A case of Sausage fingers? Hunting and pecking for the right letters? No place to rest your hands on the tablet? Missing the clickity-clack of your desktop computer? Tired of constantly wiping off fingerprints from your touchscreen? Whatever reason has steered your interest toward a tablet keyboard case , I’m here to help. There are many varieties and specs to consider, so let’s begin with the basics.
The Strong, Silent Type
Unlike traditional QWERTY keyboards—with their firm sense of ‘home row’ hand positions—typing on a touchscreen can take away a lot of your attention because it is almost always necessary to be watching the screen. Look up for a moment and you might have a line of typos (though it may not be as bad as iPhone autocorrecting typos).
To help sort out the pitfalls of the tablet, which surely will improve over the coming years, a number of case makers are fixing the problem. Zagg’s folio style keyboard case for the Apple iPad 2 is one case that tops my list. Great price, built into a stand (but removable) and comes with specific media keys for the Apple iPad 2.
Similar to the ZAGG, Kensington makes a nice keyboard case for the Apple iPad 2 however this keyboard isn’t removable. The keys are a bit more narrowly spaced together than compared with the Zagg above. Oh yeah, it is also super expensive ($135!?). So, in the end, this keyboard case might be a better example of what not to look for when comparing keyboard cases.
Stand Up for Your Right to Type
Another take on the tablet keyboard is Logitech’s Tron-like keyboard. While there is no case for your tablet here, this keyboard comes with a tablet stand for you to rest your Apple iPad on. I like this for two reasons: 1) it gives more of a personal work-station feel and 2) you are not attached to keyboard case where ever you bring your tablet.
A more affordable keyboard case than everything above is this aluminum Apple iPad 2 Buddy. Set out in burnished aluminum , it matches the Apple tablet perfectly and provides some much needed protection for the display. Nice key spacing on this one, too.
Tired of Typos but Don’t Want the Bulk?
If you are not into the bulky tablet keyboard then the iKeyboard for the Apple iPad puts you in control of the touchscreen. A pretty simple little invention that works with most cases, the iKeyboard slides onto the tablet. This lets you feel the key spaces on the touchscreen, letting you give your attention to the screen.
Think Before you Buy!
Before you invest in a tablet keyboard, ask yourself a few questions: can you still use your tablet in portrait and landscape mode? Is the keyboard Bluetooth? How long does it’s battery last? Does it have island key spacing? How crunched will your fingers be? All of these simple aspects of the tablet keyboard will cause either great discomfort or typing ease.
Stop Complaining, Start Typing
Many people complain about the touchscreen typing capabilities of tablets, particularly the Apple iPad. So one of the best things about these keyboards is that they make your tablet even more flexible, adaptable and useable.
Many people say “well, if I’m going to buy a keyboard, why not just buy a laptop.” But that’s not the point. We’re not always typing and therefore we don’t always need a keyboard—we watch videos, we Skype, we take pictures, we use the touch screen for many different things, typing being only one of many actions. Although, maybe one of the most important.
Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.