Ever since I started using iPad, I’ve began leaving my notebook behind at many occasions. During the last couple of years, tablets won over the world and achieved massive success. I personally believe that this is due to Apple’s own success of iPad, which made other companies reorganize and put more effort into tablet production. After all, do you know about any usable tabled which was on the market before 2010, when iPad finally arrived.
Still, in order to use iPad as your day-to-day companion, I believe that you need to buy an external keyboard which will power up all iPad’s abilities. Finding a perfect keyboard is not an easy task, since most of them come with limited capabilities. Some are awkward to use, while others have problem with limited viewing angles, and there are those which come in unsuitable design which simply doesn’t complement iPad in any way. I’ve recently reviewed Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard for Macreview.com (which you can still find and read), which is my personal favorite, at the moment. It also comes in iPad mini-version, which brings all those polished features and a great design. Still, I always like to search for a new keyboard and to keep an eye on the market. This is why I am bringing you today a review of Brydge+.
Brydge+ is a product which was built with different principles in mind, than most other iPad keyboards. While other keyboards tend to be very light and as small as possible, Brydge+ turns your iPad into full-weight notebook.
It comes in approximate size of iPad, which means that you can “close down” iPad and carry it around together with this keyboard. In order to connect your tablet with this product, you simply place iPad into hinges and two clamps will grip it, which creates very firm and tight connection. I was pleasantly surprised how Brydge+ firmly holds my iPad, and this also comes with ability to move iPad at any angle which is a huge advantage. This is patent-pending technology, and is innovative and different than any other connection I’ve had a chance to put to a test.
Brydge+ comes in several similar looking versions. The most expensive one costs $210 and comes in high quality aluminum enclosure with beautifully looking black plastic keys, so my iPad really looks like full featured notebook. It also integrates two Bluetooth speakers, which is a surprising move. Sound is like you would expect from a small notebook computer, and is certainly better than iPad’s own. You can also choose aluminum Brydge+ without speakers, which will cost you $170. Finally, there are two additional versions, and those are black and white polycarbonate enclosed keyboards which cost $130. I haven’t tried polycarbonate versions, but aluminum enclosure is very sturdy and resistant to scratches.
Brydge+ will add 1.2 pounds (540 grams) to your iPad, and is probably one of the heaviest iPad keyboards on the market. I actually liked this, since I felt like I am carrying around a little laptop. But I guess this goes against tablet philosophy, since people like tablets because of their light weight and touchscreen. After all, we all see things a little bit differently.