Best Keyboards for iPad/iPhone (for me)

Over the past year I have had a problem. An obsession. I have been on a quest to find the perfect keyboards for my iPad and iPhone.

Yes, I know they each come with their own on-screen keyboards where you can thumb-type or peck on them but sometimes I need a REAL keyboard to type something without having to figure out where my thumbs or fingers are.

After many, many trials with various keyboards and keyboard cases over the past year or so, I have finally settled on the best keyboard solutions for my iPad and iPhone devices. I have had quite a quest in my search for the perfect keyboards. I am very picky about it and I want it to do what I want it to do without too much sacrifice.

Let’s start with my iPhone.

My pick: Logitech keys-to-go keyboard

This keyboard is perhaps the easiest to throw in your backpack or purse. It weighs next to nothing and if it gets dirty or something spills on it, you can simply clean it off. The keyboard is very well designed and although it is small, you won’t feel cramped when typing. It’s also a very quiet keyboard. You won’t drive people crazy with clicking on the keyboard while typing.

The only negatives to it are that there are no backlit keys and bottom can slide around on flat surfaces. This hasn’t been a major issue and the benefits outweigh the negatives.

If you want to go minimalistic, take this keyboard with your iPhone. For more information about this keyboard click here.

Now, for the iPad.

This one took a while for me, I tried several that came really close. Brydge and Zagg had some very good keyboards. They both offer some good options to turn the iPad into an alternative laptop.

The keyboard option that decided it for me was one that I should have tried first. It is the Apple Smart Keyboard. Yep, the one that Apple makes for it. I resisted jumping on yet another Apple product accessory – mostly because they are usually expensive – but after trying others I found the Smart Keyboard at a good price on eBay and decided to try it.

What made my decision on Apple’s Smart Keyboard?

First, it is lightweight. It doesn’t add any weight to the iPad. It also easily attaches/detaches from the iPad or folds so I can use the iPad when I want it to be a tablet. I did buy a back cover for my iPad to compliment it so now it is fully protected. The back cover also has a holder for my Apple Pencil as well. So, now I feel like I have the right combination for me. The one thing that I thought would be a deal breaker was that I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to use the Smart Keyboard on my lap. I was wrong. In fact, I am typing on my lap now. It really checked my boxes of expectations in a keyboard. The only thing it doesn’t have is a backlit keyboard but I have not found that to be a problem. I should know where all the keys are anyway. I never have to look at my keys anyway so the added backlight feature isn’t a deal breaker for me.

I really, really like this combination now. So much that I don’t have to search for any other keyboards or keyboard cases. Another positive about the Smart Keyboard is that it connects via the iPad’s smart connector and does not need to be charged or connected through a Bluetooth connection. Once you are connected, you are ready to type.

One thing to tell you about this keyboard – it is pricey – especially if you get it from Apple. Shop around. That’s what I did and I found one for half the price. The price is largely the reason I didn’t try this keyboard first.

Click here for more information on the Apple Smart Keyboard.

I also told you about the back cover which is made to work with the Smart Keyboard. Click here for information on it.

Take it from someone who is totally into tech gadgets and had thoroughly researched this issue. For me, these keyboards are perfect for me. If you are looking for the right keyboards, try these first.

Waterfly Bag Review

61HlJ5k4MVL__SY355_On our recent trip to Europe I decided to use the Waterfly Underarm bag as my day bag for our trips as we toured each city, museums and other tourist locations.  I opted not to carry a traditional  small backpack or sling bag for security and to keep from having to check the bag at certain museums.  So, after spending three weeks, every day with the Waterfly bag, I will say that is was functional but I hated it.  Sorry, but I’m being honest about this product.  It was a burden having to be strapped to this bag everyday.  I even started referring to it as my “purse” at the end of the trip.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a man carrying a purse but it was just not the ideal choice for me.

The Good

Okay, let me start with the positive things about this bag.  As I said, the bag was “functional” for the trip as it allowed me to carry the following:

  • Wallet
  • Portable charger w/cable
  • Coin change
  • Passports
  • Maps

Although there is a dedicated cell phone pocket, it was better for me to keep my wallet in that pocket instead of my phone.  They also advertise that you can keep a small tablet in the main pocket.  Sorry, but I didn’t have any room (or need) for that.

The bag was very lightweight and adjustable.  It also felt very secure with items being closer than a backpack.

bagThe Bad

It is a purse.  Sorry but that’s how it felt and it isn’t as cool looking as the photos or videos which promote the bag.

Coin change was very difficult to dig out of the zippered compartment.  This is not easy when you aren’t familiar with the local currency.

When it was hot wearing this bag made it even hotter because you can’t really take it off and carry it by a handle like you could a backpack.

The Ugly

Sweat.  Yes, with an “underarm” bag, you don’t have to use your imagination to know what happens when you wear this bag all day after sweating and your deodorant wears out.  I was constantly self-conscious of this.  While the bag is supposedly waterproof, it isn’t “stink” proof.

Conclusion

If I ever do this again, I will choose to use either a small sling bag or backpack.  The museums and tourist attractions weren’t as strict on small bags.  It would also be useful to have a bag with water bottle pockets.  We spent a lot of time carrying water bottles.  Yes, it got the job done but it was pretty restricting and uncomfortable at times.

Best Bluetooth Keyboard for Your iPad

clamcaseprl

For years, I searched for the perfect combination of a tablet that I could also use as a laptop.  My first attempt was a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  I found a keyboard case to go with it but it just didn’t do it for me as the keys were cramped while typing.  I eventually got an iPad and tested several keyboards.

By far, the best Bluetooth keyboard to use is the Apple Wireless Keyboard.   I can fly when typing on it.  It is absolutely the best keyboard.  The only limitation for me was that I still had to carry around two devices or find a case to carry both the iPad and keyboard.  I decided that I wanted something that made my iPad feel like a laptop.   My next purchase was a ZAGGkeys Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard made by ZAGG.  I loved it.  The keys were awesome and I loved the backlight feature on the keys.  It was also light to carry around and all together.  It was reasonably priced at around $80.00.   The only issue I had with it is that I totally wore out the hinges and had to have it replaced twice within a year.  Fortunately, ZAGG had a free lifetime replacement warranty with their product.

Then I found the Holy Grail – the ClamCase Pro keyboard.  This case is the reason I am writing the review that you are reading.  This is the best keyboard you can buy for your iPad.  Nothing comes close.  Another thing I wanted to do with my iPad was to have the option of using it as a laptop or tablet without removing the iPad from the case.  ClamCase does this perfectly.  When you are not using it as a laptop, you can simply fold the keyboard behind it and use it as a tablet which is great if you just want to play games or read.   When you fold the keyboard behind the iPad, the keyboard function is disabled.

The hinge issue I had with the ZAGG keyboard has not been a problem.  The entire mechanism is designed differently and bends with ease.  The ClamCase also gives you different angle options depending on your preference.

The keys are spaced out very well on the keyboard.  I never find myself feeling cramped.  In fact, many times I will prefer using the ClamCase keyboard than the keyboard on my home computer.  The battery can last up to 100 hours.  In fact, since I bought this in December, I have only had to recharge it once.

The case is slightly heavier than the ZAGG case but I am okay with that.  It’s still a lot lighter than a laptop.

The ClamCase is a little more expensive at around $100 for an iPad air case but I got lucky and took advantage of their Black Friday deal in November.  Even at $100 it is still worth it if you are very anal about your technology like I am.

If you are looking for a perfect solution to make your iPad into a laptop, this is it.

Take a look at their products at:  http://www.clamcase.com