51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I had been using a Logitech keyboard with my iPad 3 and was happy with it. So when I got my Air 2 my initial thought was to get a Logitech keyboard again until I looked at the price. Saw the price of the Anker keyboard and thought it would be worth a go. I'm not disappointed at all. Visually it doesn't match my space grey iPad and the hinge has some white parts that look a little out of place. In use though it works great. I like the pop up support for the iPad which makes it more stable. The angle the iPad sits at is generally good for most situations.
It was easy to Bluetooth pair the devices together and once done the keyboard works fine. Not a fan of this type of keyboard generally as I prefer "proper" keys but found this one relatively easy to type on and use. If you do a lot of typing I would suspect that this wouldn't be suitable for writing a novel or long typing sessions. But as a keyboard to travel with or even as a stand it works well and I would certainly consider it against some of the other more expensive keyboards out there.
The only negative I have which seems to apply to all these type of keyboards is the lack of any small rubber pads to stop it slipping on smooth surfaces.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
This keyboard is like logitech ultrathin and is almost half the price of logitech or 65 pounds cheaper than belkin qode. Most important thing for me on this keyboard is to have command button on both sides and am very happy with it. Not sure why belkin qode and logitech ultrathin have removed this option. And also ipad air attaches to the keyboard like a cover which is a good thing.
Magnetic strength on the end is very strong , but grove magnet power is OK for it to sit, but dont try to lift the Ipad air with it in the groove. One more positive is that the weight of the keyboard is only 330 grams which is quite good. In orde to enjoy this keyboard you should use Perfect Browser which support the bluetooth scrolling and is really very useful. For 34 pounds this is really good accessory to use the Ipad air when a keybooard is needed. Hope this help others. Try it you wont be disappointed.
I wish the mangnetic groove on the centre was a bit strong. I know am expecting a lot for this price, but its OK. Overall , very good product and keyboard from Anker.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I resisted buying an iPad until the Air was released late last year and I bought the smart cover at the same time (what a waste of money the cover was). I now rarely use my laptop except to manage iTunes and copy movies across to the iPad. But, as with the iPhone, I hate the on-screen keyboard.
My brother in law has an older iPad and I always admired the amazing keyboard he had with it - the Logitech Ultrathin, so I've been monitoring the price of the Air version but it remained stubbornly expensive. I only recently noticed the Anker Ultra-Thin and at £24 I thought it would be rude not to try it.
First impressions on un-boxing - it's glossy, tiny, expensive looking, and a 'real' keyboard.
The outside shell is a classy aluminium, the keyboard side a shiny black and the keys have clear white letters on them. I have the space grey iPad so the aluminium doesn't match it, but if you have the silver iPad then bingo! That said, the different shade is not an issue as you can only see one side at any one time and the aluminium is not visible when the keyboard is in use.
The iPad magnetically connects faultlessly and closes to form a solid unit that can be held without fear of damaging my precious screen. The keyboard has a raised rubber buffer in each of the four corners and this protects the screen from contact with the keys whilst allowing the auto screen off to kick in.
The only disappointment for me is that whilst securely held by the 'hinge' magnets, there is nothing to secure the 'open' ends together, so I'm looking for a suitable cushioned slip-case that will keep it all together when travelling (although as an emergency - see the Top Tip below).
Whilst using the keyboard on a recent flight to Ireland I left the iPad connected by the magnet and laid both units flat on my legs - allowing me to use the keyboard and not worry about dropping my iPad.
However, it's designed primarily to be detached and inserted into the horizontal slot and this gives you what looks like a fantastic Ultrabook! The keyboard looks like an absolute premium product and this alone makes it worth the paltry price Anker ask of you.
As other reviewers have said, the bluetooth connection is easy. The battery lasts for months so I don't bother even to turn it off. If it's not been used for some time, the bluetooth needs a key press to spring to life and at that point the fiendish on-screen keyboard disappears and then your characters miraculously start to appear on the screen. Unlike my disappointing Sony Vaio keyboard, every character I press on the Anker appears on my screen. Needless to say, I'm typing this review on the keyboard.
- £ SIGN - I only just found the £ sign today - on a review for a different Anker keyboard - press Shift & 3 - interestingly however, I don't know where the hash sign is now...
- An emergency case can be purchased from Poundland! They have an iPad 2 case, for £1, that both the iPad and the keyboard will slide into - this keeps you unit together and cushioned when travelling
In conclusion, I am so pleased I waited and bought this unit. It's a gift at this price and has given me a complete laptop substitute.
Edit June 2014
In the meantime I've also bought a "Super Legend Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Air" and would recommend you consider it as it's a serious contender to the Anker as well as being somewhat cheaper...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2015
I bought this knowing it is not fully compatible with the iPad Air 2 - it doesn't put the iPad to sleep when the cover is closed - and there is not a lot of other choice for the iPad Air 2.
My experience is as follows:
1. It offers no protection for the back of the iPad
2. I am only a light user and always take care, but despite that the bottom of the keyboard cover has scratched really easily
3. I have found that they keyboard does not work all the time. IE Hilton Hotel wifi page I have to turn bluetooth off as the keyboard wont work in the room number and last name fields
4. It gets a bit annoying not having a proper "flip up" feature - instead you have to separate the iPad from the magnet at the back and insert it into the groove. Then when finished you have to take it out the groove and re-engage it with the magnet at the back to close it
5. Keyboard has no illumination
I know lots of people like this keyboard. Maybe mine is faulty (point 3) but for me it makes life more difficult than it need to.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2014
Bluetooth keyboard connection worked briefly with ipad, then suddenly disconnected, never to work again. Lovely design but no good if it doesn't do the job. Shall be returning it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2015
This product works very well for the first week, then you start to see the practical issues.
One concern is the angle that the iPad is at. It rests comfortably, however the inability to change tilt means you are sometimes left arching over, which isn't great for your back.
However the main concern is the usability. Every now and again, it will lag between keyboard and iPad, resulting in a result like 'thhhhis'. Doesn't sound like an issue, but becomes a very big hinderance in long documents due to repetitively adjusting words.
Although I love Anker products, my advice would be to spend more money on a quality product.. This is a product which isn't cheap enough for it to buy a 'might as well' item, but also isn't a product of high quality you'd expect. My advice to Anker would be to trial their products with quality customers for genuine recommendations to improve upon!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2014
This external bluetooth keyboard for the iPad Air attempts to bridge the gap between iPad and a laptop by giving your iPad Air a usable keyboard, and I must say it does a reasonable (if not quite perfect) job of it.
The keyboard itself is very similar to the design of the Logitec Ultrathin - which does admittedly retail at literally double the price. It’s a “piano black” base with keys built in. The under-side (which sits on a table or your lap) is pale grey plastic. You simply switch on the keyboard, and press connect to “pair” they keyboard with your iPad. Then go to "Settings - Bluetooth” and press on “Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard” to connect. Don’t worry, you only need to do this once. Once set up, the iPad automatically recognises the keyboard, and off you go.
Unlike a laptop, the "screen" (the iPad itself), detaches from the keyboard to clip into the hinge along the long edge, and is then folded flat like a book. Basically, the screen closes down over the keys, leaving what looks like two iPad Airs placed together like a sandwich. When you place it down, the iPad Air automatically switches off which is a nice touch. However, you will notice a distinct colour difference between the silver base of the keyboard and the iPad itself - but you can pay around double the price for the Logitec Ultrathin - which is higher quality - but at this price the keyboard is great.
When you want to use it, you carefully open the iPad and keyboard (like a book), and gently pull the iPad and keyboard apart. You then drop the Air into a slot just behind the set of keys, where it sits at a fixed angle of about 120 degrees. (90 degrees is vertical).
One way in which this keyboard scores over the (more expensive) Logitec Ultrathin, is the pop-up stand. When you drop your iPad into the slot a small stand pops up which gives you even more stability. The Logitec (and several other keyboards), simply hold the iPad in place along the drop in ridge. Why is this better - because it means if you replace your iPad Air for an iPad Air 2 it will still work!
The keyboard does sit nicely in place, but does however mean the keyboard feels a little cramped, as your fingers are so close to the screen, and the keyboard itself is placed in the seemingly small space between the front edge and the screen. But all is not lost. Despite the small space, you can touch type on this, and the keys have good "travel" - you can feel when they've been pressed down. Keyboard layout is excellent, but the numeric keys are smaller than the others - adding to the feeling of keyboard being cramped.
Of course, the downside, is this keyboard gives almost no protection at all. At best you can place it down so the keyboard (not iPad) is placed on a table, and doesn't get scratched. For example, if you accidentally dropped them, the two would just fall apart, and the keyboard will give no protection from bumps or scratches.
One concern I had, was could you use this on your lap? Well, sitting in bed typing this review I can reassure you that it works fine. It’s especially secure because of the pop up stand.
Finally, it comes well packaged with a brief manual, a micro USB cable so you can charge the battery (these keyboards typically run for weeks or even months before being charged), and a velvet like grey carry case. Nice touch.
What's great about it?
* It works! You can touch-type at almost full speed, and it’s great value for money!
* The pop-up stand is a bonus - extra stability and you can use it for an iPad Air or Air 2
* Build quality is good for a budget keyboard
* It's remarkably light and thin. In fact one of the lightest keyboards on the market
* While it will happily sit in place on your lap or a table, you can very quickly remove it, and use the iPad "au natural" - a great bonus.
* You can use the keyboard in portrait mode (although I found it felt "unnatural" and wouldn't bother myself)
What's not quite so good?
* They keyboard does feel a little small and cramped. The keys are placed too close to the front edge (but that’s just my opinion)
* The numeric keys are smaller and therefore more difficult to use
* Unlike most other folio style keyboards, the screen is fixed in one position
* It provides little or no protection from bangs, scrapes or scratches.
Given the budget price, this is certainly a usable keyboard. Personally, I’d prefer a keyboard (like the Zagg Folio) that uses the entire keyboard space, but again, that’s about double the price. On balance, I’d have no hesitation in recommending this.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2014
A good solid cover that feels well made and has a reasonably strong magnet to hold it on to the iPad. The pop-up support when the iPad is placed into the slot makes the screen feel quite solid when touching it and there is almost no movement which is far better than other keyboards I have used.
The downsides are however why it only gets 2 stars.
1. It regularly losses the Bluetooth connection with the iPad, even in the middle of typing, and there is then a pause whilst it reconnects. Sometimes though it won't and you have to go into settings to try and force the two to connect. Very occasionally when the Bluetooth has been lost the on-screen keyboard appears, but for some reason can't be removed until the keyboard connects again which makes it very awkward to see what is going on when you only have half a screen. This has never happened when I have used the iPad away from the keyboard and so must deduce that it is the keyboard doing this.
2. The keys feel reasonably OK to type with, but some of them produce double letters (particularly the Y unless very careful) which is annoying.
3. There is no magnetic strip in the slot, so if moving the combination be very careful how you pick it up as it is likely to come apart. A magnetic strip in the slot would have prevented this and given more confidence when moving around.
4. The keyboard does not always put the iPad to sleep when you close it. I have to use the top switch on the iPad every time I close it up as I have found it on after a few hours and the battery nearly depleted. Somehow the keyboard stopped the iPad turning itself off after the usual 5 minutes inactivity.
So overall a decent looking device at a decent price, but one I would hesitate in recommending as it is not stable enough. In fact I'm already looking for a replacement.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2014
Got this for just a fraction of the price of similar Logitech products but it never feels cheap. The device is reasonably sturdy, bluetooth pairs to the iPad Air without issues, typing is comfortable, etc. Highly recommended!