All iPads Do I need a keyboard for my iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by midnight555, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    I have an iPad 2 and I have been thinking about getting a keyboard. What are the benefits (advantages) or disadvantages of using a keyboard? What is the best one on the market? What do you think about the Logitech Keyboard Folio for iPad which was just announced. Thanks in advance for all the feedback.
  2. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I recommend the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I've written about this here:
  3. macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2011
    Like palpatine - I use the Apple Wireless Keyboard with my iPad and I also purchased the Origami workstation and have found this to be a great solution. I like the compact nature of the iPad however, since I take many notes in meetings - I needed something a little easier to type on than the iPad's built in keyboard (plus as a girl, my nails get in the way).

    The Apple Keyboard makes typing very easy and the case keeps the keyboard clean and undamaged. This has been a great way to expand the viability of using the iPad. Good Luck with your search.
  4. mortenandersen, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Search this Forum and find a lot of info and points of view

    Personally, I will say: For "ordinary" or "regular" (or even "usual") use of the iPad, you will often need an external BT keyboard. The very best one that I have found so far (both the keyboard layout and the function of a cover for the screen) is the Logitech Ultrathin BT Keyboard for the iPad (and even iPad Mini now, in addition). My own use of the iPad Mini would have been very restricted (and uncomfortable) without this accressory.

    As you then rightly may think, I am a content producer more than a content consumer when using the iPad Mini. But still I am also using tje device much for watching videos, when given it a second thought.

    Such a kind of keyboard/cover doees not in any substantial way add weight or size to the iPad, IMO. I recommend it. It many respects it in fact transforms the iPad to a reasonable good small/tiny, and even very elegant, computer.

    I have now also read about the Folio model, but I have no experience with it. On the insufficient basis of just having looked at the pictures of it and read about it, I am a bit uncertain whether I will need it, or whether I will prefer it to the Ultrathin model, which I use and really like. Perhaps the seemingly better protection of the iPad can turn out to be an argument for using it. But there are also other relevant factors for me: weight, ease of using it and how it looks.
  5. macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Why? What do you want to do that you think would make a keyboard useful.

    That answer will answer your question. And it might answer the question of whether you get a $100 something that snaps on like a case or a $70 or less stand alone keyboard

    Most folks I know aren't typing 50 page school papers or 200 emails every day so going to the extra expense isn't necessary. Of the few that might need a keyboard sometimes they don't often enough to make the added expense or weight worth it and they got a cheap computer BT keyboard for those random times
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jag Jaeger

    Feb 18, 2013
    Gujarat, India
    The main benefit of getting keyboard is that your touch pad life will increase and you will enjoy typing while you are working or chatting with friends.

    While if you don't have keyboard you will have to hold iPad to type, so using keyboard you will feel flexible in typing.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I got the Apple Wireless soon after I got my iPad first gen, and have never looked back. I stopped carrying around my Macbook soon thereafter.

    If you're a writer, and especially a touch typist, there's no comparing the speed and accuracy you can get from a physical keyboard - hearing key clicks is one thing, tactile feedback is another.

    There are some issues carrying around a keyboard that lacks an on/off switch (why, Jonny, why?) - if you leave Bluetooth on and jam the keyboard into a day pack... well, each errant key press is going to wake the iPad and drain a bit more of the battery (wake-on-key press is a feature, not a bug). So, before I stuff the iPad and keyboard back in my pack, I have to go to Settings to turn off Bluetooth (well, you could remove the battery from the keyboard, but that's even more of a bother). While I love the feel of the Apple Wireless and long ago learned to live with its one shortcoming, if you can find a keyboard that feels good to you that also has a mechanical on/off switch (or equivalent)....
  8. syd430, Mar 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2013


    Its a real chore trying to use an ipad paired with a key because alt-tab and other commands dont work + copying/pasting and general navigation is a pain because the input device is a large glass surface that you have to awkwardly reach for (rather than just moving your hand slightly to grab a mouse). All this essay writing a hassle because of the constant need to interact with the screen to make small edits and switch between apps. Just get an 11" air if you really need super portability.
  9. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Hi. There is an on/off switch. Press and hold the button on the right until the green light goes off. In addition, I highly recommend the origami incase workstation, which adds almost no weight, but protects the keyboard, and provides a stand.

    It's actually pretty easy to edit with the iPad if you master the keyboard shortcuts. Until someone on these forums told me about them, I was struggling without a mouse.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    I have found that a keyboard makes my iPad even more useful than it already is. I recently bought a Logitech Tablet Keyboard. I posted a review in the accessories forum, but I will quote it here.

  11. macrumors 68040


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I never liked the idea of this, but whatever float's their own boat. I believe if I am going to carry a keyboard with my iPad, might as well carry my MacBook.
  12. macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2013
    I use a leather case/keyboard combo I received as a gift from Things Remembered. It serves its purpose well and saves me time when I have to type up something on my iPad. It also protects the iPad and looks pretty snazzy.:D
  13. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Makes sense. But...
    1. Twice the battery life
    2. Portrait mode for reading
    3 Handwriting support
    4. Cellular connection (if enabled)
    5. More comfortable to use standing in line, in bed, or anyplace else without a table
    6. Half the price of the MBA
    7. Retina display

    The key is that you have a choice with the iPad + keyboard combination. With the MBA, you have to type in landscape mode.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    I was in the Apple store today with my 5 year old.
    He picked up an iPad keyboard and asked, "what's this?"
    I told him it was a keyboard for an iPad.
    He asked, "what for?"
    I told him so you can turn your iPad into a laptop.
    He then asked, "Why would you want to do that?"
    A woman next to us laughed.
    True story.
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2009
    screen real estate

    One thing nobody seems to have mentioned is that using an external keyboard hides the on-screen keyboard. So as a result you have like double the screen real estate because the on-screen keyboard isn't hiding half the screen behind it. That seems like a big benefit to using an external keyboard.

    That said, I wouldn't want to carry a separate keyboard with me. If most of my use was going to be away from home, and I planned on doing a lot of stuff that requires a keyboard, then I'd probably go with a notebook computer instead. If however, I only needed the use of a keyboard when at home, then I'd get the external keyboard and just use it at home, and use the on-screen keyboard when away from home.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    My answer to that would be so you can have the versatility of a tablet or a laptop as and when circumstances dictate.

    Granted, this is lifestyle dependent, but there are times when I want to hammer out a lengthy email or reply in a forum, and a keyboard would be most helpful.

    There are definitely legitimate use cases for it. :)
  17. macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    Logitech Ultraslim keyboard cover...

    After trying many keyboards with my ipad, this was the one that stuck. It has amazing reviews and is worthy of the praise it receives.
  18. macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    i used to travel with (2) laptops on business trips - a work one and a person one . when i got an iPad, i ditched the personal laptop and just travel with that and my work laptop. i missed having the physical keyboard and cursor input so i bought a Kensington case + BT keyboard and then a BT mouse (jailbroke my iPad 3). now i have laptop functionality with the benefits of the iPad (iOS, long battery life, light weight, etc).

    just as i used to think an iPad/tablet was useless, i couldn't believe i was without one for so long. just as i used to think a keyboard+mouse was useless with the iPad, i couldn't believe i was without them for so long

    it all comes down to personal preference. we can't judge how others prefer to use their tablets. after all, it is their device and they can use it however it suits them.
  19. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Good point. For me, though, the key is in the shortcut keys. The lack of an arrow key on the virtual keyboard, a tab key (unless the apps give you that functionality), etc. is incredibly frustrating when writing or editing. Suddenly, with the external keyboard, I stopped wishing I had a mouse or my Macbook Air.

    By the way, if you do need something for heavy lifting, a remote login service works wonders. Assuming you have an Internet connection, this will greatly increase the capability of your iPad. For example, I wanted to do OCR on a PDF the other day. I logged in, opened it up on the MBA, did the OCR, and downloaded it to my iPad.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    I use apple BT keyboard when using only 1 iPad, and a Logitech k760 when I want to use only one keyboard for 2 iPads and MacBook Air, it switches really quickly with 3 function keys and it is solar and seems to last forever. The touch isn't as firm as the apple keyboard but it is okay.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    The main drawback of the iPad for those who might wish to use it for work is that it is cumbersome to type. Adding a keyboard case will both protect the machine and remove that handicap. For around $50, the tool that was once only good for content consumption now doubles as a lite productivity computer that is much cheaper than an Air. My officemate has a Targus that is pretty impressive however there are several makes to choose from.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2012
    /home @
    Good one.

    Yet sometimes, I think it would be convenient to have a laptop with a detachable touch-screen that I could carry with me because it had an on-screen keyboard.
  23. macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    no offense to your kid, but any child that age has a narrow mind due to lack of experience. it's not their fault, they're young.

    it seems the woman next to you did too (not surprised)
  24. macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2013
    No offense, but his kid is narrow minded, and it has nothing to do with his age because the woman next to him did too?

    When you want to offend someone, saying "No offense" doesn't really make it better.

    Also, although I agree that having an external keyboard for an iPad is beneficial (I just use my mac's apple bluetooth keyboard for both), there ARE people who don't see the benefit of it. Doesn't make them narrow minded, it just makes them people.

    You might want to sit down for this, but not everyone agrees with you; I'm sorry for the shock.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    perhaps you totally did not read my post above, which clearly states that we shouldn't be criticizing others who put down other people's preferences. he was making a joke saying how even his 5 year old knows a keyboard shouldn't be used with the iPad, then threw in that tidbit about the woman laughing in agreement. the entire post is narrow minded, which leads me to my post. let me RE-post it for you:

    so when you make a post that is meant to make a joke of, and make fun of the personal preference of many - stating that even a 5 year old knows better, people will take offense. it was a narrow minded post in his part, end of story. that's the record set straight

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