Looking for a hardware keyboard for your iPad? Here's some of the best!

Today on Talk Mobile, we're talking about the keyboard. Since the birth of the iPad, there's been a desire to use it more and more to get things done. The biggest hurdle for many is the full touchscreen nature of using a tablet like the iPad, but thankfully there's plenty of hardware to choose from. Likely connected to the sheer popularity of the iPad, third-party manufacturers have come out with a whole host of hardware keyboards to help you get real typing done. Some are good, really good, others not so. Here we round up some of our favorites for the iPad!

Logitech Ultrathin Cover for iPad

The Ultrathin from Logitech is one of the very best out there. It's incredibly slim, it looks fantastic and employs a Smart Cover style magnetic hinge to attach to your iPad. Its chiclet style keys give an extremely pleasant typing experience, and while not quite offering the same sized keyboard as something like an 11-inch MacBook Air, it's not all that far away. Simple pairing and a long battery life just add to its value, and while it's not the cheapest accessory around, its certainly one of the best if you're looking for a physical keyboard.

Kensington KeyCover Hard Shell

My own personal keyboard of choice, the Kensington KeyCover combines a good sized chiclet keyboard with a very sturdy hard shell case. Unlike the Logitech, with the Kensington the iPad clips within the case, so there is a little added bulk. But it feels strong, and offers a really nice typing experience. Pairing it is pretty easy, and the stand to prop up the iPad is sturdy enough that you need not worry about it falling over. Comes at a competitive price too, so is well worth considering.

Adonit Writer

Where the first two are basically shells, the Adonit Writer comprises a full protective case yet still remains thin and light. The keyboard itself is detachable from the main case giving you a few more options for use. And, unlike the others it has a dedicated function key row. All in all it offers a great balance between case and keyboard.

Incase Origami Workstation with Apple Bluetooth Keyboard

The Incase Origami isn't actually an iPad keyboard. What it is, is a portable workstation that allows you to combine your iPad with Apple's Bluetooth Keyboard. Since many desktop Mac users will already have one of these, the Origami actually works out at great value for money. And, because you're using the Apple keyboard, you're not compromised on space, and you have a full sized keyboard at your disposal.

So, there's a selection of our favorite hardware keyboards for the iPad, but what's yours? Shout out in the comments below and let us know!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Looking for a hardware keyboard for your iPad? Here's some of the best!

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I would personally recommend any keyboard that is separate. I tried a zaggfolio once. It worked great, but the problem then came when I wanted to detach the ipad from the sleeve to use. Very difficult to do one-handed while standing in a crowded train, that's for sure.

The keyboard with the best looks and functionality I've used is the Cruxskunk. The only flaw with this keyboard is its weight. People will complain about this but it's been my experience that going with another keyboard that may weigh a few ounces less doesn't necessarily make carrying a keyboard accessory any less cumbersome. But for an Apple like look and finish there is nothing better in the market.

I own the Logitech, in white. It even comes in red and a gorgeous purple! Other than being well-built and attractive, it does have an advantage of being detachable. Although you can use it in your lap, you don't always want to.
Another keyboard I tried was the Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case. It provided full coverage for the iPad, and wasn't too bulky, but the white version was $129.99 versus $99.99 for the black one.

One other thing I noticed on these keyboards is that they all seem to have function keys for text editing shortcuts. Virtually every shortcut that works on the Mac will work on any of these keyboards using the standard Cmd or Opt modifier keys.

I've tested a bunch and my current favorite is the Clamcase Pro (www.clamcase.com). It's pricey, but it looks good, has a great keyboard and has a complete case to protect your iPad. The case has a 360 degree swivel that lets you position the iPad at whatever angle you choose including completely flat against the keyboard. You can also turn off the keyboard and swivel it around like a kiosk. Perfect for watching movies.

I've owned the brydge and its expensive, poorly made and not worth looking at even if just out of curiosity. The speakers are a joke and the entire product is a rip-off. Don't waste your money.

Lets not neglect the obvious strengths of the product. It has a quality build and finish with "Apple style" aluminum, and hinges that immediately create a laptop-like feel..... The Brydge is for those who don't want a mere "prop-up" style keyboard..... but a true laptop replacement..... I respectfully disagree with your findings..... And I do recommend this keyboard to anyone in the market. (I own one as well...)

Off topic but what is Rene's bag in the Origami video? I really like it!

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