We've all had the experience: looking at a carry-on and 'personal item" and seeking to determine how we are going to get everything we need to wear and work with a couple of days into a format we won't mind lugging and does not have to gate check. As not only one piece of technological equipment to another, but their equivalent chargers and perhaps peripherals, get tucked into whatever compromise of favor, comfort, space, and travel provider restrictions we have concocted, any opportunity to leave something behind needs to be considered.
The phone is obviously coming. What exactly are you likely to do, save the almost no space it takes up in favor of getting out a laptop and Skyping for any cab? An iPad will let's do a lot of stuff work-wise when it comes to staying in touch, so when the time to chill arrives we can utilize it as an eReader, play games, or just surf. But typing lots of dozen words is a pain, so actually working, not just staying along with email, may become a hassle, based on what one needs to have completed.
So in goes a laptop, or at best a netbook, and the charger. And out comes a warm scarf, or your athletic shoes (you'll probably be too tired to sort out any way). And maybe even the iPad comes out from the bag, but traveling with it had been a significant part of why we bought the thing, wasn't it?
The clear option would be a keyboard to have an iPad that is of sufficient quality and enormous enough size to type comfortably on a couple of hours, without being just too large regarding have us washing our unmentionables in the hotel bathroom sink.
First stop for Apple accessories is Apple. Yes they are overpriced, but so are these products themselves. We agreed to pay more for the slick design and comfy ergonomics whenever we got the items therefore we might as well at least consider spending the money on keeping the appearance and feel consistent. A quick look at Apple's keyboard for that iPad reveals it is a typically good looking product that would feel like their other chiclet style keyboards.
But there's no hope of portability. No cases can be found, from Apple or else. The dock section doesn't fold flat by any means. It only holds the iPad in portrait mode, which inside a wide-screen world didn't seem that practical. Also it appeared to force the removal of most cases in the iPad, probably the thick one I have.
Therefore we go aftermaket. ZAGG is well known and their protective films happen to be best to me. The ZAGGMate doesn't offer as large a keyboard as Apple but the improvement in portability is big. Staying me here was it leaves the back of your iPad exposed. While most drops will affect corners, not the flat back part, I planned on keeping my iPad inside a larger bag where rattling of other objects was likely.
The ZAGGFolio, a more recent product, addresses that issue by enclosing the iPad and keyboard facing one another inside a clamshell setup.
The ergonomics from the keyboard case and iPad combo were superior to those of a netbook, and that includes a netbook with an external mouse attached. Part of this is down to the keyboard being nicer but a lot of it is the iPad's touch functionality.
On my first trip using the ZAGGFolio I made use of my hosts' laptop to print some e-tickets and found myself myself poking ineffectually (and far to my hosts' chagrin) in the screen of their laptop instead of using the touch pad. I'd become used to combining the iOS touch functionality by having an external keyboard that fast.
The constraints at this time were down to a couple of things: size and, ironically, iOS functionality. The first really can't be increased without creating a mess of the scenario we began with: traveling light. The adjacent picture shows how the keyboard just about doubles the width of an iPad inside a case offering equivalent protection. Doubling a third of an inch only gets you to two-thirds of an inch. Still it got tucked into my bag without any effort. The difference wide resulted in having to leave behind just one undershirt.
The iPad side has a hinge about two-thirds of how down which allows it to sit down inside a slot around the keyboard. It seemed protective, portable, and practical, and also got some very solid reviews, and so i clicked buy.
Yup. It is a nice piece of kit. The laptop keyboard is chiclet style out of the box the Mac offering, though not quite as nice. It's not aluminum but the plastic looks the part, and the mechanical keys possess a nice feel. The function keys are replaced by iOS specific shortcuts like Home, Cut/Copy/Paste and media control. The important thing area of the keyboard (i.e. the region from the keyboard that really has keys on it, not the region with the power and fasten buttons and what I presume also contains battery and circuitry) is simply over ten inches.
A typical netbook size, it's worth noting this keyboard feels better than any 10.1" netbook keyboard I've used. A 10.1" netbook's keyboard is not 10.1" as far as the above defined key area is concerned: The touchscreen around the tablet means no touchpad is required, and dropping the touchpad means a larger keyboard for any given foot print. Finally, cost as being a huge element in the netbook market, manufacturers are reluctant to put top end stuff in one. The ZAGGFolio keyboard has mechanical keys with medium-firm spring weight along with a pleasantly surprising depress distance.
Charging and syncing the laptop keyboard are easy, and battery life is supporting well (several days of moderate use) to date.
It features a fake carbon fiber exterior that's attractive and resistant against scratches and abrasion, and offers a little bit of cushioning. The middle layer consists of firm plastic, and the inside has some sections lined inside a soft microfiber. It is a very reasonable degree of protection that appears to match the situation I was previously using, an ASD i-Con, quite closely.
Access holes for ports and buttons fit well. The hinge on the back and slot on the keyboard provide a good angle for working in a desk, though I found working on my lap went better with the iPad entirely in it's section sitting on my calf and the keyboard on the thigh of my opposite leg. It's possible to also remove the iPad from the case and put it within the slot in portrait mode, or use the keyboard outside of the case, with the iPad in the event. While using iPad without the keyboard, but while the keyboard is incorporated in the case, is actually much less bad, as your thumb or fingers (based on which hand you're holding the combination in) easily fit in the slot on the keyboard in which the iPad usually sits.
My only gripe is that in conclusion the situation one has to be careful to possess the two halves meet properly to obtain the magnet cause to make the iPad to lock. By be careful I mean pay some attention to how the iPad and keyboard meet. It really is not a big deal.
Yes, thank you.
The other limitation is more significant, though highly determined by how you will be using your iPad and keyboard, netbook, or small laptop, because the case might be. iOS is not a full-fledged operating-system like Windows or OS X. That's not all bad, since a full sized OS maybe have you carrying a lot more processor, cooling and battery around, as well as waiting for said OS as well. But if you were thinking about really sinking your teeth into some Excel or PowerPoint you are going to be stuck with among the workarounds available, either by iPad or web delivered app.
This point is mitigated because you probably don't wrangle your big spreadsheets on a tiny screen anyway, be it netbook or tablet. Also working in your favor is that new apps keep appearing and original copies keep updating, so software functionality in iOS continues to improve. It is simply worth bearing in mind when you plan on pricing derivatives or doing some computational fluid dynamics you might need something having a full OS, but you want something with a bigger screen and beefier processor anyway.
Should you own an iPad, obtain a portable bluetooth keyboard and give your netbook to some friend or family member. For those of us lucky (or foolish) enough to have the money (or credit) available to invest in an iPad, the netbook is no longer a good a part of your computing arsenal. Anything the iPad-keyboard combo can't do you should be doing on a notebook or desktop, not a netbook, anyway.
Although not all of us have or really wants to give the an iPad and the hundred bucks for that keyboard (the ZAGGFolio is $99.99). As my colleague M.S. Smith has explained (2), if you can only afford one computing device, it must be a laptop, no iPad or other tablet. And if you are comparing a netbook for an iPad and keyboard like a purchase, your budget will a significant concern.
When we figure that the priciest netbooks are cheaper than the cheapest apple ipad 2, and that with a decent sale you can get right down to about 50 % from the iPad 2's $500 starting point on some older or less gussied up netbooks, it's obvious that if price is your biggest issue, you are probably poking fun at how much money I wasted. But that netbook won't boot instantly or turn into an eReader, and you may forget all about the added functionality and comfort of the touch screen.