A new gadget I’ve bought: typing on the iPad

I promised I’d write a bit about gadgets on this blog (more on future direction at the end of this message); I’m an iPad user and last week I bought the KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe (pictured), available only through gearzap.com. I have to award them 10/10 for fast delivery before I say anything else (and by the way, following discussions elsewhere on this blog I’m not affiliated with them and have no vested interest in readers buying or otherwise).

I’ve been sent a number of iPad cases; one of the pleasant things about being a tech journalist is that people do throw goodies at you from time to time. This one I thought was worth paying for because it has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard.

First, then, a declaration. You can get cheaper cases and if you have a Bluetooth keyboard that works with your Mac, you can set it up to work with the iPad too. Second another declaration: I was surprised at how heavy this one was, combined with the iPad. (Funny how the iPad seemed so light at first and now I’m wondering how much weight they’ll shave off for the Mark II version, no doubt due about May).

What you’re buying here is a convenient package, then. Charge it up (it doesn’t take long), set it up with the iPad and, unless you want to do something the iPad just doesn’t (file management, anything involving Flash or Java), you probably don’t need your laptop any more. It’s as comfortable as most laptop keyboards – I prefer a full-sized jobbie but this will do for on the move – and there are only a few gripes, like the backspace not working as a delete button and the delete button deleting backwards.

So as an extension of the iPad’s function and a way of making it work as a lighter-weight out-of-office email device it’s good, even if it does highlight some of the tablet’s shortcomings a little more starkly since it feels so much more like a proper computer when it has a keyboard attached. Pockets somewhere for other bits and pieces like pens and cards would have been good, this is very much a keyboard with a bit of a case attached, but for what it is it’s a good one.

I still think that if I didn’t write about tech, and therefore couldn’t make anything out of writing about iPads, it wouldn’t have been worth buying one. If you have one already, though, this keyboard/case is a good add-on.

So, that’s the first gadget discussion on here. A little while ago on Twitter I asked what people would like to see on this blog and as well as discussions on shoes, watches, gadgets, I had requests for stuff on being a working dad, the latest computer games – I hadn’t envisaged those areas but could take them on if there were demand; what do people think, would you be happier if I kept to “style” or would you like to see general lifestyle in early middle age as well?

And those of you who’ve bought an iPad, what do you think?

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