If you’ve ever tried using your iPad as an honest-to-goodness computer replacement, you’ve probably thought (more than once) about getting a Bluetooth keyboard for the thing. Unfortunately, everyone’s first choice–the official Apple Wireless Keyboard–costs $69 and is by no means durable enough for all the pitstops of life’s daily grind. Sure, it looks great, but you’ve already got an expensive iPad to worry about. Why unnecessarily add to the headache?
The AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard–from, you guessed it, Amazon–has a five-star rating, satisfying key response, and is both smaller and lighter than Apple’s offering. And, at about $40, it costs roughly half of what you’d pay for the real deal.
TUAW’s TJ Luoma, who recently purchased and reviewed a unit, had this to say about its iOS tie-ins:
The top row of [backlit] function keys have several which are labeled for different features: Spotlight search, play/pause, forward/reverse, volume up/down/mute. One even serves as a “keyboard” button to use to toggle the on-screen keyboard, and there’s a Delete key for those who aren’t satisfied with Backspace. On the back, there is an on/off switch and a button to initiate pairing with new devices.
Speaking of devices, while the item description lists the iPad and iPhone, it will also work with the iPod touch. In fact, it should work with any Bluetooth-enabled device. The iOS-specific elements are (as far as I can tell), just the aforementioned labels on the function keys.
Sounds pretty good.
Personally, I prefer using the on-screen iPad keyboard in portrait mode. I’m up to 35 words a minute with nothing but thumbs. Like a boss.