Of the many keyboard options available to the iPad-toting traveler, one that is often forgotten is Apple’s own aluminum Bluetooth keyboard. It is light, tough and slides easily into a bag. But if you want it to last more than a few trips, you should probably use a case.
This last weekend I did what every good Englishman should do and returned to Blighty to get drunk in the name of the Queen. And as I figured there might also be some work to do, I packed my keyboard in Waterfield’s $29 Keyboard Slip case.
The case is made from ballistic nylon wrapped over minimal padding, and features an open end and a pretty if redundant colored trim (mine is red). It is just about the simplest option you could find, and it does a pretty great job.
Safely slid into the Slip, your keyboard is kept snug and secure. You can toss it around a fair amount, and if you put it inside the bag you probably never need worry about the package getting dinged or crushed.
It is also very light at just 86 grams or three ounces, so you’ll barely notice it even in a carry on. Finally, the soft inner lining coddles the keyboard while the slippery ballistic nylon outer slides very easily even into an already full bag and also offers a decent degree of water protection.
The open end means that detritus can infiltrate and possibly scratch your precious keyboard. Then again, if your keyboard is as filthy as mine you probably don’t even care. The open end also means that you must put the keyboard in with the power button at the closed end, or it will come to life and keep waking up your iPad with every jostle. To be fair, this is the fault of Apple’s easy-to-press design, but is a pain nonetheless.
It’s cheap, lightweight, tough and good looking. And at $30, it is the same price as the Origami case which does double-duty as a sturdy lap desk, but weighs 340 grams or 12 ounces. You’ll have to decide which is more important to you: weight or added features.
My money is on this Waterfield, as if I’m cramped enough to need to use the iPad on my lap, I’m likely cramped enough to mean the on-screen keyboard is the better bet. If you think the same way, this case will do you proud, and probably last you forever.
Source: WaterField Designs.