Monday, November 29, 2010
CNET News recently showcased the tyPad, a keyboard case for the iPad that syncs via a wireless bluetooth connection. The iPad goes into a standard carrying case, and when turned on its side becomes a screen for the keypad.
Sync the tyPad, turn it on, and the bluetooth symbol will show up in the top right next to the battery symbol letting you know that the keyboard is good to go. There are two blue lights, which fade out when the battery gets low and you need to re-charge the tyPad (comes wiht its own cable, and a travel charger is available at an extra charge.
The keypad is fairly large, about the size of a netbook and it works exceptionally well. I've started doing quite a lot of work sitting in the cafe with a cappuccino on one side, a Rhodia Reverse Book and fountain pen on the other, and my iPad/tyPad duo typing away (the Rhodia is there for those times when I need to make some notes for later use).
The tyPad works perfectly with the Docs To Go app (pictured above) for the iPad, and with Dropbox I can access documents I need to work on, make changes to them quickly using the keypad, and then save and go on to other things (like the cafe's mint mocha latte, for example). With all the Macs and Dells/HPs taking up a ton of space at the cafe, this has been a great alternative as the keypad is fairly stiff and will lay flat on most any surface.
A few minuses that are really just my peeves: there's only one shift key, on the left, so I'll suddenly see some gibberish on the notepage due to hitting the right non-existent shift. And I'd like to have a better idea of the battery life, which seems to be about 90 minutes or more but I can't always tell. The blue lights turn off, but I don't know if that means low power or this is just screwing with my mind (no anthropomorphizing there, lol).
The tyPad is now available at Tekserve as well, glad to see them at one of the major NYC Mac resellers and tekkie hangouts. Not cheap ($130 from tyPad), but the service has been excellent (had a few problems that Sean helped me with and he was gracious all the way while I fumbled with the jargon) and I'm very pleased with it's durability and capability. If you have an iPad, you might want to consider a wireless keyboard for it if, like me, you use it for work as well as Netflix.