iPad Keyboard Dock Hands On

ipad-keyboard-dock-11

We just took delivery of the iPad Keyboard Dock and what can we say - it's an iPad dock with a keyboard attached to it. Ok, we can say more - the keyboard is excellent, it matches Apple's usual quality with keyboards and while we know some don't like their recent designs as much as the older stuff, we do. The keyboard dock is also heavy, we'd guess at least a pound. The obvious benefit there is that, unlike the standard dock, when you lift the iPad out the keyboard stays put.

The dock works like a standard iPad dock with a charging port and line-out on the back - though unfortunately it doesn't come with any cables or a 2nd charger. At $69.99, that would be nice to see but it's not entirely surprising.

The keyboard has some nice functional touches as well. You can (obviously) use the shift + arrow keys to select text; command + X/C/V works for cut, copy, and paste; and finally there are is a row of buttons at the top for various iPad functions. You can jump to the homescreen, go to Spotlight search, adjust brightness, start the lock-screen slideshow, toggle the on-screen keyboard, control the iPod, adjust volume, and finally instantly lock the screen with the top row. Another nice bit is that hitting any button immediately turns on the iPad without forcing you to slide-to-unlock.

So it's a nice keyboard and has Apple's standard elegance. Unfortunately it's not a great travel keyboard - both the weight and the fact that the stand doesn't fold down means that road warriors will likely be doing some very serious soul searching when they think about tossing it in their gear bag.

Video hands-on and gallery after the break!

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

More Posts

 

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

← Previously

From the Forums: iPhone OS, iPhone 4.0, Crosswords give away, Thoughts on 4.0, iPad screen protectors

Next up →

iPhone 4 sneak preview event meta live-blog!

There are 20 comments. Add yours.

m1n0r says:

Does that thing work with an iPhone or iPod Touch ?

Limegrntaln says:

I would say it would have to be the right weight so the iPad didnt fall over backwards, the Apple keyboards dont weigh anything.

christiaan says:

cuanto costara esta joyita?

L says:

m1nOr - On the Apple store it says it only works with the iPad.
There aren't any specs. posted on the website either. I was curious about the weight.
http://www.diverse-group.com/menu/blog.html

GlennEU says:

If you play a video file or the youtube app, does the iPad show the videostream while an external audiosystem is connected?
When i place my iPhone in my B&W Zeppelin the video stream disappearce when i play youtube or any other video file.
Thx for the good keyboard review !

(Copy of) Dev says:

Only slightly related, Rene, but do you (or anybody else) have any problems mentally switching back and forth between a regular keyboard and the iPad one? The iPhone keyboard is really, really different, so I never had problems, but the iPad is close-but-not-quite to a "real" keyboard. As a result, when I was playing with it at the store I found myself frequently hitting return when I was trying to type apostrophe (in a menu, but not in the iPad standard keyboard), and errors like that.
Do those sorts of errors go away with practice, or do they hang around longer than they should because you are constantly switching between an iPad and a desktop keyboard?

Dyvim says:

Nice looking dock, but main problem for me is that so far most of the iPad apps have more functionality/utility in landscape mode, so I'd much prefer to type that way if I could. Guess you can always go with a BT keyboard and a stand (or the Apple case), but the top row iPad-specific function keys are nice and wouldn't be found on a BT keyboard. Would be nice to have the best of both worlds!

brindy says:

When packed up in a case, along with the keyboard, what is the combined weight compared with, say, a MacBook?

gruswitz says:

Interesting.
Dieter, do you resent talking about the iPad? "Not the most exciting ...". Little passive/aggressive?

Jonathan Allen says:

I have a dev account, so I downloaded iPhone 4.0 beta and plugged my iPhone into my new iPad keyboard dock. WORKED!

appfreak says:

The keyboard dock + iPad should be called 'The Apple IV?'

msnorberto says:

Hi,
what's program that is running on iPad during the video? It's amazing.
Thanks.

alex says:

msnorberto - "Pages" .. $9.99 in the app store

chris says:

The keyboard doesn't seem to work well with the spreadsheet Numbers. The arrow keys can't be used to move from cell to cell. You can't enter text or numbers without touching the screen at least once. It seems horribly flawed as if the software designers never contemplated that there would be a physical keyboard. I'd love to know if I missed something or if there are work arounds.

jon says:

chris - Just got the keyboard doc today and noticed the same thing with the spreadsheet Numbers. Very disappointed that the arrow keys didn't work there. I looked a lot online and couldn't find any workarounds or way to get it to work either. Also surprised it doesn't make navigating between apps easier. I've used keyboards in the past for Palm devices and they were much easier to use. Hopefully, software fixes will correct this in the future.

Matthias vom Dahl says:

@ m1n0r:
Yes, it does - at least with ipod touch 3g.
I bought the ipad keyboard dock(german quertz version) just today and tried it with my ipod touch 3g: it works absolutely well - no software needed, not a single change in system control, no crack or whatsoever - just connect and all the buttons are at your disposal...
But beware - there is the 'form factor' problem (check out youtube: ipad keyboard dock with iphone 4, iphone 3g etc.): according to the video iphone 4 for example does not fit...
So, this is just my personal experience; maybe other users see it differently - but as for now I'm happy enough...

ford says:

Either or both sets of wheels would be fine with me! I'd just have to lower it about two inches all around! Nice car!