I’ve written extensively at the Daily Mac View on the value of the physical keyboard to the iPad. The product was conceived as more of a consumption device of information designed well to do some productivity work such as email. It didn’t take long though before the device was turned into a full fledged production machine a role to which it is only too well suited now. However, to do this effectively you need a keyboard.
The design and development of keyboards, initially from Apple, happened very quickly. However, rather than the Apple keyboard usurping the role as king of the keyboards third parities were well in there with their design. The long and the short of the story though is not all keyboards are designed equally and some not well.
As keyboards began to evolve, two and you could say three, stood out from the pack. The two that vie for first place are the Belkin Ultimate and the Logitech Ultrathin. The runner up to this and one that is sometimes preferred is the Zagg, a keyboard that in a way makes the iPad resemble a portable computer.
Through the generations of the iPad first place tends to have jockeyed though between the Belkin and Logitech keyboards. Looking at the most recent computers with the iPad 4g first place went to the Belkin Ultimate. This though changed dramatically with the iPad Air. Due to some weird keyboard key placement positioning Belkin made first place moved to the Logitech whose design had matured very nicely.
The iPad Air 2
As with things, the iPad Air 2, I would say has ushered in the era of the Belkin Ultimate again. They changed things around so that they had a fully standard keyboard but a unique twist on the overall design the keyboard and its function. Logitech’s design has simply slightly evolved from very good to better.
The design change Belkin made to their keyboard, I would say, puts it handily on top. Its the most functional of the keyboards and it is very original.
Belkin is Number One Easily Again
To become number one again Belkin has made some nice design changes to their keyboard. This is a keyboard that can be a highly functional iPad keyboard whilst also proving to be an easy “take the device off to read an article or book.” That is, it is preferable to read using only the iPad and not having the keyboard attached. This keyboard is extremely easy to take off the iPad while at the same time having it protected.
You can very easily detach the iPad from the Logitech however, it won’t be protected. You’d have to put the iPad that was seated in the Logitech in an external case and although this is only a minor inconvenience it is still something you don’t have to do with the Belkin.
Another significant reason that the Belkin is so well liked these days is that the keyboard is exactly like that of a portable’s. For touch typists this is major. Since Belkin hasn’t done anything foolish this time and changed the standard positioning of the keys, touch typists can type comfortably and at their regular speed. The Belkin Ultimate makes the iPad as close to a portable as any keyboard can and without compromise. Yet, remove the iPad from the keyboard and you have in the iPad Air 2 which is considered the best pad on the market.
Productivity Enhancement through the Addition of One Logical Add-ON
As we have watched the evolution of the iPad from that of a consumption oriented machine (read books, magazines etc) to that of a production oriented device (being used in a number of new applications such as medical), we have also witnessed the requirement for ever expanding and flexible third party tools such as keyboards.
Although the previous choice for the leading keyboard was the Ultrathin by Logitech and no doubt it remains a good choice, the best choice for the Air 2 is the Ultimate.