What are the best iPad keyboards? Who makes them and what sort of features do they have? This is a purely subjective question, as with almost any other “best of” list. What I think is the best, you might not. I have a soft spot for products from Logitech and Belkin, so it’s no surprise that products from these manufacturers made it to my list. However, I also found one from a company called ZAGG, which I really liked, so I’m including it here as well.
Best iPad Keyboards
Here is a handful of what I consider to be the best keyboards for your tablet, specifically, for your iPad.
Logitech’s Solar Keyboard Folio
Whenever possible, I like to minimize the impact I have on the environment and this Logitech keyboard absolutely tops my list of best iPad keyboards for this reason. Being solar powered, you never need to worry about it running out of power in the middle of a long diatribe on Facebook or that spreadsheet the boss sent for you to work on over the weekend. The folio allows for multiple viewing angles of the iPad and protects both the front and back of the device.
Buyers can choose from four different colors: urban gray, ice blue, carbon black, or coral pink. The keyboard itself is comfortably-sized and the keys give good tactile feedback. I was expecting the solar panel to detract from the overall aesthetics of the device, but I was pleasantly surprised. I went to a store that doesn’t have piercingly bright lighting in the display areas, so I was happy to discover that the solar panel is also very efficient, providing ample power under low light conditions.
Communication with the iPad is via Bluetooth and pairing is automatic when the iPad is tilted up into typing position, although there is a button to manually pair it, as well. There’s also a button that you can press to check the level of the battery. To save battery life, the keyboard turns off when not in use and quickly powers back up when propped back up into typing position.
Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover
One of the reasons we buy a tablet is because they’re smaller and lighter than a notebook/ultrabook. The solar keyboard mentioned above is heavy, at just about one pound. However, for those of us that just can’t use the onscreen keyboards, we need an external keyboard. The Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad adds a considerable amount of bulk, but not much weight, due to the fact that it’s a full-sized keyboard with a stand for the iPad. However the full-size layout makes transition from the desktop to the tablet a breeze.
This iPad keyboard comes with a carrying case that protects the keyboard and doubles as a stand for the iPad that’s multi-adjustable to fit your viewing preferences. Like most other tablet keyboards, it communicates using Bluetooth and pairs easily (it works with iPod and iPhone also, making it even more flexible.)
Even better, it has media control buttons that allow you to stop, play, pause, and adjust the volume on your favorite songs or movies. Lastly, productivity is enhanced through the use of macros, allowing you to cut, copy, paste, and other functions by using pre-set key combinations.
Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard
The Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard is the first product in my list of the best iPad keyboards that offers enhanced protection all around for your iPad. With the other products, the keyboard protects the screen, but there’s nothing to protect the back of your tablet. Belkin’s product fills that gap. It does add a bit of mass to the tablet and is sometimes difficult to open, but many of the reviewers working for the tech magazines consider this the best product they’ve tested.
Again, we have Bluetooth wireless connectivity and automatic pairing. It also has a number of keys that allow you to copy and paste, and control audio/video functions. Even better, for those times when you don’t need the keyboard, it’s removable. The built-in stand also provides for multiple viewing angles, allowing you to use it comfortably.
ZAGGkeys PROplus from ZAGG
I didn’t get to actually try this one out, but reading the specs and reviews, I really liked it. The shell of the ZAGGkeys PROplus is made out of aluminum, so it provides the most protection for your iPad. However, it’s ultra-thin, which helps to make it really light. It’s less than a quarter of an inch thick and weighs less than a pound.
The keys provide excellent feedback on the PROplus and it’s also a Bluetooth wireless device that pairs quite easily with your iPad. The technical specifications page for it says the battery will last for months of normal use (About two hours a day) without having to be charged. I like that it has backlit keys, but using them will shorten the life of the charge. Like the other products listed, the stand allows for adjusting the tablet so you can view it comfortably.
The Two Best iPad Keyboards
If I were to go out and buy one of these products, I’d get the Logitech Solar that’s priced between $60 and $130. My second choice would be the ZAGGkeys which they list for $129. While all of these products seem to be great, I consider those two to be the best iPad keyboards.
Photo Credit: ShopMobi