Dan Frakes on iPad Keyboards

Another Macworld buying guide round up from Dan Frakes: Find the Best iPad Keyboard.

Since I’ve replaced my iPad 1 with an iPad 3 [sic], I’m thinking about buying a case and an Apple Wireless keyboard, instead of the Adonit WriterPlus or the ZaggKeys ProFolio+. That’s not because I no longer like the Adonit keyboard/case, I do like it, but I’m traveling less and writing more on the iPad as I use it almost as much as I use my MacBook.

iPad Keyboards, Cases and Styluses

Increasingly, people are using iPads for creating content, as well as reading and viewing content. While the iPad digital keyboard is nifty (especially if you know these clever typing shortcuts) a stylus, or keyboard, or keyboard-and-stand combination can all make writing, editing, and creating on the iPad much easier. Dan Frakes has a thorough review of iPad keyboards in his Macworld Buying Guide: iPad keyboards. Frakes also favors Adonit’s Writer folio case and Bluetooth keyboard, the one I wrote about here and have been using quite happily (though I’m still planning to pick up Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPad and with an iMac).

For non-keyboard cases, this Macworld Buying Guide: iPad Cases seems to be the most thorough and helpful collection of reviews. I might as well confess that Apple’s red leather smart case for the iPad 2 (or possibly the navy blue leather one) are awfully tempting—though not quite enough to tempt me into buying an actual iPad 2. Instead, I bought a padded neoprene slip cover case that neatly fits in the padded laptop compartment of my backpack. That said, I’ve been eyeing the design-your-own cases and protective hard shell covers from Zazzle and Cafe Press.

My current obsession, personally, is with the utility of using a stylus to write and draw on the iPad. I’m about to post a review of the Griffin GC16040 Stylus for iPad/iPhone and Other Touchscreens. I’ve been fascinated to see how well it works, and yes, the Griffin Stylus really is an asset. I note that once again the Macworld Buying Guide: iPad Styluses seems to provide the best coverage.
At the high end, they like the Wacom Bamboo (and it’s available in multiple colors) at around $25.00. I’ve heard good things about Wacom’s Bamboo Stylus from others too. I note that a lot of my friends are buying the BoxWave Capacitive Stylus; like the Griffin Stylus, it’s about ten dollars, but the Boxwave comes in colors, and people seem to be buying two or three at a time.

Which iPad Case and Keyboard Should I Get?

Image of an Adonit Writer 1 iPad keyboard and caseI’m looking for an iPad keyboard and case combination. It’s for a first generation iPad, and I’m trying to decide between the Zaggmate and the Adonit Writer for iPad 1. They’re both about the same price. Here’s the official Zaggmate page, and here’s the official Adonit Writer page. I note that the Adonit for the iPad 1 is a bit scarce, though you can still Writer for iPad 1buy the Adonit Writer for iPad 1 at Amazon.

Charlie Stross says of the Zaggmate:

If you can cope with a small keyboard with non-standard cursor keys and want a keyboard case, the Logitech/ZaggMate case wins hands-down. With the iPad in the case, its dimensions are very similar to the iPad with a standard cover. Probably not as good for sustained typing as the Apple and Targus keyboards.

But Alex Piper brought the Adonit to my attention, so now I’m looking really really hard at it. Alex notes:

My issue with the various soft Bluetooth keyboard cases was that they felt strange and mushy. My issue with the Zaggmate was that awful lip on the edge of the keyboard. Neither applies here.

The keyboard feels good and solid, at least with the use I’ve put it through so far; better than the keyboard on my real netbook (Dell mini 9), in all honesty. When you open the case, it ‘sticks’ magnetically into whatever position you’ve picked, so it stays put. The response is excellent, and if you can type on a small keyboard like an eee PC or a mini 9, you’ll have no problem with it.

This is a review of the Adonit Writer.

I want an iPad keyboard and case combo for travel purposes—or I’d just buy an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, because for someone used to typing on laptops, it’s a limousine.

And yes, I’m even open to buying Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and a separate case for the iPad and keyboard.

So: What are you using? Do you like it? What do you suggest?