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Old Mar 12, 2010, 09:59 AM   #1
ThatsMeRight
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iPad Accessories (keyboard): Wireless vs Connected

Okay,

You've got the iPad Dock keyboard and a normal iPad dock. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy the normal iPad dock but I will also need a keyboard.

The Apple site tells me you can also use bluetooth keyboards (which I don't have at home).

Now I thought that it might be better to buy the bluetooth keyboard. Than I will just put the iPad on the normal iPad dock and I will use the bluetooth keyboard to type stuff.

Now the bluetooth keyboard and the special iPad Dock Keyboard have the same price except there's one difference: the iPad Dock Keyboard isn't wireless but it's also a dock at the same time.

So, what to do?

Buy a wireless bluetooth keyboard or buy the connected iPad Dock Keyboard?
And what are you going to do?
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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I'm having a very similar conundrum. I came here for answers.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
...Buy a wireless bluetooth keyboard or buy the connected iPad Dock Keyboard?
And what are you going to do?
I ordered the plain dock because I had the same questions you have. Before I make the decision on a keyboard, I'd have to know if the top row 'special keys' will work on the bluetooth keyboard. That would be a dealbreaker if they don't.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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Get the BT keyboard and the iPad dock normal. While you will pay a bit more for it, you will also have a nice smaller charging dock/slideshow picture frame. The Keyboard dock just seems less practical. Also think about portability. You can take the BT keyboard and iPad with you anywhere, even the dock too which is less cumbersome, but the keyboard dock looks much harder to transport.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:06 AM   #5
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$30 for a dock seems a bit ridiculous to me. I'm going to wait and see what third party accessories come along in the next couple months.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:11 AM   #6
ThatsMeRight
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$30 for a dock seems a bit ridiculous to me. I'm going to wait and see what third party accessories come along in the next couple months.
The +$130 for 3G too. But I'm willing to pay $30 for the very first original iPad Dock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland.g View Post
Get the BT keyboard and the iPad dock normal. While you will pay a bit more for it, you will also have a nice smaller charging dock/slideshow picture frame. The Keyboard dock just seems less practical. Also think about portability. You can take the BT keyboard and iPad with you anywhere, even the dock too which is less cumbersome, but the keyboard dock looks much harder to transport.
It's just the keyboard issue. I was also thinking about the fact that the bluetooth is more portable (it would also be more easy to use, as you can put it on your legs or somewhere else). Do you know if you also can use the bluetooth keyboard with other systems (like, for example, the PS3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyTheKnife View Post
I ordered the plain dock because I had the same questions you have. Before I make the decision on a keyboard, I'd have to know if the top row 'special keys' will work on the bluetooth keyboard. That would be a dealbreaker if they don't.
Yea, indeed. I also would like to know that.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:11 AM   #7
-Ryan-
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I don't like the look of the Apple Dock + Keyboard. To me it looks like I'd be sitting far too close to the iPad to be comfortable. I'd rather use a bluetooth one and set the iPad further back on the desk. Plus, I already have several bluetooth keyboards.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:14 AM   #8
ThatsMeRight
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Well, than the decision is easy made (wireless, bluetooth) except for one small thing: do the special icons (on the iPad Keyboard Dock) also work on the bluetooth keyboard?
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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I got the case, which doubles as a stand, no dock (can just plug it in with the included AC adaptor and a $2 USB-dock connector cable), and have an Apple BT keyboard now... so that's my answer. The iPad docks vertically which seems a little odd, compared to most monitor setups. Might work well for a small screen with software designed to be used that way, but it's nice to have the option and not be locked into one or the other.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:24 AM   #10
ThatsMeRight
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Originally Posted by mrgreen4242 View Post
I got the case, which doubles as a stand, no dock (can just plug it in with the included AC adaptor and a $2 USB-dock connector cable), and have an Apple BT keyboard now... so that's my answer. The iPad docks vertically which seems a little odd, compared to most monitor setups. Might work well for a small screen with software designed to be used that way, but it's nice to have the option and not be locked into one or the other.
Wow, didn't think of this! I will buy both the case and the standard iPad dock, and I will choose for the bluetooth keyboard. You're right. I don't want to be locked to the portrait mode.

And oh, no need of buying a Dock to USB cable. Quote from Apple's website;

Quote:
In the box
- iPad
- Dock Connector to USB Cable
- 10W USB Power Adapter
- Documentation
So that should be fine. So the accessoires I will buy:

- The case
- Standard iPad Dock
- Bluetooth Apple Keyboard

EDIT: I can't seem to find the Bluetooth Keyboard at the Apple site anymore. Anyone got a url (keyboard which IS compatibly with the iPad)?
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:31 AM   #11
phillyred79
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I have decided to wait on the keyboard stuff.. I like the idea of a wireless keyboard via bluetooth, but then what if I want to sync up something else via bluetooth like headphones etc?? And for my purposes if I really need to do that much typing then I will just pull out my MacBook.. I'm sure the keyboard is a good idea for some people though..
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Just to throw another option in...

I'm planning to get Apple's iPad case; that way I can protect the screen and I've got a convenient way of propping the iPad up should I want to. It might even raise the virtual keyboard up enough on it's own to make the typing I want to do acceptable.

If it doesn't the next question is, does the iPad case let you plug it into the dock? I can't be sure either way from looking at the photos but there does look like there is a gap behind the dock connector port.

Edit: Looks like mrgreen4242 beat me to it
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:38 AM   #13
ThatsMeRight
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Originally Posted by phillyred79 View Post
I have decided to wait on the keyboard stuff.. I like the idea of a wireless keyboard via bluetooth, but then what if I want to sync up something else via bluetooth like headphones etc?? And for my purposes if I really need to do that much typing then I will just pull out my MacBook.. I'm sure the keyboard is a good idea for some people though..
I'm think you will be able to connect with more than 1 item to the iPad.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:44 AM   #14
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I don't like the look of the Apple Dock + Keyboard. To me it looks like I'd be sitting far too close to the iPad to be comfortable. I'd rather use a bluetooth one and set the iPad further back on the desk. Plus, I already have several bluetooth keyboards.
???

Have you used a laptop? Did you find the screen too close to be comfortable?

Remember this screen is tiny, smaller than a macbooks. You need to sit close if you plan to see much.

Obviously if you already have BT keyboard it is a no brainer, but if I get a keyboard at all, it would probably be the dock version. It charges, it holds the screen upright and IMO keeps it close where it needs to be, and the most economical solution as I would skip the regular dock.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 02:07 PM   #15
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???

Have you used a laptop? Did you find the screen too close to be comfortable?

Remember this screen is tiny, smaller than a macbooks. You need to sit close if you plan to see much.

Obviously if you already have BT keyboard it is a no brainer, but if I get a keyboard at all, it would probably be the dock version. It charges, it holds the screen upright and IMO keeps it close where it needs to be, and the most economical solution as I would skip the regular dock.
But I'm going to have the regular dock :P
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 02:12 PM   #16
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Connected. It doubles as a dock and you can plug it into the wall while your iPad is docked onto it.

Plus I find it's more effective for extensive note taking than an onscreen keyboard.

Costs as much as the BT keyboard too.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 02:17 PM   #17
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Connected. It doubles as a dock and you can plug it into the wall while your iPad is docked onto it.

Plus I find it's more effective for extensive note taking than an onscreen keyboard.

Costs as much as the BT keyboard too.
Yea, but I'm not going to plug it in all the time and as I said before. I will also buy the regular dock. Next to that I also want to able to use it in landscape mode :P
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 02:23 PM   #18
JonnyIreland
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I already own the BT keyboard, so it's an easy choice for me.
However, inside my geek-world of a mind (which is always thinking about this stuff, lol) I have visions of a few months down the line where I can have my iPad set up with a really nice, futuristic little mini-desktop look. Who knows what third-party accessories there will be for that. But in any event my vision includes a BT keyboard.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 03:25 PM   #19
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It looks like the iPad keyboard dock has 14 buttons "above the numbers". That's the same as my BT keyboard. I assume my BT keyboard will be able to do the same things as the iPad dock keyboard.

It will be interesting though to see how it works though. Most of the same function buttons appear to be in the same place (playback controls & volume) on both. The exception appears to be the screen brightness buttons.

It's not a deal breaker for me though. I figure I can use the screen for any functionality that may be missing with the function keys.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 04:53 PM   #20
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Count me in for the case plus bluetooth keyboard.

It seems the keyboard dock would really only be beneficial to keep plugged in on a desk. That does not address my mobile needs. At least half the time I will be using my keyboard of choice in a non-desk situation: on the couch, reclining in bed, and most often in a theater seat taking notes (I'm a director). Instead of trying to balance the keyboard dock so the ipad doesn't fall off, I imagine the bluetooth keyboard on my lap and ipad in case, on the seat next to me or anywhere in eyesight. Could even walk around with the bluetooth keyboard, to the lighting table or sound board and still jot down some notes as long as I'm still in range. Plus, BT keyboard is slimmer (probably lighter) and I don't need a dock when I can use the case as a stand (in landscape also, which is more appealing to me for slide shows, move watching, really anything you'd want to with your iPad while it is parked on a table - while portrait is preferable for walking around.)

Seems like a no-brainer for me as far as convenience and mobility.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 09:41 PM   #21
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Or you can just wait for jailbreak and Veency and pay $0.

You can use your mouse with Veency, too

Veency can be used in tunnel mode thru usb... fyi
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 10:01 PM   #22
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The separate dock and bluetooth keyboard seems like a logical setup for me. More money? Yeah. However you can bring the keyboard with you and use the case as a stand if you wanted, or use the dock to use it as a picture frame and avoid having a keyboard stuck infront of it.

But I am having one thing I am having a hard time imaging... navigation. So you are typing away at an email using the BT keyboard and boom, I want to send it. What do I do? Reach up and tap send? Press tab a few times to highlight Send? Hot key? This all seems so strange without a cursor to navigate. Same goes with web browsing. Say I am typing a comment on MacRumors with the BT keyboard. Do I need to manually press Submit Reply, then undock the iPad so I can comfortably browse the site then redock to type another comment with the keyboard? This seems like a strange process.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 10:14 PM   #23
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Or you can just wait for jailbreak and Veency and pay $0.

You can use your mouse with Veency, too

Veency can be used in tunnel mode thru usb... fyi
While running a VNC server on a iPhone/iPad seems kind of cool I can't see what the practical use of it is. If I'm sat at a Windows/Mac machine I'd be using the applications installed on that machine; not the Apps on my iPad.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 10:55 PM   #24
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While running a VNC server on a iPhone/iPad seems kind of cool I can't see what the practical use of it is. If I'm sat at a Windows/Mac machine I'd be using the applications installed on that machine; not the Apps on my iPad.
Um plenty.
-I use it at work to have beejive open, since our work intranet doesn't allow IM apps or connectivity to IM networks
-Use it when I'm texting a LOT. Keyboard really comes handy
-Use apps I prefer to Windows equivalents, but can't use because I have Windows (ie: Colloquy)
-Practice kanji strokes with my wacom - i like the iphone character recognition a lot
-iPad: The device lets me move my personal stuff (like my writing) out of my work laptop. Veency lets me access all that thru a keyboard/mouse.

... if I was to buy a separate keyboard, it would have to be something ultra compact and transportable.

The Apple offerings are as good as Veency, since with the bulk you'll probably have them in the same location as your PC or laptop anyway.

Except Veency's free.

Veency's also good for a lot of jailbreaking tasks, like futzing around in sqlite or terminal, or even installing stuff off of cydia.

And, Veency gives you a mouse. The keyboard alone doesn't have that. How exactly are you going to touch your iPad with it all tilted on that dock?
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 10:55 PM   #25
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The separate dock and bluetooth keyboard seems like a logical setup for me. More money? Yeah. However you can bring the keyboard with you and use the case as a stand if you wanted, or use the dock to use it as a picture frame and avoid having a keyboard stuck infront of it.

But I am having one thing I am having a hard time imaging... navigation. So you are typing away at an email using the BT keyboard and boom, I want to send it. What do I do? Reach up and tap send? Press tab a few times to highlight Send? Hot key? This all seems so strange without a cursor to navigate. Same goes with web browsing. Say I am typing a comment on MacRumors with the BT keyboard. Do I need to manually press Submit Reply, then undock the iPad so I can comfortably browse the site then redock to type another comment with the keyboard? This seems like a strange process.
These were some of the reasons why I went for the Keyboard Dock and the rest relate to iPad specific buttons. I already own the Apple bluetooth keyboard but, since this is attached to my Mac Pro, I figured that I would not want to constantly be reconnecting the keyboard between devices.
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