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View Full Version : Apple Keyboard Dock - Do you like it?




orlandocano
May 19, 2010, 07:52 AM
Ladies and gentlemen,

My sister is planning on getting me an ipad accessory for my bday next week. She asked me if I would like the keyboard dock from apple. I had never considered buying it because.. well.. I didnt think I needed it and did not want to spend 70 of MY DOLLARS for it...

But now that someone wants to spend their own money on it for me.. well that changes things.. So my questions are simple:

If you have the apple ipad keyboard docking station -
1)Do you like it?
2)Why? ... or ....
3)Why not?

Any input will be greatly appreciated.



ddrueckhammer
May 19, 2010, 08:12 AM
I don't have one but I personally think it would be better to just use a bluetooth keyboard and a dock or a stand/case.

The keyboard/dock is more economical though..

antiprotest
May 19, 2010, 08:18 AM
I have both the keyboard dock and the bluetooth keyboard.

I prefer the bluetooth keyboard; however,

1. You should have a stand for the iPad that will allow you to use both the portrait and landscape mode, and

2. You should assume that using the bluetooth keyboard will drain the battery faster than using the dock.

orlandocano
May 19, 2010, 08:25 AM
I have both the keyboard dock and the bluetooth keyboard.

I prefer the bluetooth keyboard; however,

1. You should have a stand for the iPad that will allow you to use both the portrait and landscape mode, and

2. You should assume that using the bluetooth keyboard will drain the battery faster than using the dock.

The battery issue is the real reason why I would want the keyboard dock. And I would not have to be changing the keyboard batteries if I had the dock. But I had not considered screen rotation not being possible with the keyboard. Thank you for your opinion!

How much faster does the bluetooth keyboard kill your battery?? How often do you have to change keyboard batteries??

antiprotest
May 19, 2010, 08:34 AM
The battery issue is the real reason why I would want the keyboard dock. And I would not have to be changing the keyboard batteries if I had the dock. But I had not considered screen rotation not being possible with the keyboard. Thank you for your opinion!

How much faster does the bluetooth keyboard kill your battery?? How often do you have to change keyboard batteries??

Because the virtual keyboard is usually sufficient, I have not used the BT keyboard enough to give good answers to these questions. It seems that some people complain that it drains fast, and some people say acceptable. It seems acceptable to me.

But remember that the BT keyboard gives you a lot of flexibility -- you can choose between portrait and landscape, the distance between the keyboard and the iPad, to have the iPad remain in its case (if the stand can accommodate this), etc.

I think I would choose the dock only if you do not mind being stuck in portrait mode and if you must have as much battery life as possible.

sracer
May 19, 2010, 08:38 AM
There is an extension cable that will allow the iPad to be propped in landscape mode when using the keyboard dock. Also keep in mind that the BT keyboard does NOT have the same keys as the keyboard dock. The iPad specific keys are missing from the BT keyboard.

Keep in mind that tossing a BT keyboard in a backpack or case will most likely turn on the keyboard (see other threads about this issue) That has caused a few people to run into the problem of the keyboard waking up the iPad and draining the iPad's battery unexpectedly.

I think that a good way to determine which keyboard is best suited for you is whether or not you'll be carrying the keyboard with you.

I have both. I prefer the keyboard dock.

antiprotest
May 19, 2010, 08:43 AM
There is an extension cable that will allow the iPad to be propped in landscape mode when using the keyboard dock. Also keep in mind that the BT keyboard does NOT have the same keys as the keyboard dock. The iPad specific keys are missing from the BT keyboard.

Keep in mind that tossing a BT keyboard in a backpack or case will most likely turn on the keyboard (see other threads about this issue) That has caused a few people to run into the problem of the keyboard waking up the iPad and draining the iPad's battery unexpectedly.

I think that a good way to determine which keyboard is best suited for you is whether or not you'll be carrying the keyboard with you.

I have both. I prefer the keyboard dock.

Yes, I have seen the extension cable. I would not prefer it.

I like the iPad specific keys on the dock, but they are so unimportant to me that I can do without them. You still have functional screen brightness keys and volume keys on the BT.

I am not sure if tossing the BT in a bag will "most likely" turn it on, but it is a possibility. It depends on how it is placed. On the other hand, I find the dock cumbersome enough that I would not put it in a bag at all. It stays home.

Much has to do with personal preference. The OP should visit an Apple store and take a look at both.

orlandocano
May 19, 2010, 08:49 AM
I will probably go to the apple store today to check these out. I have one more question about the keyboard dock:

Does it have to be plugged into an outlet to work? Or can you use it without plugging it in and just have it not charge your ipad!?

antiprotest
May 19, 2010, 08:50 AM
I will probably go to the apple store today to check these out. I have one more question about the keyboard dock:

Does it have to be plugged into an outlet to work? Or can you use it without plugging it in and just have it not charge your ipad!?

You do not have to plug it in.

sracer
May 19, 2010, 10:18 AM
I am not sure if tossing the BT in a bag will "most likely" turn it on, but it is a possibility. It depends on how it is placed. On the other hand, I find the dock cumbersome enough that I would not put it in a bag at all. It stays home.
You might not be sure, but I am. There is a near certainty that the BT keyboard WILL be turned on accidentally in a backpack or case. The only ways to ensure that it doesn't happen is to:
- use a case that firmly stabilized the keyboard so that nothing comes in contact with the power button.
- remove a battery from the keyboard
- construct a hard "cap" that covers the power button.

warwithwords
May 19, 2010, 10:50 AM
I bought my first iPad yesterday (!!) and plan on it replacing my MBP for school use. I looked at the keyboard dock and was discouraged that it might get broken from hauling it around in a bag all day. Does it have a thin profile, and does it look like it may break in a bag?

DougFNJ
May 19, 2010, 10:58 AM
I was initially debating about the keyboard dock vs the Bluetooth keyboard. I ended up getting the Bluetooth Keyboard for a number of reasons also mentioned here.

First of all, this goes in my briefcase...the dock is not very good for this is the dock portion sticks out. The Bluetooth Keyboard sits nice and flat.

As far as Battery Life and the iPad turning on....I keep Bluetooth off unless I am using the keyboard. I have not noticed any significant battery drain and have not had my ipad nor the keyboard turn on..

The other simple reason was flexibility. I tend to type in my car sometimes and I like that I could sit the iPad on the dash, the keyboard on my lap.

Good thing is you have plenty of pros and cons to each from some helpful people here....let us know what you decide :)

C150pilot
May 19, 2010, 11:21 AM
There is another option that has worked well for me. I am using the camera connection kit's USB adapter to connect a USB keyboard I found here for $10.00:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0296731 I have tried several USB keyboards and they all have worked. I like this one because it is small but has a good feel while typing.

It allows me to leave the bluetooth off and use my keyboard in landscape mode. I am using a business card holder I got at Office Depot on clearance for under $1.00 to hold my iPad while the keyboard is connected. This option works perfectly for me and I thought it might work for others as well.

http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-9.jpg
http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-10.jpg
http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-11.jpg

http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-9.jpg
http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-10.jpg
http://s801.photobucket.com/albums/yy297/avtech/?action=view&current=photo-11.jpg