Touchfire iPad keyboard improves text entry efficiency with no added bulk

Touchfire iPad keyboard improves text entry efficiency with no added bulk

Summary: I backed the Touchfire Kickstarter project and spent the last week using this slick silicone overlay. I like carrying my iPad without too much added bulk and the Touchfire helps me enter text efficiently.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPad
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  • Touchfire close up

    This photo shows the detailed design and layout of the Touchfire.

  • Touchfire over iOS keyboard

    The Touchfire fits directly over the iOS keyboard. Here you can see how each key has four cells for tactile feedback.

  • Raised keys

    The keys on the Touchfire are raised just enough to help you rest your fingers on the keyboard for fast text entry.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad

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12 comments
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  • Does no-one else see this?

    Round and around we go.

    Until someone develops a truly revolutionary way to get bulk information into a computer, its not going to change in format.

    We need a keyboard... Dont get me wrong, although I detest Apple and their way of doing things, the iPad is a step forward - although I dont think its as much of a revolution is it claims to be because of this much-needed technology.

    Granted you have the capability of removing it and watching full-screen movies, doodling, gaming and many of the other things a big tablet like an iPad can do, but for anything remotely useful beyond entertainment, its back to a traditional (and limited at that, compared to a full pc) computer format.
    Siri, which I also hate to admit actually works, isnt a stenographer or even close. Unfortunate, because most people would need an intelligent and patient one to operate their computer for them, if they didnt do it themselves.

    If I was going to embrace Apple, I'd probably buy a new Macbook, being as its little more than a tablet with a keyboard... Putting the battery and hardware in the horizontal part makes sense for stability, or one is left with limiting screen space like the iPad does to give it function.
    Even Surface reeks of legacy, despite its intention of sweeping the floor clear of the mess that Apple actually started with this tablet nonsense, although it isnt fair to blame them for all of it.

    I just think we need a smarter type of OS for this new generation of hardware before we start replacing the old with it, its just not quite ready for that yet and wont be until it understands us better.
    SiO2
  • Does no-one else see this?

    Round and around we go.

    Until someone develops a truly revolutionary way to get bulk information into a computer, its not going to change in format.

    We need a keyboard... Dont get me wrong, although I detest Apple and their way of doing things, the iPad is a step forward - although I dont think its as much of a revolution is it claims to be because of this much-needed technology.

    Granted you have the capability of removing it and watching full-screen movies, doodling, gaming and many of the other things a big tablet like an iPad can do, but for anything remotely useful beyond entertainment, its back to a traditional (and limited at that, compared to a full pc) computer format.
    Siri, which I also hate to admit actually works, isnt a stenographer or even close. Unfortunate, because most people would need an intelligent and patient one to operate their computer for them, if they didnt do it themselves.

    If I was going to embrace Apple, I'd probably buy a new Macbook, being as its little more than a tablet with a keyboard... Putting the battery and hardware in the horizontal part makes sense for stability, or one is left with limiting screen space like the iPad does to give it function.
    Even Surface reeks of legacy, despite its intention of sweeping the floor clear of the mess that Apple actually started with this tablet nonsense, although it isnt fair to blame them for all of it.

    I just think we need a smarter type of OS for this new generation of hardware before we start replacing the old with it, its just not quite ready for that yet and wont be until it understands us better.
    SiO2
    • Double-post

      Lol. An 'Unknown error occurred.'

      Can one do Ctrl-A Ctrl-C on that keyboard? Enquiring minds would like to know... ;)
      SiO2
  • What's the point

    The iPAD is a beautiful designed gadget. Then you stick it inside a cover, you glue an ugly plastic (pretend to be keyboard) to its screen so you can pretend to work in it like a laptop. Why, for God sake, don't you just by a laptop, or a netbook.
    If you want to use a tablet, just do it like it was meant to be and stop this nonsense.

    I was very skeptic about the functionality of a digital keyboard (my phone is a HTC Desire Z, which opens to reveal a physical keyboard). But the more I use the iPAD the more I get used to it and now I don’t find any problem. Eck, I even stopped using the HTC keyboard for the Android on screen one.
    joaolcbarros@...
    • Not Nonsense to Me...

      Traveling light is becoming increasingly important to me, so when I'm heading overseas the notion of leaving my relatively heavy laptop and its power brick behind is very seductive. I have relied on my iPad as my main "computer" a number of times, and while there are obvious tradeoffs in not having a true laptop on the road, bringing only a very thin, very lightweight tablet with a ten hour battery life offsets those tradeoffs in my case.

      I've used a number of portable keyboards to allow efficient typing of email and other writing tasks (I'm not very good on the touchscreen keyboard, and often find myself writing in Klingon after a minute or so), but they do defeat the simplicity objective. The Touchfire may be a good solution to this, because it adds the one thing a touchscreen can never have: tactile feedback, yet without adding any additional weight or clutter to the equation. This is why it's interesting, to me at least.

      I'm just wondering if it will only work with a Smart Cover. I'm using an STM Grip case at the moment, because it protects both sides of an iPad, not just the screen.
      Andy Parsons
  • round and round

    I find that a tablet, while fun does not replace a laptop. Carrying a spare keyboard adds to the bulk and one might as well be toting a laptop or netbook.
    This keyboard is indeed the most compact I have seen but it takes up screen area when in use (s does the on-screen keyboard anyway.
    I recently picked up an Asus Netbook again because of this.
    Marilith
  • This is Silly

    After seeing the keyboard/cover on the coming Surface Tablet, this looks like a silly novelty.
    Deverix
    • That is Silly

      After seeing any real laptop that has ever existed, the keyboard/cover on the coming Surface Tablet looks like a silly novelty.
      Nathan A Smith
  • English only?

    Does this keyboard work for non-English on-screen keyboard? You know, other languages have different number of letters and therefore different key layout on screen.

    By the way, the adaptive multi-language on-screen keyboard is an advancement impossible with physical keyboards.
    danbi
    • there are plenty of bi-lingual keyboards out there

      and do not forget those little stickers with letters you can stick to the keys on your English-only keyboard.
      So, there are plenty of things one can do with a physical keyboard to allow to multi-lingual support.
      ForeverSPb
  • C'mon Zdnet...

    You can do it.. flip the images without refreshing the pages, I mean.. can't you? You're a tech info company for heaven's sake!
    ADboy
  • All these great add ons for your tablet!

    Don't you wish you'd just have bought a cheap laptop instead! Something that would do MORE, for LESS$!
    gs85739