Seven best iPad Air keyboards (hands on): June 2014

Seven best iPad Air keyboards (hands on): June 2014

Summary: The iPad is making its way into the workplace in ever greater numbers. A good keyboard can make the difference between a mediocre work experience and a good one. These are the best keyboards for the iPad Air we've tried.

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  • Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

    The iPad Air sits in a slot above the keyboard for use. This arrangement only allows for one angle, but it's comfortable.

  • Kensington Keycover

    Mobile accessory maker Kensington offers several models of keyboard cases for the iPad Air. The company takes the minimalist approach with the KeyCover, a device that is essentially a thin keyboard with a brushed metal back.

    The iPad Air snaps into the precisely tooled KeyCover for transport, protecting the screen while leaving the iPad's aluminum back exposed. The tablet is easily popped out of the case and propped up in a magnetic slot above the keyboard.

    This design has a fixed viewing angle and, while it's worked well in our testing, it may be less acceptable for some.

    The keyboard is a very good one, with fast touch typing easily accomplished. Key spacing is good and key travel offers decent tactile feedback.

    The row of LED indicators on the rear of the KeyCover (power, CAPS LOCK) are poorly located. They are not visible when using the keyboard with the iPad Air in place.

    The magnetic slot where the tablet is inserted for typing holds the iPad securely, and permits using the tablet in landscape and portrait orientations.

    The Kensington KeyCover is available at major retailers and from Kensington for $79.99. There is a slightly more expensive model with backlit keys.

    See the full review of the Kensington KeyCover on ZDNet

  • Kensington Keycover

    The keyboard is slightly cramped due to the number of keys, but touch typing is easily accommodated.

Topics: Mobility, iPad, Bring Your Own Device

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7 comments
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  • No Mousing in iOS

    I know that when people compare a Windows 8 laptop with touch to a MBP without touch, the common retort from the Mac apologist is that who wants to touch their notebook screen and its pointless, etc.

    Well if you're turning your tablet into a laptop by adding a keyboard, same comment. I actually find myself using touch on a W8 laptop all the time but not 100% of the time because most of the time a mouse is just a better input method when working in spreadsheets and other detailed work.

    There is no reason for iOS not to have mousing as it can be added in with jailbroken devices. This just reminds me of the whole one button mouse BS that Jobs inflicted on Macs for years till finally giving in to a second button. Its pointless.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • Here's the problem with your argument

      All the people who criticize Windows 8 requiring touch in a laptop are NOT calling for the iPad to become a laptop. They are the people who state that tablets and laptops are used differently and thus should have different interfaces.
      baggins_z
  • Driving a Square Peg in a Round Hole

    I know you are expecting this reply, so here it comes - why do folks keep on insisting on driving the square peg (iPad Air) into the round hole (laptop compatibility). After a weekend love affair, I have found the new Surface Pro 3 does it all with flair. I've carried MacBook Air, iPad Air with ZAGG cover, ThinkPad Tablet 2 with keyboard, and a host of other convertible solutions; NONE hold a candle to the Surface Pro 3. Even if that is not your cup of tea, how is the iPad + keyboard better than the MacBook Air 11"? Before you say it - NO, it is not because you can still use it as a tablet, because if that is the case, then back to the Surface Pro 3 or any number of convertibles/hybrids. If you really love the iPad Air, and I know you do, then fine. But why keep encouraging folks to use a crippled solution?
    dksmidtx
    • Encourage?

      I make it a personal policy to not encourage anyone to do or use anything in particular. I didn't here, either, just listed the best accessories for those interested. Obviously you aren't so no big deal.
      JamesKendrick
    • Why do you feel the urge to tell people

      that your solution is the only solution?
      baggins_z
      • Perhaps for Balance

        Because so many tech writers and commenters seem to think iPad is the only solution?
        dksmidtx
  • I have to agree with dksmidtx.

    I am not even using a Surface 3. I have the original Surface Pro. The type and touch covers, even on my older Surface, are the same size and feel as my MacBook Pro. Comparatively speaking I have found typing on those keyboards cited in this article much less satisfying than the experience I get from the Surface. I did spend a bit more for mine, $109, but its quality is excellent.
    The Heretic