The iPad has turned into quite the work horse. Initially envisioned as a consumption device in which you’d listen to music, watch videos or read people are actively engaged in doing real work with their iPads. Thing such as email or texting have become naturals for the iPad to carry out.
However, the device is being used to create Powerpoint presentation, write documents sync’d with the desktop and even build spreadsheets once thought the sole realm of the desktop computer.
Writing of all Kinds
The iPad is being used for writing of all kinds now. Taking notes on say Evernote or whatever note-taker you like to writing Markdown documents to the web the writing component of the iPad is being fully exploited.
The iPad Air is considered Apple’s best iPad to date. Reading on it is a charm. No longer do you need to use both hands to hold it to read that great book but one hand will do. Typing on the virtual keyboard is easier also as it isn’t as weighty to hold.
However, by the very nature of the virtual keyboard there is only a certain speed you can get to without starting to make errors and severely stretching your fingers. It can be quite exhausting.
The Keyboard is the Better Way
If you do find yourself using your iPad for a lot of writing, it is time to think about replacing or augmenting that virtual keyboard with a physical keyboard. There are some great choices now so why limit yourself. In fact, it is possible that you could do without that portable computer, as much as I hate to say that, by using a keyboard built for your iPad Air.
There are numerous choices far too many of which I care to write about here. So I’m going to write about the two leaders in the iPad Air market. Although one could ask how could their be differences when they are keyboards there are distinct differences between the two.
The two market leaders are the Logitech Ultrathin and the Belkin Ultimate which have designs for all the iPads. These keyboards share similarities in terms of being highly capable and likeable but are designed slightly differently. You might prefer one style over the other. To be clear though, you can’t go wrong with either keyboard it is just one may suit your work style better.
The Logitech UltraThin
In the iPad Air line most probably consider the Logitech Ultrathin the #1 keyboard but many feel the Belkin Ultimate to be better. I feel that they are both #1 but that your work style would dictate which you prefer the most. In terms of typing on either one they both offer a super attractive keyboard feel and layout the better going to the Ultimate due to the spacing of the keys but a slight detraction due to the odd positioning of a couple of keys.
The Ultrathin is simply a very thin, aluminum based keyboard. The iPad slips into a slot to create your upright writing environment. The Ultrathin is exactly that – ultrathin. To create the case, you place the iPad on the keyboard and magets at the back grab the iPad and it is locked on keyboard as the protective screen portion of the case. It is quite brilliant.
There are two things that I think stand out about this design. Should you need to detach the keyboard very quickly and so put it in a leather folio this is a piece of cake.
The second thing that really stands out about the design is how quickly you can turn the iPad into a case from your writing environment. Pick the iPad up, slide it into the case Ultrathin, pick up this very slim device and off you go.
The one downside that I think you should be aware of with the Ultrathin is there is no overall protection but rather just protection for the screen. Secondly, if you need to read vertically you have to take your device out of the keyboard and read with it that way either naked or in my view, best just put in another case such as a folio for vertical operation.
The Belkin Ultimate
This is Belkin’s best of best keyboard cases for the iPad air. It offers overall protection with almost the typing feel of a portable. This is a very good keyboard case. You can view your iPad from three different angles which you can’t do with the Ultrathin and you can easily swivel the case for vertical reading all the time not detaching the case.
This case is not quite as quick as grab and go as the Ultrathin in that the magnets are quite strong which hold the iPad to the keyboard. However, a shortcoming of previous cases is that they weren’t strong enough. It takes a bit of a jostle to detach the iPad from the keyboard and then slide it into a case position. Once in a case position though this is full grab and go with all the protection one needs.
The Ultimate is one great keyboard case for the iPad and will allow you to type on it at high speed for hours just as if you were using a portable. It is lighter and therefore easier to take with you when you go off and about but at the ready to do some heavy-duty work.
Both Great so Work style Rules
Both of these keyboard cases are very good. My personal preference is probably the Belkin Ultimate but the Logitech Ultrathin is an excellent option.
To choose therefore should depend on your work style. If you’re the type that likes to type on the iPad but carry your device to meetings in a folio, you’re better off with the Ultrathin. If you want an all in one that is both a keyboard plus a case, choose the Belkin.
Finally, if you’re a really fast touch typist, you’ll probably, once used to the odd position of a couple keys, prefer the Ultimate. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
The iPad isn’t the device it was intended to be; a sophisticated consumption device. It has turned into a workhorse that people use to accomplish solid work. In fact, it is being used for so many work functions it has even taken Apple by surprise. Each release of IOS sees more and more capability added to meet these evolving needs.