Last year, John P and Geek Beat showcased an iPad keyboard Kickstarter project named Brydge that looked very promising. So promising, in fact, that in the 40 days alloted to raise $90,000, the campaign easily surpassed its goal by over 800% bringing in roughly $798,000. Brydge actually met its goal in the first day of funding on Kickstarter!
Now, 6 months after hitting the open market, the Brydge has updated its patent-pending hinge. Read on to find out more about the Brydge and recent changes.
So what is the Brydge?
The Brydge is a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard dock that, when coupled with an iPad, closely resembles a MacBook Air.
The aerospace-grade aluminum body of the Brydge is machined and anodized so that it matches any of the accommodating 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads. The dock allows the iPad to rotate 180 degrees so that you can set the screen at a comfortable angle. Two of the models are available with a fully integrated speaker system delivering stereo sound rivaling the sound of the iPad’s speakers.
How does the Brydge work?
The team at Brydge made it simple to set up right out of the box. After charging the Brydge via the included micro USB plug, turn it on, pair it with the iPad, slide it into the hinge/clamps and you’re ready to go. Included on the keyboard are hotkeys which act as the Home button, volume and brightness controls, and media settings – all similar to what you would find on a MacBook Air.
How is the iPad secured in the Brydge?
The patent-pending hinge uses metal alloys and magnets and, while the original Brydge featured a type of plastic shell, the new hinge is now made from aluminum and is half as thin. This new modification allows it to be compatible with future iPad models.
Power and Battery Life
The Brydge is charged via a micro USB charger. On the model without a speaker, one charge could last for several months, while models with the speaker option vary widely based on speaker usage. Closing the iPad and Brydge together act just like the Smart Cover and puts both devices to sleep, conserving battery power.
How portable is it?
The Brydge matches the size of the iPad and weighs only 1.28 pounds by itself and 2.59 pounds on an iPad 2, coming right in between the weight of the 11 and 13 -inch MacBook Airs.
So How Do I Get It?
There are 3 versions of the Brydge available:
$169.99 – Brydge+ without speakers
$199.99 – Brydge+ with the integrated speaker system
and the newest edition aimed at students:
$99.99 – Brydge – this model still rotates 180 degrees and has the Bluetooth speaker system but uses a black polycarbonate shell instead of the aluminum casing.
Supported models include the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation iPads. (The 1st gen model isn’t supported due to the curvature of the device.)
You can purchase these models on the Brydge’s website at http://thebrydge.com.
We’ll be taking a closer look at the Brydge in our live coverage from the CE Line Shows on June 26th and 27. Make sure to check it out!