I’m a big fan of the Brydge aluminum keyboard for iPad. Unfortunately they don’t make them for the iPad Mini. However, one of our loyal Geek Beat viewers pointed out this cheap Chinese plastic iPad keyboard and I decided to give it a shot!
The iPad Mini Keyboard Experiment
The keyboard was only $29.99 including free shipping from Taiwan, so I mean there wasn’t really much risk involved. When it arrived a couple of weeks later I ripped open the plastic bag and shoved my iPad into it. It worked!
Pairing was extremely simple and reliable between the bluetooth keyboard and the iPad Mini, and the battery on the keyboard holds a charge for weeks, if not months. In fact, I’ve been using the device daily since I got it and have only ever fully charged it once!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
As I said, pairing was simple, and battery life is great. The keyboard charges from any standard micro-USB cable, and it doesn’t take long either. The keys on the keyboard are soft touch similar to an Apple keyboard, and they feel good when you tap them.
The bad news is that because the device is made of cheap plastic, when it arrived brand new it was already warped. Meaning the entire keyboard surface is not flat, but slightly twisted. Also, because of the small size of the keyboard it’s actually too tiny to touch type on. You just can’t really get your fingers in there. Still, it does help with hunting and pecking.
Additionally, the hinges that hold the iPad in place don’t open quite as wide as I’d like them to. I’d like to see it be able to swing open at least another 20 degrees, if not go entirely flat. No idea why they engineered it to stop like that, as it doesn’t seem like the unit would fall over if it opened wider.
The Bottom Line
The seller has now dropped the pricing for this keyboard to $24.99 for some unknown reason – still including shipping! So you can’t go wrong. It’s easy to attach and detach this keyboard, it serves as a stand if nothing else, and the bluetooth keyboard is actually quite useful.
All in all I give it two thumbs up and an Editor’s Choice award for being so amazingly cheap and useful! Get em while you can!