IPad With Keyboard … Is It Still a Tablet?

I know, I know – a tablet is a portable computer without a keyboard. If you wanted a laptop, say the skeptics, why didn’t you just buy a laptop? Well, because I didn’t want another laptop. I wanted an iPad to take with me to listen to music, play games, watch videos, read magazines and maybe check my emails and Facebook page. But I’m a blogger, and I need to write things for YOU to take with you and read …

After living happily for over a year with my tablet and its swiping, pinch-to-zoom features, I began to realize that the hunching of my neck as I tapped, pointed, swiped, and tried to type, was literally giving me a headache. I had to come up with a solution that didn’t require the purchase of another expensive laptop (no matter how much I could have used an excuse to buy one).

Logitech IPad Keyboard

Tablet keyboards are pretty easy to find.  They connect wirelessly, by Bluetooth, and some come in tablet cases to be paired with your tablet much like an actual laptop, some roll up into a cylindrical case for maximum portability, some are full-sized, and some are only the width of your tablet in landscape orientation. Apple makes its own for the iPad. The Logitech Tablet Keyboard, though it is nearly full-sized and therefore won’t fit into an iPad-sized case with your iPad, is the best I’ve found and among the least expensive.  First, it works reliably.  Once you’ve paired it with your iPad (and/or iPhone — it works with those, too), leave the iPad Bluetooth on and every time you turn on the keyboard it will connect automatically.  Powered by four included AAA batteries, the keyboard has an on/off switch so you can turn it off when you’re not using it. Its function keys enable you to control music or video media and to perform the basic typing commands found on a typical Apple keyboard. Its case folds easily to create an easel stand for your iPad that you can place anywhere within 30 feet of the keyboard while still maintaining a connection (how’s your eyesight?). After you’ve connected it, just type. The Logitech keyboard feels exactly like a traditional keyboard — the keys feel firm under your fingers, and their spacing is nearly identical to that of a traditional laptop keyboard, the ultimate man/machine interface.

Once you’ve begun to use the real keyboard, you’ll wonder who ever thought it was a good idea to put a fake keyboard on a tablet screen in the first place. You might even be inspired to use it instead of the touchscreen — for example, by turning on the “VoiceOver” function on your iPad to allow your keyboard to scroll through and manipulate device apps. Try it at least once, just to see what you think. On the other hand, you might hate that feature and simply be pleased that you can finally type traditionally on a computer that has a touchscreen, converting your tablet from a device made primarily for the consumption of content to one that enables the creation of content — which is really what we all want to do with them, anyway. Not only that, it makes a perfect gift – because some people just won’t buy one for themselves …

Available from Amazon for about $50.

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