I reviewed the Brydge Keyboard for the iPad Air/Air 2 back in March. On the time, I discovered it arduous to decide on between this and the ClamCase Pro, and for some time switched between them. Nevertheless, the Brydge received the battle ultimately, turning into my day by day driver for my iPad Air 2.
Brydge has two fashions for the smaller iPad, one for the iPad mini 1/2/3 and a second model popping out subsequent month for the iPad mini 4. Each have the identical all-aluminum development, the identical matching colours (silver, house grey and gold), the identical three-month battery life and weigh the identical 300g.
One of many beauties of the unique is that you just just about get a full-size MacBook keyboard on your iPad, with key sizes and spacing very near that of a MacBook Air. They keys are barely narrower and a contact nearer collectively, however the typing expertise may be very related. With the a lot smaller footprint of the iPad mini, nonetheless, I questioned how the BrydgeMini would evaluate …
My quick visible impressions had been extraordinarily favorable. It didn’t seem like a dramatically smaller keyboard, and it really took a few seconds to determine how they’d managed to suit a decent-sized keyboard into such a small house.
What Brydge has opted to do is to maintain the letter keys as massive and well-spaced as attainable, and to sacrifice the width of a handful of different keys to tug it off. Particularly, it has a half-width mixed tab and caps-lock key, and even slimmer keys for left sq./curly bracket, colon/semi-colon and citation marks (single and double). The one oddity within the setup is that the number one/exclamation level key can be one of many extra-thin ones.
The corporate additionally mixed a number of keys, utilizing a fn key to entry the choice features – extra on this later – and introduced the entrance row of keys a lot nearer to the sting of the casing.
The payoff for these compromises is that the principle keys are remarkably related in measurement to the keyboard for the full-size iPad.
The remainder of the design is similar to the full-size model. As with that, it roughly doubles the thickness of the iPad. On the left is the slimmer iPad Air 2, whereas the iPad mini is the full-fat iPad mini 2, however you’ll be able to see that the keyboard thickness is nearly similar.
You do have the identical barely messy seen hinges, however I in a short time acquired used to these and now don’t thoughts them in any respect.
And the again of the iPad is left uncovered, however that’s a kind of swings & roundabouts points: no safety versus no further bulk and nothing to spoil the look of the gadget.
My iPad Air 2 has been carried round with me in quite a lot of luggage with no rear safety, and stays unmarked greater than a yr later, so it’s not one thing I fear about.
With my earlier evaluate, I had remarkably little to say concerning the typing expertise as a result of it was so much like typing on a MacBook. For this evaluate, I switched forwards and backwards between three keyboards – my Apple Wi-fi keyboard, full-size Brydge and BrydgeMini – and have a little bit extra to say.
The texture of the keyboard is similar to that of the bigger mannequin, which in flip is extraordinarily much like that of any of the MacBooks bar the butterfly-key 12-inch MacBook. The stiff hinges let you place the iPad at any angle, and have it keep there reliably. The BrydgeMini can be completely secure when typing in your lap.
I scarcely seen the change between Apple and Brydge keyboards. The BrydgeMini does really feel a little bit extra cramped – extra so, I’ve to say, than I anticipated from it. However given the a lot smaller measurement of the gadget, I’d say the corporate has executed an important job. My typing velocity was a little bit down, however I wasn’t making any extra errors than typical.
The one factor that did show a minor ache was that very skinny colon/semi-colon key; as common readers will know, I’m a little bit of a fan of the semi-colon particularly.
I discussed earlier that Brydge had mixed a number of keys. These are the tab/caps lock, the tilde (~)/grave accent (`) and right-square/curly brackets with backslash () and vertical bar (|). As a author, and an English one, I’ve little name for many of those characters, so these weren’t points. The tab key was awkward, however finishing internet kinds is the one time I actually use it (after which provided that I can’t use autofill), so this wasn’t an enormous deal for me. For those who do incessantly tab, or use any of the opposite characters talked about, it’s possible you’ll wish to strive before you purchase.
The BrydgeMini is a outstanding achievement. The corporate has delivered one thing that’s 90% nearly as good as the unique in a kind issue that’s, of necessity, considerably smaller.
It has approached the scale discount in an clever method which – for most individuals – includes only a few compromises. As with the full-size mannequin, it’s not low-cost. The mannequin for the iPad mini 1/2/3 is $129.99, whereas the iPad mini 4 model is at the moment out there for pre-order for $99.99, with delivery in January. However you’re getting one thing which primarily turns your iPad mini right into a tiny MacBook, with very Apple-like appears to be like and an important typing expertise. If you should do a number of typing on an iPad, I’d say that it’s effectively definitely worth the funding.
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