First Look: Brydge Keyboard for the iPad
When I first saw this keyboard case I thought, oh great another one of these. This is coming from someone who got the think geek keyboard for their iPhone as it was the closest I thought I’d ever get to nearly having a Veronica Mars sidekick phone but physical keyboards are over. This however is a different scenario as it’s a keyboard case for the iPad. What makes this different from the others is it’s set of features, it not only incorporates a bluetooth keyboard but also gives the iPad stereo speakers. It has a small elegant design that resembles the MacBook Unibody and is a hinge design so the iPad can fold as a laptop that is as thin as a MacBook Air. It features magnets so the iPad auto turns off when the hinge is down. The Brydge keyboard is expected to ship this October.
Now what’s interesting to me is will be how practical it will be to use. Many claim it is great for the times when you just need to get work done or need a keyboard. The problem I’m seeing is many apps are made for touch etc and the idea is plugging the iPad into the hinge and connecting it in settings by bluetooth seems clunky if the idea of the Brydge is to replace your Laptop. Another thing is while this would be great for doing stuff like word processing or browsing the internet or typing email It would be interesting to see the ergonomics of having to lift your hand of choice off your keyboard area and touch the screen to do stuff like scrolling through pages or press send or changing fonts. Another danger I see with this keyboard and was the big turn off of the Keyboard case for the iPhone is this will need another charger, Brydge claims that a full charge can get you 30 days of keyboard use and varies depending on how often you use the speakers. That’s pretty decent but I would have liked that when you docked the iPad into the case you could charge both the case and iPad off one cord like for example, the Morphie juice pack. When I refer to the Morphie Juice Pack I don’t want an external battery, the iPad already delivers on that, I just want the convince of one plug that can charge both of my devices.
I love the idea of the iPad replacing my MacBook Air and using it as my full time road warrior but the one thing that is holding me back and in reality, isn’t the Brydge keyboards fault but is that you can’t stuff iTunes video content on an external hard drive and plug it into the iPad. I carry a terabyte hard drive around with me that houses my TV shows and movies on the go (Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my security blanket, if I ever get bored whilst out, just watch some Buffy) and the problem with the iPad is that 64GB storage capacity. A solution is that hard drive manufactures are creating Wi-Fi hard drives that would solve the problem but would lead to the iPad losing internet connectivity.
But that’s just using the iPad as a laptop replacement for my use case scenario. After all it is about “The Brydge” case. I’d imagine that enterprise would especially like the iPad + Brydge case combo. The reason why I see the iPad ruling enterprise presently and for the foreseeable future is because that Android is not secure. It can be secure but for large enterprises, doesn’t hold enough security and while Windows 8 tablets are coming soon most big enterprises have already started using iPads and would be a disaster changing platforms mid way. A lot of people that want to use the “Brydge” are users like me who do blogging while out and about. Many Tech Bloggers and journalists are craving using something like this at a trade show or convention as it would be incredibly light and easy to carry around everywhere vs using a laptop.
From what we know about “The Brydge” it does seem like a great idea that has been done before, but this product seems to be executed better as it incorporates a good design and tech that many miss such as stereo speakers. When “The Brydge” gets released in October, it’s sales figures and critical reception by critics will be interesting to see as many have came to the conclusion from “The Brydges” first look that this is the second coming. Either way, I am excited to try this product come it’s Launch.