With the release of the iPad on the horizon it’s time to round up the best iPad bluetooth keyboards on the market right now. One of the essential accessories for any serious iPad user is an iPad keyboard. If you plan on using it as a replacement for your day to day computer needs, or plan on doing a lot of writing while travling, it’s good to invest in a high quality bluetooth keyboard for the iPad. So without further ado here are our picks for the best bluetooth keyboards for the iPad…
Our first keyboard in the lineup doesn’t exactly fit the bluetooth category, however we are including it anyway because of how useful and versatile it is in addition to the fact that it’s an Apple certified peripheral (which are rarer and rarer these days). The Apple Keyboard Dock for iPad retails for $69. There is a high demand for this dock, and it will probably be one of the most popular iPad accessories.
This iPad keyboard is similar to the aluminum USB keyboard already produced by Apple, it will have dedicated keys specially for the iPad such as volume, controls for iTunes, a button for searching, home, controlling brightness, and other functions. The iPad Apple keyboard also acts as a USB dock for your iPad, and a stand as well. It also comes complete with an audio out jack so you can hook it up to a sound system if you should so desire.
This keyboard, though not bluetooth, is a solid accessory. It will come with Apple’s legendary product support, and is a great way to set up a home base for your iPad.
The next keyboard in our lineup is the iGo Stowaway that sells for around $140. More expensive than the official iPad keyboard, but also more portable. It has an award winning design that folds up into less than six inches and features a full sized keyboard when opened. It’s extremely portable and light, and sacrifices the number line of keys in the name of portability. Not that big of deal because users quickly get used to using the secondary numbers on the top row of keys anyway. However it might cause some difficulties if you plan on using your iPad to crunch lots of numbers and work with spreadsheets.
This is a very high quality keyboard. It’s not a cheap knockoff that will break quickly, but one you can actually take with you in your travels and rely on. One downside some have reported is that it doesn’t lay completely flat when unfolded, though the locking mechanism works great, so it’s a minor annoyance to be aware of. The built in stand is removable as well if you don’t like or don’t need the added bulk.
The iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard is on our iPad essentials list and is the best option in our opinion for a portable travel sized keyboard for your iPad. It’s our travel blogging weapon of choice. More info including where to purchase it can be found here: iGo Stowaway.
For the same price as the iPad keyboard stand, you could just pick up the Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard. Many are familiar with this keyboard and its design. It’s slick, slim, sexy, and works great. The aluminum styling compliments the iPad very nicely as well. If your iPad case already has a stand built in, and your iPad bag or home office has the room for a full sized bluetooth keyboard, then this is a great option. It’s also ergonomically designed so that your wrists are comfortable while you type. Also, it’s got incredible battery life, lasting as long as 9 months on 2 AA batteries.
Since it’s Apple certified, it’s backed by Apple’s 1 year warranty and guaranteed to work seamlessly with your iPad tablet. This keyboard eschews the number pad and isn’t officially full sized, so that may be a con in some people’s books. For us, who rarely do lots of number crunching (perhaps to our own detriment…) the lack of a number keyboard isn’t a big deal and only increases it’s portability. The Apple certified wireless keyboard is a great choice for those with the room to spare and who already have an iPad stand that they prefer. You can order one here: Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard.
Directly competing with the iGo Stowaway keyboard is the Freedom Bluetooth keyboard. Retailing for just under the iGo’s price at $90, it’s an attractive buy. It’s widely compatible with most portable bluetooth devices, and also folds in half for easier transportation. It’s keyboard when open is full sized and has scissor action keys that are easy to type on.
However, one does sacrifice quality for a lower price with this keyboard. Many have reported that overall the quality of the Freedom Bluetooth keyboard is lower than iGo’s Stowaway. The keyboard lock feature has been known to wear out and break, and the drivers are more finicky than iGo’s. If one is looking for a travel keyboard for their iPad, we recommend staying with the Stowaway. People are reporting that finding one is tough so at this time the Freedom Pro may be the best available option. (Edit: We’ve got a full review on the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPad).