After we released our review of the ClamCase Pro key-board for the iPad Air 2, some of our visitors recommended that we look at other iPad keyboards offered on the marketplace. We made a decision to take MacRumors visitors up on that pointer, as well as over the following few weeks, we’ll be considering several keyboards designed for Apple’s newest tablet computer, the iPad Air 2.
We’re kicking points off with a rating of the BrydgeAir key-board, which is able to function with both the initial iPad Air and the iPad Air 2. Similar to the ClamCase Pro we previously looked at, the all-aluminum BrydgeAir is developed to transform the iPad right into a mini MacBook.
At $169, the BrydgeAir is among the more expensive iPad key-boards on the marketplace, but that rate factor features some rewards not located in lots of less costly options– top quality aluminum building, a liquid 180 level joint, built-in twin stereo speakers, and also backlit keys.
What’s in the Box and Setup
The BrydgeAir is available in a sleek iPad-style cardboard box which contains the keyboard itself, a black USB to micro-USB cable television utilized for asking for as well as a set of extra pads that are made to make it fit the iPad Air 2.
BrydgeAir has actually designed the key-board to be suitable with both the iPad Air as well as the iPad Air 2, as well as the hinges that hold the iPad in position need extra lining to keep the iPad Air 2 safely in place since it’s thinner compared to the initial iPad Air.
Setting it for the iPad Air 2 includes very carefully getting rid of the alreadying existing silicone shims, as BrydgeAir calls them, and changing them with brand-new ones that are thicker. The directions said to ‘ensure there was no remaining adhesive or residue on the bare joint’ after pulling off the aged sticky shims, yet there was no chance to obtain the staying glue off of the hinges.
We were disappointed that this action was refrained by BrydgeAir, as the have to remove the alreadying existing set of shims and bring in a new one appears to compromise the stickiness of the second set of shims. Aligning the new shims and positioning them on is a frustrating procedure right from the box.
The keyboard pairs to the iPad like any kind of other key-board. Flick on the power button under, open the Settings menu, tap the key-board’s pairing button beside the power switch, and also it’s immediately found as well as sets with a faucet. The built-in speakers need to be paired individually by holding the speaker pairing switch, also situated next to the power button.
The BrydgeAir is made from a solitary item of aluminum and can be ordered in silver, gold, or room grey to match the design of the iPad. It contains a keyboard with two hinged silicone-lined tabs on top to hold the iPad in location, instead of being a full clamshell case like the ClamCase Pro.
Each of the tabs associate the iPad’s display, and also holds it firmly in position while the key-board is in usage. As mentioned over, the tab lining requirements to be swapped out prior to the keyboard can be used with the iPad Air 2, however when the thicker cellular lining is in area, the iPad matches right into the tabs securely.
The joints rotate 180 degrees, meanings that the iPad can be positioned right into numerous new browsing positions from completely shut (forwards) to bent flat (in reverse). Because it folds up shut, the keyboard functions as a pay for the iPad display when closed, however there’s no security for the rear of the tablet computer. The BrydgeAir is landscape only, like lots of keyboards for the iPad Air 2.
We traveled with the BrydgeAir in a bag beside an aluminum MacBook, which caused the hinges to come to be scraped and also stained, but the aluminum of the key-board itself was fine.
Since the iPad is just held in area with these silicone-lined tabs, it takes just a few secs to stick the iPad in the BrydgeAir or remove it to utilize without the key-board case. With some other key-board cases, it could be a chore to get rid of the iPad when you simply require the tablet computer function, yet that’s not an issue with the BrydgeAir.
Because the keyboard as well as the iPad match so well, the BrydgeAir makes the iPad resemble a mini MacBook. It’s a massive keyboard that considers over a pound (more than the iPad Air 2), however that weight is essential considering that it makes certain that the BrydgeAir doesn’t shift and also move while it’s being used.
The weight of the key-board cancel the weight of the iPad, so it never ever seems like the iPad is in threat of suggestioning over when making use of the key-board. It’s likewise secure on an area or in a lap, making it ideal for keying while enjoying tv, on an airplane, or in other scenarios where you might not have a difficult surface to deal with. One fast note– because of the means the iPad suits the BrydgeAir, it’s tough to swipe upwards on the screen to access the Command Center.
On the bottom of the BrydgeAir keyboard, there are 4 rubber feet to ensure security on an area, as well as two rubber bumpers on the front location to maintain the iPad display from touching the aluminum. The back advantage near the hinge also consists of two integrated speaker openings, while the various other side consists of buttons to transform the keyboard on as well as off, switch on Bluetooth, and transform on the case’s speakers.
The BrydgeAir’s tricks really feel much like the tricks on a MacBook and are quite similar to the keys on the ClamCase Pro, but when as comparing to a MacBook, it’s important to keep in mind that the spacing isn’t quite the same.
The BrydgeAir is much more sleek than a MacBook keyboard so the keys are a little better together. It’s not as well hard to adapt to the smaller spacing, nevertheless, and also our keying speeds on the BrydgeAir corresponded to the keying rates we were able to get on comparable keyboards for the iPad. The BrydgeAir additionally doesn’t have the exact same crucial traveling as the secrets on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro so it’s not as ‘clicky’ as a MacBook keyboard, however the secrets still feel great and bouncy under the fingers.
One of the most effective aspects of the BrydgeAir’s keys is the backlighting. There’s an LED panel beneath the keyboard that illuminate the secrets, making this of the finest iPad key-boards for usage in the dark. The lights are managed by a key on the key-board, as well as there are 3 various brightness setups to fit numerous illumination scenarios. Many less costly key-boards do not supply backlighting, as well as several of the a lot more pricey choices, like the ClamCase Pro, don’t have that feature.
Like numerous key-boards for the iPad, the BrydgeAir has a row of secrets on top of the keyboard that manage features specific to Apple’s tablet. There are buttons for going right to the house screen, locking the iPad, changing the display brightness, opening up search, turning on the on-screen key-board, changing the keyboard language, regulating the volume, as well as managing media.
The BrydgeAir keyboard’s distinct attribute is its built-in speakers, which could be utilized as an alternative of the iPad’s speakers. Pairing speakers and the key-board at the very same time through Bluetooth drains a respectable amount of battery life and also the worth that the speakers include over the iPad’s very own built-in speakers is questionable.
BrydgeAir’s speakers are louder compared to the iPad’s built-in speakers, yet there really did not seem to be a noticeable difference in sound top quality. The speakers lie at the rear of the keyboard so sound is still routed away from the user, which doesn’t look like much of an improvement as compared to using the iPad’s very own sound.
To maintain electric battery when not in usage, the speakers can be turned off by holding back the speaker switch on the bottom of the key-board for 4 secs. Turning them on once again is done the exact same way.
With the speakers as well as backlighting activated, the BrydgeAir’s battery lasted for around two weeks of routine usage, however without the speakers as well as backlighting, it needs to be a lot longer. The BrydgeAir site states the electric battery lasts for three months. There’s no chance to tell just what the battery level is at unless it’s running low, which is a little bit of an adverse. When reduced, the backslash trick will flash blue.
Who’s it For?
If you’re trying to find an iPad key-board that will certainly allow you kind virtually as quick as you can type on a MacBook Air or Pro, the BrydgeAir is a good option. It has a strong build high quality that outshines the majority of the various other iPad key-boards on the marketplace, yet keep in thoughts– this is a heavy keyboard.
The BrydgeAir is visiting bring in an extra pound of weight to your iPad, so it’s not the best choice for constant travel. Sadly, the speakers feel like more of a gimmick than an absolutely helpful feature, yet the backlit secrets as well as the total style of the keyboard balance it. For those who don’t mind the weight, the BrydgeAir is a keyboard that looks as well as really feels worth its premium cost. If you’re looking for a keyboard that’s versatile, very easy to use, basic to remove, and has MacBook-style top qualities, you won’t go incorrect with the BrydgeAir.
- Solid construction
- Balanced weight
- Hinge for numerous watching angles
- Backlit keys
- MacBook-style crucial spacing as well as feel
- It’s much heavier compared to the iPad and also not fantastic for travel
- Speakers more gimmicky compared to really useful
- Setting it up for the iPad Air 2 is a hassle
How to Buy
The BrydgeAir for the iPad Air as well as iPad Air 2 can be purchased from the BrydgeAir site for $169. The website also offers iPad key-boards for older variations of the iPad, and also it supplies several devices for the BrydgeAir, including a sleeve and a safety covering for the iPad.
Update: Beginning in mid-April, all BrydgeAir keyboards will certainly deliver ready for the iPad Air 2, instead of the iPad Air. The default shims in the box will be for the iPad Air 2, doing away with one of the primary hassles we experienced with the keyboard. Optional iPad Air shims will certainly likewise be consisted of in the box.