give you the experience you are looking for.
    • Doomed the same fate?

      Yeah, I guess that's why Logitech and Zagg stopped making keyboards for it... Oh wait, they didn't.

      Here's what I want, a mouse (without jailbreak). Those that say a mouse is useless on a tablet has never used a Surface or Android tablet with a mouse.
      • @NickA55

        So your arguments is, "because companies are making things that guarantees that those things are good"? At best, this proves that those companies think customers are foolish enough to buy their product.

        Face it, a Windows Tablet works better with a keyboard & trackpad/mouse because that's something they are designed to do. The iPad isn't designed to do it, and doesn't support it. If you want a mouse, any Windows tablet will support pretty much whatever mouse you want.
        • No...

          My argument is that they keep making and upgrading their keyboards because people are buying them. There is obviously a need for them. Has nothing to do with a customer being foolish.

          Just because some do not see a need for a keyboard, doesn't mean others feel the same way. This goes for all things in technology. It's not a one size fits all industry, and there is no wrong or right...
      • Keyboards sell because users want more from an iPad

        They just won't get it until Apple decides to bestow them with their wish.

        "what I want, a mouse (without jailbreak)."

        It's possible on Android because the system is open and vendors can make it happen. iOS is closed so you're dependent on Apple to make it happen.
        • I wonder...

          I wonder if Apple were to make their own iPad Keyboard Case if they would better integrate keyboards into the OS. Or if they were to create a Mini "Magic Mouse", would they then integrate mouse support?

          I personally don't see a need for a keyboard on a tablet. I have a computer for that. Adding an expensive keyboard folding thing to my iPad just turns it into a "sort-of" computer. If I need to do something with a keyboard, I'm sitting down with an actual computer.

          I would guess that the reason Apple hasn't developed an iPad-friendly keyboard/mouse and integrated keyboard/mouse gestures is because 99.99999999999999% of iPad users, don't want or need a keyboard or mouse, especially on a tablet. I think tablets are typically a luxury secondary item for most purchasers. Not a primary computer.
  • Brydge+ Speakerless is amazing

    I know there are lots of people here saying that iPad keyboards are essentially useless, but I do disagree. I have had one of the Brydge keyboards for over a year and it allows be to have the best of both worlds. I'm in IT sales and having my iPad allows me to do demo's to clients but having the keyboard allows me to be able to write documents (in office) and respond to emails far faster than I could if I didn't have a keyboard. Realistically if I didn't have my keyboard I would need to take my laptop with me.

    My Brydge and iPad combined are as robust as my Macbook Pro, more than half the weight and when I open it up I have instant internet through 4G. Because of the hinge design my keyboard is tightly fixed to the iPad and it opens at any angle I want, just like my laptop.

    In the end its an individual thing, but the Brydge is a standout from the other cheap plastic keyboards on the market...