Adonit Writer for iPad 2: Magnets! Brilliant! [Review, iPad 2 Keyboard Case Week] | Cult of Mac

Adonit Writer for iPad 2: Magnets! Brilliant! [Review, iPad 2 Keyboard Case Week]

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Adonit’s humble origins as a Kickstarter project hasn’t stopped the outfit from taking the iPad-accessory world by storm. Adonit’s Jot styli were radical standouts in our stylus shootout a few weeks back, and their version of an iPad 2 keyboard case, the Adonit Writer for iPad 2 ($100), sparked similar “whoa”s as I marveled at its design.

 

The Good:

Adonit has really taken the magnet thing to the next level. Sure, the cover wakes the iPad upon opening, but that’s a well-worn trick. This one isn’t, though: There’s also a small magnet at the bottom of the Writer’s keyboard that sticks to a thin metallic plate within the cover of the Writer when open — giving it an infinitely variable angle along that plate. It’s quite brilliant, and it gives the Writer a flexibility only surpassed by (much heavier and bulkier) clamshell-style keyboard cases.

Not only does opening/closing the cover turn on/off the iPad, but it also de/activates the keyboard — also brilliant.

Another way the Writer flexes its..well, flexibility…is with the way it’s powered. The Writer relies on three AAA batteries that reside in its hinge; so if the juice ever runs out, you can just pop a few AAA from your local supermarket into the Writer and you’re back in the game.

Not that you’re likely to run out of power without warning, as there’s a ring around the huge, easy-to-use power button that lights up green when the keyboard is activated and red when power is low. A set of AAA lasted just under a month, with moderate use — and that’s from a writer’s perpective, so those dabbling in other professions should be able to squeeze out even more juice.

The keys have a good feel to them: just the right amount of spring, and they feel like they’re a little concave, and seem to work pretty well for touch-typists. When closed, little rubber tips on the edge of the keyboard protect the iPad’s screen from harm. popping the iPad in and out of the case is super-simple, and the iPad is held securely in place with a little plastic tab.

It’s a good-looking case too. the aluminum frame of the keyboard goes well with the iPad, and the suede cover looks snazzy, although scuff marks tend to show easily.

 

The Bad:

My biggest complaint with the Writer was its keys — they’re just too small; they’re the tiniest keys in the test. Although they aren’t spaced as closely together as the keys of another keyboard case coming later this week, the keyboard still felt a little cramped. Some testers who tried the keyboard didn’t has as much trouble as I did, and it seemed that touch-typists had the best experience.

The keyboard also lacks some of the dedicated keys that other ipad keyboards are equipped with, like cut, copy and paste, etc. — although it does come with standards like power, search, show/hide soft keyboard, picture frame mode and track and volume controls.

No rechargeable battery means no easy way to recharge the keyboard if you get stuck without power; sometimes an outlet is easier to find than a pack of Duracells.

 

Verdict:

If you can deal with the smallish keyboard, the Writer’s genius design, good looks and fast flexibility should easily win you over.

[xrr rating=80%]

 

This week it’s all about turning your iPad 2 into a workhorse, as we bang out a stack of iPad 2 keyboard case reviews — sometimes using the keyboards themselves to write the reviews!