Little by little, year by year Apple are slowly turning the iPad into a pretty decent workhorse. And with the ability in iOS 13 to pair it with a mouse even more so. With this in mind I have been looking for a keyboard that would give a more laptop type feel to the iPad.
I already have the Apple keyboard case and that works well but the keys aren’t great for long typing sessions. I also tried using a full sized Apple Magic Keyboard and that was lovely for typing but didn’t have the portability that I was looking for.
This is where the Brydge Keyboard fills a gap. Looking just like the keyboard that you would find on a MacBook but its form factor exactly matches the iPad Pro that it is mated to.
The Brydge in use
The Brydge looks like something Apple might have produced themselves built into a block of aluminium in colours to match the iPad itself. The keyboard is a standard layout with an additional row of welcome function keys on the top. These include:
- Backlit key intensity
- Show/hide onscreen keyboard
- Media keys (volume, play/pause etc)
Unlike the Apple Smart Keyboard there is a good amount of travel on the Brydge keys and it really does look, feel and act like a keyboard you would mate to a desktop or laptop.
However, you do have to be positive and quite firm in your key pressing. I have a few times found that I have been missing some letters from the middle of words without noticing.
So good is the experience though that I have regularly found my finger wandering to the void below the space bar in search for the touchpad only to find it missing!
The iPad fits to the keyboard through two hinges which have rubber cushions to secure the device. These hinges allow for the iPad to be held securely in any position unlike the two fixed positions that are available with the Apple Keyboard.
A downside of the grip of the hinges is that it is more difficult to remove the iPad for using simply as a tablet and I wonder about the wear on the rubber. After a few weeks of use the grips still feels secure but I do wonder how it will be in a year, two years of use.
Unlike the Apple keyboard the Brydge needs to be charged. You can use the same USB-C cable that is used for the device itself but you shouldn’t have to do that too often as the quoted interval between charges is six months.
As already mentioned the Brydge is a solid piece of kit and while this makes it seem very sturdy and likely long lasting it also adds a lot of weight. It is probably twice as heavy with the keyboard than without.
If you are looking for a great typing experience and one that brings the iPad Pro closer to a laptop then the Brydge can’t be beat. However, it does come at a cost of weight making it very much like the weight of a laptop which some might not like.
- Great typing experience
- backlit keys
- row of function keys
- multiple viewing angles
- Where’s the trackpad?
- have to remember to charge