So you got an iPad as a present for the holidays, and want to do some work on it, but you realize that typing is a little slow on the glass. A keyboard designed specifically for the iPad can turn it into a productive work tool (or even a way to catch up on emails while out of the office). Here are our top 5 favorite iPad keyboards.
This keyboard dock is a full-size keyboard plus a dock for charging your iPad. Certainly easy to type on, but not very portable. Plus you have to put the iPad in portrait (vertical) position, you can’t use it in landscape (horizontal) format. So it’s not so useful on the go–which is what the iPad is all about. $69
This lightweight (12.8 ounces) aluminum case has a Bluetooth keyboard built in. It allows you to prop your iPad up in vertical or horizontal format. It only adds about 1/4″ of thickness to the iPad, so it’s still slim, plus the aluminum and padding allow for extra protection. And the keyboard looks substantial, and uses a rechargeable battery that should last “several weeks of normal use.” However it doesn’t protect the back of the iPad, just the front. $100
This plastic (“synthetic leather”) case has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard with rubberized keys–which are great for protecting your iPad, a little less great for typing. The case only allows you to type while the iPad is in landscape mode.The rechargeable battery lasts for 90 hours of work time, or 45 days on standby. This case does protect both the back and the front of the iPad. $100
This case is also “leather style” with a Bluetooth silicone keyboard, and a magnetic closure. Similar to the KeyFolio and a little bit cheaper; unclear if it’s as durable as the KeyFolio. $60
This full-sized keyboard folds in half and connects via Bluetooth to the iPad. No stand for holding up the iPad, which means you can use it in portrait or landscape mode. Keyboard also has a number pad. It weighs just under 1 pound. You must have iOS4 running on your iPad. $100
Extra: Apple Wireless Keyboard
Another option is to use the wireless keyboard that Apple sells for $69. There are a few benefits to this keyboard, the first being that you may already have one, as it comes standard with a new iMac. It also allows you to use any iPad case with it, as it works via Bluetooth and doesn’t need to be physically connected to the iPad itself. Last, it’s a full-size keyboard, with real keys, unlike many of the other iPad keyboards that are made of silicon and built into the case. I find it bulky to carry around but it is a great option if you’re doing a lot of writing.