The question is always, how much gear do we really need ? If I take a peek inside my geek back , i AM a little over packed. Macbook air, charger, mouse, external hard disk, iPod touch, ipad, cellphone and so on. Too much if you think of it. So I decided to scale down a little and see if I had some “alternatives’ that I could think of to avoid having to lug half a data center on my back. If you put your mind to it, the IPAD is a very versatile device. ( Not only the Ipad of course, ANY tablet these days ) But as I mentioned in the beginning of the tablet revolution : Its a content consumption device. Or is it ? By now you can buy tons of cases that try to ‘add’ some extra functionality to your ipad. They come with built in keyboards and contraptions to angle your Ipad in a way that .. it looks like a laptop. But he Ipad is NOT a laptop, but you COULD use the occasional keyboard once in a while when you want to quickly enter text without using the onscreen keyboard. I’ve been round that bend and tried the ZAGGMATE, A keyboard-cover for the Ipad that keeps it snugly protected (believe me , I can vouch for that ) but also gives you an embedded keyboard. The downside about the ZAGGMATE is that its a ergonomic disaster. The sharp edges on the aluminum cover make your wrists look like you’re a suicide hazard, the keys are so small that its unnatural to type, and since “the keyboard is the cover” you are not able to use your own favorite ipad housing (in my case my trusty Zoogue case) to protect your Ipad. So after I got my Ipad 2 , the Zaggmate got sold off and I started looking for something different.
Enter the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for Ipads. Not the most revolutionary device. A fairly standard Bluetooth keyboard about the size of a standard small apple keyboard. It comes with a little ‘box’ that doubles as an ipad stand (very convenient) and allows you to prop up your ipad in portrait or landscape mode. The killer feature is however a simple ON and OFF button. Why ? Because the apple bleutooth keyboard I have lying around at home is just fine to use, but it doesn’t come with a power switch. So every time you bump a key, the keyboard wakes up, the keyboard wakes up the ipad and both get a serious case of battery deprivation syndrome leaving you without juice when you need it.
At the end of the day the combo is pretty sweet. Ommwriter on my Ipad as the texteditor of choice, the hotspot function on my Android phone as a wireless router, the logitech keyboard as an input device and the little box to prop it all up. A valid laptop replacement for the stuff I need to do AND a much more ‘distraction free’ setup then using a laptop. In the end I don’t NEED that much on the road and the fact that the Ipad is NOT the distraction packed desktop interface I have on the laptop does make it more pleasant to write. With the Logitech keyboard I have an input device that ” feels right” to type on. Sure its not the ‘lightest’ keyboard on the market, but it feels sturdy and turns my Ipad into a “working setup” when I need it.
At 59 euro’s the Logitech keyboard is not the cheapest one on the market, but when i’m honest , i have NEVER EVER had to ‘throw away’ a Logitech keyboard (The oldest I have in service is almost 10 years old) Final thoughts ? A little big , A little heavy but perfect for the job at hand.