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.
As with nearly all iPad keyboards, the Brydge is equipped with the standard Mac keyboard layout. The keys are a bit smaller than those found on the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, and appear to have the same amount of travel, yet offer less resistance. In my use, less resistance translated into an adjustment period of accidentally entering letters when I merely intended to rest my fingers on keys. After using the keyboard for a few hours, I was acclimated and typing relatively error free.
Along the top of the keyboard is a row of shortcut keys offering a Home button, lock key, media, brightness and volume controls. In the lower-left corner is a shortcut key to activate Siri.
One of the shortcut keys activates the keyboard’s backlit keys, which is a feature I appreciate immensely. Backlit keys make it possible to use the keyboard in the dark without having to squint or move the iPad’s lit screen closer to the keyboard to find a shortcut key. I do wish there was an option to adjust the brightness of the backlit keys, instead of only an off or on option.
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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.
"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."
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.