So I bought a new Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad (2017 model not a Pro) and it is a very nifty piece of technology. This is the Kugi keyboard specifically designed for the 2017 model of the iPad. It certainly is helping me type easier and I will be using it often from now on. I have been relying on the touch-screen to type for some years now and although I own a Macbook Air, I much prefer the iPad’s battery life, portability, ease of use and overall comfort level over the Macbook or any laptop. The iPad is just much more comfortable to hold on the lap and I am pleased to say even with this light Bluetooth keyboard I can comfortable have the iPad sit on my lap and type.
The keyboard in question is the. It relies on Bluetooth connectivity and comes with a mini-USB port to charge the iPad with. It also comes with a case the iPad slides into while the keyboard uses magnetism to stay below the display on the case itself (underside). It comes with the standard keys as well as numbers and various shortcut commands such as WIN, FN, PgUp/PgLeft/PgRight/PgDown. The neat thing about it is you can use the keys on the keyboard to slide up or down on your document or you can use the touchscreen in conjunction with the keyboard to combine the best of both worlds [touchscreen and keystroke based inputs].
The other nice thing about it is that you do not have to look at touchscreen icons that usually take the lower half of the whole display away from the area you are working on. It truly makes the iPad feel like a Laptop or a Netbook of old, but with the lightness, comfort and battery life of the tablet still being as awesome as it is. Sure, Bluetooth will eat up more battery life than using the iPad without it enabled, but it still pales in comparison to using most Macbooks and laptops.
It is interesting that the iPad Pro was marketed as the iPad for pro usage with a magnetic keyboard as one of its showcases, but this keyboard proves there is a lot of life left for regular iPad usage as well even in business or professional settings. The pro keyboard may not rely on Blouetooth and have more built-in functionality, just like the pen stylus compared to third-party styluses on the market, but this keyboard is definitely functional and easy to type with for us standard iPad users.
One downsides to the keyboard is that it has various shortcuts that may take a while to memorize as its layout is different from the Mac and PC keyboards in some ways (like no f1… keys or command although there is control). I have also yet to figure out how to switch different accents for different languages as the ctrl and tapping letter input either sometimes doesn’t seem to work or doesn’t give me the accent I want. There may be multiple accents on one letter or variations that need different inputs in some languages and this is something I need to figure out still on how to do on this keyboard. For a while I would accidentally switch back and forth between Polish and English and not know how to switch back until I figured out that holding the capslock key allows you to switch languages.
In terms of keyboard shortcuts, it does have various ones to work with. Control+space shifts up while shift+space shifts up on a website, although in documents or other apps it is finicky. For instance, in Word I can use the shift down command, but not up. You have to fine tune it or play with it in different settings, but different keyboard shortcut options are there, which is a nice bonus.
The keyboard overall is a nice addition to have for your iPad although it is quite small so you may be hitting the wrong keys on occasion when using it. Overall, it does speed up the typing process and allows you to not have to rely on topping on a touchscreen keyboard so it cuts back on typos as well. It may not be as robust or feature-rich as a full Macbook keyboard, but it is a nice and very light option or alternative to have.