Top positive review
59 people found this helpful
A great keyboard for the money
on 18 January 2014
I was sent this by Anker as a sample for review purposes.
The keyboard comes well packed, as always, and includes a charging cable which is USB to mini USB (pity it's not the new lightning connector but that's maybe expecting a little too much at this price). I've been using it for most of the week and haven't yet had to charge it so it looks like it'll go a long time between charges.
The face of the keyboard is finished in a glossy black plastic which perfectly matches the surround on the iPad. The rear is a matt silver finish plastic but despite this all-plastic construction it feels solid and well made. There is a magnetic strip/hinge, just like the one on the Apple covers, which is strong enough to stay attached to the iPad but still easy enough to pull apart - which you need to do so that you can place the iPad in the groove that runs across the keyboard just above the number/function keys. This groove holds the iPad at just the right angle in both portrait and landscape modes and has a magnetic strip along it's length which is just strong enough to ensure the iPad remains securely in place. The slot is set far enough forward that there's no risk of the whole thing tipping back under the weight of the iPad but means it can feel slightly too close to the keyboard, however I quickly got used to this. When not typing the whole assembly can be closed but there is nothing to keep it securely shut. Be warned - I think this will only fit the iPad Air, the width of the groove won't support a thicker tablet
Connecting this to the iPad was really easy - switch it on and press the 'connect' button, then turn on the bluetooth radio on the iPad. Within a couple of seconds you will see a message on the iPad instructing you to type in a 4-digit code on the keyboard. It connects immediately, and will subsequently reconnect within a couple of seconds every time thereafter, without the need to type in any more security codes. Being Bluetooth it can also be used with other tablets, smart TVs, smartphones etc. if you don't need the support groove.
Once connected it becomes apparent that the keys are actually a decent size for such a compact layout. The keys have a very pleasant 'springy' feel which make it very easy to type quickly with few errors - I can type on this as fast as I can on a full-size keyboard. There is a full selection of function keys which include adjustments like screen brightness, volume, copy & paste etc. which are very useful.
Overall, if you mostly use your iPad in one location, it's a good keyboard at a reasonable price. If you take your iPad everywhere you will either want something like a sleeve to keep it closed and protected or an alternative that offers a better level of protection in one product.