Before I get to the review, I just want to remind everyone to enter the Giveaway for a Leather iPad Case from OrionGadgets – go ahead and check out the article, and if you follow me on twitter & RT about it, you’ll get 2 chances to win! Goodluck, contest closes 11:59pm tonight!
I don’t think that the iPad not having a physical keyboard is a drawback, it’s what makes it a tablet after all. Indeed, I don’t even find the virtual keyboard within iOS difficult at all to use, even for a Home-Row Touch Typer myself. In fact, most of my rough drafts are done on my iPad for almost all of my writing projects, including this Blog. However the more I use my iPad for writing, and the more I use it at home, the more I understand and appreciate the appeal of a physical keyboard.
While you might default to buying Apples keyboard/dock, it’s obviously not great for portability and as more people start using the iPad for business and travel the more they’re going to want someone that is small, and durable. Enter the Freedom i-Connex, which is one of a series of portable keyboards that they offer, but most importantly its the one that’s specifically built to work with iOS devices.
The first thing i noticed about the i-Connex keyboard is its quality. This is a surprisingly solid device for being so small. Once unfolded it’s the full size of a standard keyboard and hey keys are very reminiscent of laptop keys. It has all of your standard keys including arrows, no number pad, sadly, but includes alternate function toggle for F-keys. An additional feature that is in this keyboard that I am delighted by is the ‘Media’ keys, which work within all audio and video, very nice.
The set up could not have been easier (simple Bluetooth sync), and worked immediately. I usually have terrible luck with 3rd party accessories, but even I got it working on the first try.
For those of you that would like to use this keyboard with multiple devices, you’re in luck. It also works on all iOS 4 devices, and hidden within the side of the keyboard is a fold-up stand to rest your iPhone or other smaller device on. While it’s definitely not big enough to hold the iPad, it’s not too big of an issue since you can always just pick up a $1 stand (as you can see it’s what I use).
I don’t want to wrap up without mentioning the leather case that it comes with, it’s really phenomenal. Given the durability of the keyboard itself they certainly didn’t need to make such a fancy, good-looking case, but it’s appreciated.
You can find out more about Freedom, their bluetooth keyboards and specifically the Freedom i-Connex on their site, where you can also purchase them. $69.99 USD + Shipping (Only $8.67 USD to Canada). So, about the same price as the Apple Dock Keyboard, but a lot more portable.
I think that the people who would most benefit from this know who they are, business travelers, people who need to create and edit documents on their iPad, writers, students, and NaNoWriMo participants will all probably want a portable keyboard and I highly recommend the Freedom i-Connex.
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Posted under: Accessories