I recently got to try out the Brydge+ with speakers bluetooth keyboard for the iPad and overall I’m very impressed and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you are in the market for a keyboard to go with your iPad. I use Simplenote to manage all of my writing, store my grocery and to-do lists, and it’s really handy to be able to make quick updates using my iPhone or iPad. However if I’m going to be doing a lot of writing, the iPad on screen keyboard is not ideal. I have used the Apple bluetooth keyboard that comes standard with iMacs now for a while but was never very happy with it as a keyboard for use with the iPad and Brydge+ bests it at every turn. Let’s look at some of the features of the Brydge+:
- Size: It’s the same size and shape as the iPad, so when you fold it up it actually acts like a case and protects the touch screen. The Apple bluetooth keyboard is much longer than the iPad since it’s really designed as a desktop keyboard and I found it difficult to fit into my backpack.
- Functionality The fact that this is a keyboard and iPad stand in one is fantastic. When I opened the box it said that I would have to change the rubber grips that hold the iPad in place (the different grips all came with the Brydge+) to work with my second generation iPad. I tried popping it in out of curiosity and it has worked no problem, I don’t find my iPad slipping at all. It’s really great that the keyboard holds it up too, I don’t have to find something to prop it up on. It counter-balances the weight of the iPad well, so it’s not tipping over either which I have experienced with some other keyboard/case combos. You can also adjust the angle of the screen to whatever suits your needs.
- Durability The construction on the case seems really strong, and as mentioned you can fold it closed over your iPad to protect the screen and the keys and then slip it into a neoprene case for transporting it in a bag or backpack. My Apple keyboard had keys pop out during transport in a backpack, but again to be fair it was designed to be a desktop keyboard.
- Rechargeable I really hate going through and throwing out tons of batteries, it’s so terrible for the environment. So I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the Brydge+ has a built-in rechargeable battery. I suppose it could be a pain if you run out of juice in the middle of something, but I haven’t charged mine very often and have not had it die on me yet, the battery life seems more than adequate especially for a bluetooth item.
- Easy to setup I was up and running in under 2 minutes, the instruction manual walks you through the process which is very simple. I have not had any connection issues at all so far, which I had in spades with the Apple keyboard.
- Built-in speakers The keyboard also has a built in bluetooth speaker (which you need to connect to separately from the keyboard). It’s of decent quality and better than the the iPad speaker, but if you are looking to use the Brydge+ mainly to listen to music I’d suggest going with one of the many other bluetooth speakers out there. It’s fine, but in the music department it’s not the best option available.
If you need a keyboard for your iPad, you can’t do better than the Brydge+ in my opinion. It’s available for purchase here.