- ✓Premium design and construction
- ✓Versatile configuration
- ✓Great keyboard
- ✕Non-standard key layout
- ✕Magnet attachment could be stronger
I've used more keyboards with the iPad than just about anyone. I've tried some pretty good ones but my quest for the best may be over. The Typo Keyboard for the iPad Air 2 provides the best typing experience of all, and by a wide margin.
The Typo has regularly gotten good reviews online, but they've consistently taken issue with the high price of $190. That price kept me from buying one, but when I recently discovered the price had dropped to $150 I pulled the trigger.
There is only one model of the Typo and it works with both the iPad Air and iPad Air 2. I am using it with the latter, and to make the thinner iPad Air 2 fit snugly in the case you attach four rubber feet inside the lid. This was easy to do as there are indented spots for the feet that clearly mark where they go. Once attached, the iPad Air 2 fits perfectly in the case lid.
There are two pieces to the Typo: the iPad case and the keyboard. The case is made of a rubbery material that feels good in the hand, with an aluminum kickstand on the back. It adds little thickness to the iPad Air 2. The kickstand doesn't work like those on most tablets; instead it forms a base that is positioned behind the keyboard unit.
The case attaches magnetically to the keyboard but can be used alone for tablet work. It is easy to connect and remove the iPad case from the keyboard unit. The kickstand base supports a range of viewing angles with and without the keyboard.
The hinge feels sturdy, as does the entire case. It is evident that quality materials were used to make the Typo and that the engineering was well executed. It is a premium product all around.
All about the keyboard
The Typo keyboard is a joy to type on due to the full-sized keys used. They are shallow keys but with a solid feel and with good feedback. I can type as fast on the Typo keyboard as on many laptops. The adjustable viewing angle fits nearly any environment, and since the kickstand forms a base behind the keyboard it can be used in the lap. The keys are not backlit, which may be a deal-breaker for some.
As good as it is having full-sized keys, this is not without compromise as some keys had to be moved to non-standard locations. The most notable is the semi-colon/colon which is to the right of the space key. This took some getting used to but in a short time I was handling the change.
In the top row of keys are iOS control keys, including media controls, a home key, and a battery key. The latter polls the battery for remaining life, which Typo claims should be a year.
There are three white LEDs that indicate the battery life, and that also flash when charging the unit. A power switch is on the right side of the keyboard along with a Bluetooth pairing trigger. The unit goes into standby after a few minutes of inactivity so the power switch can remain on most of the time.
Because the iPad can be detached from the keyboard for tablet use, it can also be removed for using the tablet further back from the keyboard. That's the beauty of the Typo; it is very versatile.
Even with the issues noted, the Typo Keyboard is the best keyboard case I've used with the iPad Air 2. The primary criteria for a keyboard case is the typing experience, and this one is excellent due to the large keys.