Dave's Travel Journal

A vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking. - Earl Wilson


Have Keyboard, Will Travel

A new keyboard for the iPad has been developed by Logitech. It's just what the engineer ordered.

It's perfect for travel. It's light (13oz), uses no batteries (solar powered), works via bluetooth for both my iPad and iPhone (switch between them with a button press), and fits in my carry on (it's just 6"x12").

So now I can leave my MacBook at home and simply carry my DSLR, a couple of lenses and my new image processing station: the iPad & keyboard.

This is a big deal. The lighter, the better. I never bring check on bags. (I'm a onebag.com kind of guy.) I only bring what I can fit in a carry on. So the lighter iPad with keyboard travels well.

What about Apple's keyboard?

I did try Apple's keyboard for a few weeks but in the end I returned it. It chews batteries like a junk yard shredder. Besides the weight of the batteries in the keyboard itself I had to carry extras. There is no indicator on the keyboard that tells me when power is low. So carrying extra batteries was necessary. I never knew when it would fail me.

Pairing (the initial syncing of the keyboard with the iPhone) sometimes took a while and that sucked even more power. Plus, sometimes after shutting it off and turning it back on again, I'd have to re-pair with my device. Life is too short. Sometimes I'd forget to shut it off and it would run the batteries down. It had no auto-shut off features. But that's all history now. (I had the 2007 version. I think the newer 2009 version now has auto power down.)

Tactile feel

I simply can't touch type with the iPad keyboard. My wrists get heavy hovering over the screen. For a hunt-n-peck type guy, I guess it's fine. But my mom made me take typing in school. It was so embarrassing. I was the only guy in the class and I got a lot of ribbing for it. Most of the guys were muscle jocks out back in the auto shop turning wrenches under their hot rods. I didn't endure all that ridicule to hunt and peck on my iPad keyboard. No way.

With this new keyboard I can touch type as on the MacBook. And I never have to worry about buying or replacing batteries. I get a good feeling knowing that I'm not adding more batteries to an already clogged environment. That's a good thing. Oh, and one more thing, it'll recharge via outdoor or indoor light. Fully charged it'll last three months in total darkness.

The only thing I would have liked to see is backlit keys. I've really gotten used to them on the MacBook. They are so handy in low light. But you can't have everything.

I think my new keyboard will be turning heads. It's really pretty cool. Eat your hearts out you muscle jocks.

...dave
You can't have everything. Where would you put it? -Stephen Wright

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