iPad Air 1 & 2 owners looking for a quick and easy way to turn their tablet into a MacBook-style, lap-friendly portable computer need look no further than the new backlit BrydgeAir keyboard — a well-built, well-designed productivity accessory.
The Brydge for iPad has been around for a few years, but the aluminum unibody Bluetooth accessory has just been given a thinner and lighter redesign intended to complement Apple's iPad Air and new iPad Air 2. The newly launched BrydgeAir comes with the keyboard itself in the box, along with a flat micro USB cable for recharging and simple setup instructions.
Retailing for $169, the BrydgeAir includes a full array of keys, including numbers, arrows, and a row of iPad-specific functions including brightness, search, home button, media controls, volume and more. It's also backlit.
In addition to including physical keyboard controls, the BrydgeAir also includes a separate Bluetooth radio for enhanced audio. Much like Apple's MacBook Pro, the keyboard's speakers are hidden behind the unit, and project off of the bottom of the iPad when docked.
A sample BrydgeAir intended to match Apple's white and aluminum iPad Air 1 and 2 was provided toAppleInsider for review. Another version made for Apple's space gray iPad Air models is also available for $169, while a gold version carries a $20 premium.
And yes, we typed this entire review on the BrydgeAir with an iPad Air and Apple's Pages word processing application.
To read the full review - please visit appleinsider
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Company: Brydge Global
List Price: US$169.00 ($189.00 for gold)
Three models color matched to iPad Air colors, works with iPad Air or Air 2, recessed keys, magnetic sleep/wake, pairing buttons matched to iPad AIr design, matches shape and design of iPad Air, backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, leather, zippered case included.
Keyboard indicator lights could be more explicit, moved to the surface. Speakers not as good as iPad's.
The BrydgeAir keyboard is unlike any iPad accessory I’ve used before. With integrated speakers underneath a backlit keyboard with a 180-degree hinge, it makes your iPad feel like a laptop, and that’s the entire point.
In a market of nearly identical iPad keyboards that offer the same core features, Brydge is trying to set itself apart. After spending the last week with its solution for the iPad Air 2, I’d say it does just that.
"Now, if money is no object in your quest to turn your iPad into a laptop, the $170 BrydgeAir is the best option I came across (and what I plan to purchase myself). It is what I imagine Apple’s own keyboard case would look like—and cost."