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Brydge, known for its range of keyboards designed for Apple's iPads, today introduced its latest keyboard offering, the Brydge Air MAX+, which is compatible with 10.9-inch iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Pro models.

brydge-keyboard-ipad-air.jpg

Priced at $149.99, the Brydge Air MAX+ features a full keyboard along with a large multi-touch trackpad that's designed to turn an iPad Air or iPad Pro into a more laptop-like machine. The Brydge Air MAX+ features a row of shortcut keys for controlling screen brightness, accessing media controls and emoji, and more.

There's a detachable Magnetic SnapFit Case that the iPad fits into to keep it safe from scratches and other damage, with the case offering 4-foot drop protection. Brydge added an antimicrobial agent to the case to protect against bacteria and viruses.

Unlike Apple's own Magic Keyboards, the Brydge Air MAX+ connects to an iPad over Bluetooth, so it does need to be charged now and then. Brydge offers an "Instant-On" feature that's designed to allow the iPad to connect to the Max+ seamlessly when active.

Brydge also recently introduced the Brydge 12.9 Max+, which is compatible with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and offers all of the same features as the Brydge Air MAX+. We reviewed that model earlier this month and were impressed with its design and functionality.

The Brydge Air MAX+ can be preordered from the Brydge website for $149.99, and it will ship out in June.

Article Link: Brydge Debuts New Air MAX+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Air and iPad Pro
 
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mrat93

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2006
1,626
465
Let me chime in real quick before this gets busy…

Brydge and some reviews make it seem like the trackpad experience is nearly equivalent to the Magic Keyboard. This is not true. Scrolling is choppy and janky even with the new firmware, and Brydge has said nothing to say they’ve improved it on these new models other than making the trackpad bigger. Early hands-ons demonstrate this as well. this is especially noticeable on iPad Pro with its 120hz refresh rate.

I’ve been a brydge user for a while. I love the function keys and viewing angles. But I think for my 2021 iPad Pro, i’m gonna stick with the Magic Keyboard.
 

Jezzag

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2021
10
9
I for one am v excited by this if they really have cracked the Bluetooth instant on issue. I had a brydge keyboard for my iPad air2 and it was seriously impressive. Keyboard felt great, loved the function keys and backlighting. I bought another for my iPad Pro when it first came out but, while the typing experience is still excellent , there is a notable delay connecting to the iPad when starting typing that is extremely frustrating to say the least. I think the separate charging issue is a red herring. I charge my brydge keyboard about 2 or 3 times a year.
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2002
3,910
2,623
Let me chime in real quick before this gets busy…

Brydge and some reviews make it seem like the trackpad experience is nearly equivalent to the Magic Keyboard. This is not true. Scrolling is choppy and janky even with the new firmware, and Brydge has said nothing to say they’ve improved it on these new models other than making the trackpad bigger. Early hands-ons demonstrate this as well. this is especially noticeable on iPad Pro with its 120hz refresh rate.

I’ve been a brydge user for a while. I love the function keys and viewing angles. But I think for my 2021 iPad Pro, i’m gonna stick with the Magic Keyboard.
If they’re spending the money to make this an iPad only case (is it iPad only?) why wouldn’t they spend the additional money to connect it via the better interface instead of Bluetooth?
 

Jezzag

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2021
10
9
If they’re spending the money to make this an iPad only case (is it iPad only?) why wouldn’t they spend the additional money to connect it via the better interface instead of Bluetooth?
Licensing cost would be my guess? But it’s not like Bluetooth is a bad technology for the application.
 

mrat93

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2006
1,626
465
Licensing cost would be my guess? But it’s not like Bluetooth is a bad technology for the application.
My guess as well. Same reason for bad Lightning cables and a minuscule smart home (HomeKit) footprint.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
727
2,379
Colombia
Licensing cost would be my guess? But it’s not like Bluetooth is a bad technology for the application.

Yes, Apple gets a cut from using the smart connector.

I prefer the Bluetooth keyboards, I have tried Apple's and Logitech's keyboard with Smart Connectors and they are battery killers.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,118
3,126
Tennessee
I really like the idea of this setup. I’ve considered it a number of times but I just can’t fight the feeling that I’d rather use a MBP or Air for this and forgo using iPad apps. I guess I’m too old school.
 

Jezzag

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2021
10
9
Ben
My guess as well. Same reason for bad Lightning cables and a minuscule smart home (HomeKit) footprint.
Even the Logitech slim folio has a better implementation while still using Bluetooth for the actual connection. Still, the keyboard experience is not as nice as the Brydge IMO
 

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,499
3,340
How does it fit both the 10.9” iPad Air and 11” iPad Pro? Are they exactly the same size or is it not a tight fit?

Also how is that thing standing up? Is the hinge that strong? Is the base that heavy? Unless it has a kickstand, that’s the thing with all tablet keyboard cases—they have to make the whole thing so heavy to keep it standing up.
 

deebinem

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2017
307
641
At this point, just buy a MacBook Air.

So let's look at this using my partner's profession as a use case:

My partner is an architect that is constantly on job sites looking to make quick markups to already created drawing sets that she would like to incorporate in her CAD renders later. An Apple Pencil works wonders in this situation with her iPad but there are times she needs to send detailed write ups in addition to those markups. I can see how having a keyboard would make that portion of this use case so much easier.

So, if I were to suggest your path, I'm wondering how you would approach the detailed markups that are best suited to quick pencil style red lines on already produced drawing sets with a traditional MacBook?
 
Last edited:

deebinem

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2017
307
641
How is that thing standing up? Is the hinge that strong? Is the base that heavy? Unless it has a kickstand, that’s the thing with all tablet keyboard cases—they have to make the whole thing so heavy to keep it standing up.
That base is pretty chunky (hence my earlier comment) since its weight would need to offset the iPad. My Brydge for the 10.5 weighed as much as the tablet itself to keep it from toppling backwards.
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2002
3,910
2,623
Licensing cost would be my guess? But it’s not like Bluetooth is a bad technology for the application.
I know it costs more, but I’d be willing to pay it. However, as someone else posted, if it’s a significant battery drain, the power profile might have to be more unique than currently available tech can make possible for low cost.
 

Jezzag

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2021
10
9
How does it fit both the 10.9” iPad Air and 11” iPad Pro? Are they exactly the same size or is it not a tight fit?

Also how is that thing standing up? Is the hinge that strong? Is the base that heavy? Unless it has a kickstand, that’s the thing with all tablet keyboard cases—they have to make the whole thing so heavy to keep it standing up.
How does the magic keyboard do it? heft (weight) and (admittedly more ingenious) hinge.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,499
3,340
I for one am v excited by this if they really have cracked the Bluetooth instant on issue. I had a brydge keyboard for my iPad air2 and it was seriously impressive. Keyboard felt great, loved the function keys and backlighting. I bought another for my iPad Pro when it first came out but, while the typing experience is still excellent , there is a notable delay connecting to the iPad when starting typing that is extremely frustrating to say the least. I think the separate charging issue is a red herring. I charge my brydge keyboard about 2 or 3 times a year.
Yes! I have a brydge keyboard and the time it takes to wake up and connect to my iPad (12.9” 2nd gen) each time is excruciating! It’s probably like 3 seconds but it feels like 15. What makes it a million times worse is that the keyboard goes to sleep after only about 10 minutes! So some days depending on how I’m using my iPad, I honestly feel like I’m waiting more than typing. And like you said, I go months on end without having to recharge so I have no idea why they set it to go to sleep so darn quickly. They should at least make it customizable for goodness sakes. Sorry, this thing makes me angry. Especially because it’s otherwise a great keyboard. Iwas the only keyboard I could find with a 180 hinge (though I would have much preferred 360).

But I agree, if they indeed solved the wake/connection delay, and assuming the battery life remains similar, that would make it pretty much irrelevant whether it connects via bluetooth or smart connector.

Hopefully the trackpad works well though.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,499
3,340
How does the magic keyboard do it? heft (weight) and (admittedly more ingenious) hinge.
Yes I’m wondering if it does the same thing or if there’s a kick stand we can’t see in the pic. Because the hinge doesn’t look that robust and the base doesn’t look heavy enough to keep it from tipping, but maybe it’s dense.
 
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