Should I Get a Keyboard for My iPad?

You may well have had a tablet or iPad for years, and managed perfectly well without a keyboard. After all, there is a virtual keyboard and that works just fine. Right? Well, I guess it depends what you want to do with your tablet or iPad.

Sure, if you just play games or watch movies on your iPad you probably don’t need a keyboard. Even if you just use it for a little browsing and keep up to date with your social media, you can probably live without a keyboard. However, if you want to do a bit more on your iPad you might well be yearning for a keyboard. Some things would just be a lot easier if you had a keyboard.

So why not buy one. Once you start looking for a keyboard to work with your iPad, you start to realise it might not be that simple. It’s not quite like buying a keyboard for your PC where you just pick one you like. There are quite a few things to consider when you are buying a keyboard for a tablet or iPad. My first suggestion is that you go over to http://www.ithingum.com/ipad-keyboards/ and read their reviews and buyers guides. You can look through their recommendations to find a keyboard with the features you need. Here are some of the features you may come across.

Home Use

You may want a keyboard that you can connect to your iPad just for using at home. Some of them may be described as travel keyboards but perhaps aren’t portable enough. You may decide just to buy an Apple version although the newer models connect via Smart connector.

  • A really useful feature on some keyboards is a sort of tray where you can sit your iPad in it so it is at a comfortable angle for you to see and use.
  • Multiple connections. Quite a few keyboards give you the ability to connect to more than one device. This means you could connect your keyboard to an iPad and an iPhone and use them at the same time. Three seems to be the maximum number of devices you can connect to.
  • There are a couple of different choices for how your keyboard is powered, if you have a preference. Some are charged on normal AAA batteries, which means you would have to keep some spares handy. Others are powered by a rechargeable battery. There are even some models that are solar powered.

Travel

Whether you commute by train to work every day or are flying half way around the world on holiday, you take your iPad with you. It therefore stands to reason that if you buy a keyboard you will want to take that too. There is a great selection of keyboards that travel well too.

  • There are some keyboards that are described as travel keyboards as they are so lightweight. This is fine if you are looking for an almost full size but very light keyboard to carry around with you. Some of them come with cradles or brackets so you can support your tablet in front of the keyboard. This gives it the look of a laptop. There are some models that also have a built in touchpad to save carrying around a mouse as well.
  • Keyboard case. These are great, kill two birds with one stone as it were. There are models available that are so thin they are practically paper. They are, therefore, extremely lightweight. Plus do the job of the case. They are powered by the iPad itself, so there are no batteries to charge. It also comes in a ruggedised version if you are prone to dropping things. This is a great option if you are always going to want the keyboard to be connected to your iPad. Otherwise, it may get fairly annoying having to take it out of the case frequently.
  • Yes, a folding keyboard. They fold up into 3 parts so end up being about the size of a wallet. It only uses power when it is open so when it is closed it is basically switched off. If you are a touch typist, you may find it difficult to use at first due to the gap on the keyboard where the fold is.