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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:24 PM   #1
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Belkin Announces Bluetooth Keyboard Cover For iPad Mini




Belkin has announced a new Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad mini, competing with a similar offering announced yesterday by Logitech.

The Next Web:
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Coming in at just 7mm, the FastFit keyboard case is thinner than the iPad mini. That doesn't stop the company from outfitting it with its TruType keyboard, which offers tactile feedback when keys are pressed. It's also very light, which is not surprising given it's made from anodized aircraft-grade aluminium.

The keyboard connects to the iPad mini via Bluetooth 3.0 and is able to offer 155 hours of "active use" with its 200mAh battery. Like Apple's Smart Cover, it also utilises a magnetic clasp so it can automatically look and wake your iPad mini when it is opened or closed.
The case will cost $79.99, the same as Logitech's model, with preorders opening soon.

Article Link: Belkin Announces Bluetooth Keyboard Cover For iPad Mini
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Better.
I could go for this one.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:42 PM   #3
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I might have to think about getting one of these. It looks pretty sweet.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Looks very similar to the logitech one...
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Good to see that the iPad Mini is covered as well.

Last edited by Giuly; Feb 6, 2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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The more leaned-back angle of this one sounds better to me than Logitech's more vertical angle. (At least for the Mini which sits so low.)

The full-iPad version looks to have two angles--very nice. (Not sure if that's true with the Mini.)

http://www.belkin.com/us/F5L141/p/P-F5L141
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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It's funny how they always need to put aircraft in front of their aluminum, which doesn't say anything at all. But it's anodized, thats nice. I could imagine something like this rocking all the netbooks and surfaces out there.

Ok maybe it's not a deep need for hardware keyboard on the iPad. Still I like writing text on a MacBook more. I will give this acknowledgment to Microsoft with their surface attempt. This new Tablet revolution shouldn't be limited to a rectangle full of software. That's why I like this apple+balkin/logitech combo. Apple is doing the tablet only part well, others have their chance to bring other (say notebook) qualities in.

You gain some nice to have key combos as well. All that good cmd+c/v/a and shift+arrows-selection stuff. With activated accessibility features doing cmd+tab and cmd+shift+tab for switching apps works too (at least someone told me).
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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BOOM. $80 Surface Pro killer.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Belkin has announced a new Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad mini, competing with a similar offering announced yesterday by Logitech.

The Next Web:
The case will cost $79.99, the same as Logitech's model, with preorders opening soon.

Article Link: Belkin Announces Bluetooth Keyboard Cover For iPad Mini
Looks like a surface.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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I would like to see this and the logitech one in person. I'll bet these would be a great companion to the mini.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:17 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=weezor;16799625]It's funny how they always need to put aircraft in front of their aluminum, which doesn't say anything at all. But it's anodized, thats nice. I could imagine something like this rocking all the netbooks and surfaces out there.QUOTE]

Well, it sounds better than saying it is made out of mobile home aluminum....
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:21 PM   #12
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Ok, and bluetooth keyboard cover for....iPhone 5, when?
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:22 PM   #13
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Thinking about this or the Logitech announced yesterday. I think the keys are better on this one (spring mechanism/TruType) but I need to try both to determine which one I like better regardless of key mechanism. Logitech seems to make better products in general so I'm unsure.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
BOOM. $80 Surface Pro killer.
Umm...not really. This isn't a Surface Pro killer.

I still can't run OS X apps on my iPad, but I can run Windows apps on the Surface Pro.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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iPad mini by itself = 7.2mm thickness
iPad mini + keyboard = 14.2mm thickness
Surface Pro by itself = 13mm thickness
Surface Pro + keyboard = 16.25mm or 19mm thickness
Macbook Air = 3mm - 17mm thickness

iPad mini by itself = $330
iPad mini + keyboard = $410
Surface Pro by itself = $900
Surface Pro + keyboard = $1,000-$1,030
Macbook Air = $1,000

I know there are a LOT more considerations than thickness and price, but it's just an interesting comparison.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:29 PM   #16
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That keyboard really looks awesome.
A great mix of protection and productivity.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 05:22 PM   #17
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That keyboard really looks awesome.
A great mix of protection and productivity.
Is it a tablet?

Is it a laptop?

I mean it's not as good of a tablet as just the mini.

And it doesn't really work on your lap. Or run any OSX applications...

And it doesn't run windows.

Obviously this is a disaster just like the surface pro.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 02:29 AM   #18
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I can't imagine the tiny keys being easy to type on, but it can't be any worse than the Surface keyboards.

I remember my old fold away keyboard for my Palm, now that was seriously a great keyboard!
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by NorEaster View Post
Umm...not really. This isn't a Surface Pro killer.

I still can't run OS X apps on my iPad, but I can run Windows apps on the Surface Pro.
You don't want to run OS X on an iPad, not as is.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by NorEaster View Post
Umm...not really. This isn't a Surface Pro killer.

I still can't run OS X apps on my iPad, but I can run Windows apps on the Surface Pro.
The question is, do you want to run OS X/Windows apps on your tablet?
Apps that have been designed for a larger screen, faster CPU, proper keyboard and a mouse or trackpad? Apps that would run better on an Air/Ultrabook? Or would you rather run apps that have been specifically designed around the strengths and weaknesses of a tablet?

Microsoft's success depends on convincing people that they need to run legacy Windows apps on their tablet, even if it means hot-running, chunky tablets with lousy battery life and insufficient storage. The success of the iPad in a windows-dominated market suggests that this is not so. There were Windows-based tablet computers before the iPad - they never escaped from niche markets.

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Is it a tablet?

Is it a laptop?
I got a keyboard cover for my iPad 3 because it seemed like a good idea.

Wrong. It just turned a great tablet into a so-so netbook. Tethering a keyboard to an iPad destroyed the iPad's main advantage - portability... and Jobs was bang on about the usability of a touch screen on a laptop (a nice extra maybe, but not as the primary pointing device).

If you do, occasionally, do heavy typing its better to have a separate bluetooth keyboard that can stay in your bag until you need it. I'd think that this goes double for the iPad mini that isn't wide enough to accommodate anything close to a full-pitch keyboard.

OK - your mileage may vary, but don't buy anything like this until you've had a good hands-on session with one.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 02:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by NorEaster View Post
Umm...not really. This isn't a Surface Pro killer.

I still can't run OS X apps on my iPad, but I can run Windows apps on the Surface Pro.
Actually, I think you may be right.

There can be no Surface Pro killer because Surface RT / Pro are both D.O.A.

Dead. On. Arrival.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:18 PM   #22
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Actually, I think you may be right.

There can be no Surface Pro killer because Surface RT / Pro are both D.O.A.

Dead. On. Arrival.
Wow...that's clever, did you come up with that yourself? If so, bravo!
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:56 PM   #23
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The question is, do you want to run OS X/Windows apps on your tablet?
Yes, I do actually. And here's why - some day, I'd like 1 device that:
1) I can use to can run the full-blown productivity apps that I need for work
2) I can use as a media consumption device for when I'm at home or on-the-road

In order to truly leverage productivity apps that I use for work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Development IDE), I need a keyboard and mouse. But I'd really like to be able to come home, and use the same device to read a book, browser a magazine, watch a movie, or catch-up on a TV show.

A device like the Surface Pro allows me to do that. At work, I can use it for productivity (though admittedly, running an IDE on such a small screen may suck). As soon as I come home, the keyboard cover gets detached, and I'm using it as a media / entertainment device. Currently, I use a MBPro and an iPad...but hell, if I could just 1 device that does everything, why wouldn't I want it? While the Surface Pro hardware isn't there yet, I think some day, there will be a device that can do all of this. It'll be light enough, powerful enough, and robust enough to do all of the above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Microsoft's success depends on convincing people that they need to run legacy Windows apps on their tablet, even if it means hot-running, chunky tablets with lousy battery life and insufficient storage. The success of the iPad in a windows-dominated market suggests that this is not so. There were Windows-based tablet computers before the iPad - they never escaped from niche markets.
The prior Windows-based tablets didn't have what the Surface Pro has: a better form factor, a detachable keyboard, and better display technology. I'm not saying the Surface Pro is that great right now, but I do think the technology will get better and it won't be a "hot-running" and "chunky" tablet with poor battery life (btw... my iPad 1 runs hot as hell and frequently shuts down when I'm outside in the summer...and I live in New England where it doesn't get that hot).



Quote:
Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Jobs was bang on about the usability of a touch screen on a laptop (a nice extra maybe, but not as the primary pointing device).
I would use the Surface Pro's keyboard/mouse pad cover as the primary pointing device when required, and then detach the cover and use the touch screen when desired. Having both options doesn't require that you use both at the same time
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:44 AM   #24
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(though admittedly, running an IDE on such a small screen may suck).
I'd say! You'll want to plug in a big display. Typing all that code on a cut-down keyboard will hurt too (its an inch or two narrower than even the keyboard on your MacBook, let alone a full-sized one) - so you'll probably end up wanting a bigger mouse and keyboard....

Quote:
While the Surface Pro hardware isn't there yet, I think some day, there will be a device that can do all of this. It'll be light enough, powerful enough, and robust enough to do all of the above.
Except its not just about power - full-size apps designed for keyboard, mouse and large screen just don't work very well on a small touchscreen... The 'GUI' language for touchscreen is completely different. Look at Windows 8, which is effectively two operating systems ("Metro" and "Windows 7+1") each with its own application ecosystem.

The Surface Pro is always going to be squeezed from below by cheaper, lighter tablets with better battery life and above by ultrabooks with bigger displays and keyboards, more storage and better connectivity. Yes, the Surface Pro hardware will improve with time, but tablets and ultrabooks aren't going to stay static either.

The need for convergence is a 1990s idea, based on the idea that computing/communications/entertainment devices are big and bulky and that you need a big, bulky hard drive to hold your data - so only having one of each was a good idea. These days, the devices are small, light and cheap and, increasingly, all your data can live in the cloud. For the price of a Surface Pro you'll be able to stick an Amazon or Google tablet in every room of the house - and they'll all have wireless access to all your data.

Quote:
I would use the Surface Pro's keyboard/mouse pad cover as the primary pointing device when required
...several of the reviews noted that (a) it wasn't brilliant as a touchpad and (b) it was less usable 'on the road' than a laptop with a rigid keyboard section and hinge.
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