keyboard-cases.jpg

Keyboard cases have been important accessories that can convert touch-focused tablets into decent subportable notebook replacements. Not only do they protect tablets, they also add QWERTY keyboard capability while freeing up displays for typing. Here are some outstanding keyboard case solutions.

 

Tablets approaching PC in performance

 

Today’s tablets are awesome. They feature an impressive array of technology and connectivity features, they run a wide variety of apps and games and can shapeshift from content consumption devices to productivity tools. 

 

While great for basic web surfing or managing email as well as social networks, tablets have become more powerful and versatile and can now play various games, run a variety of apps as well as even edit photos and video on the fly.  Since these are connected devices they are ideal for messaging and sharing information as well.

 

Tablets have come into their own as viable notebook replacements.  They’re light, have long battery life and can easily access the Internet using WiFi or Data Connections. For users who don’t need all the power of a notebook, a tablet is an ideal replacement to more expensive ultrabooks, mini laptops or mini PCs. Also there are now powerful multi-core processors as well as key software suites running on tablets, which make them attractive for work and getting stuff done on a level that was once reserved for full-blown PC notebooks. 

 

Microsoft has made their Office 365 suite available for iPads and Android tablets, which are increasingly becoming popular in schools as well as in offices as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) options. Other software providers like Adobe, are also creating apps that tie in to desktop versions of their popular applications, making tablets more versatile devices.

 

Keyboard Cases are the missing link to productivity

 

The biggest limitation tablet users face is having to use onscreen software keyboards to type. 

 

 

B00EZ9XG62_UltrathinKBCoverMini_WHT_CTG_lg.jpgWhile the technology behind many of the software keyboards is pretty advanced and allows most users to type with their thumbs or use swiping gestures to complete words, they can’t touch the feedback, accuracy and speed we’ve come to expect from dedicated hardware keyboards.

 

Some companies, like Microsoft, Lenovo and HP, realize this and have created hybrid tablet 2-in-1 devices that incorporate removable QWERTY keyboards that can easily connect through magnets and convert their devices from tablets to notebooks.

 

For smaller iPads and Android tablets in the 7-10 inch size range, companion QWERTY keyboard accessories aren’t usually created by manufacturers (the Nexus 9 by HTC is an exception, it does have a decent accessory keyboard case). 

 

Myriad options for Keyboard case solutions

 

This means that it falls on users and consumers to seek out and find the right keyboard case for their devices. While this can be challenging, the good news is that most users are spoiled for choice 

10299735.jpgsince Best Buy carries a wide range of keyboard cases that do a great job of protecting tablets while adding the functionality of a QWERTY keyboard to emulate the mobile notebook experience.

 

The advantage of QWERTY keyboards is that they connect via Bluetooth and can last for months on a single charge. They also 

 

Logitech has been making various keyboard cases for the iPad and iPad mini as well as as for more popular Android tablest such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line of devices.

 

The Logitech Ultrathin iPad case is a Folio-style case that guards the front and back of iPads and iPad mini from accidental bumps, scratches and spills and has magnets to turn the iPad on or off.

 

The Logitech keyboard cases are good for angling the tablet in upright position, which is great for typing, while lie-flat angle makes it easier to read and browse in comfort for when you want to watch videos or engage in video conferencing.

 

I like the Logitech Type +iPad keyboards because they can shield the iPad Air 2 from dings and accidental bumps. The case comes with an integrated Bluetooth keyboard an includes familiar iOS shortcuts so users stay productive wherever they go. With versatile viewing angles, you can place your device in an upright position for typing, or lay it flat for reading and browsing.

 

Zagg has been making cases and keyboards for every generation and model of iPad and has also brought a lot of innovation such as backlit keyboards and a range of materials.

10323683.jpg

 

The Zagg iPad Air folio has an articulating Hinge that offers a 135′  viewing angles and approximates the look and feel of notebook computers. Available in a variety of colours, the Zagg solution features island-style keys help users type faster and more accurately.

 

The battery keeps the Folio going for up to three months between charges and some users will like the rugged leather-textured cover.

 

Zagg has also focused on creating 30 per cent more typing area than most tablet keyboards for increased comfort and efficiency.

 

What I like about the Zagg Folio as a solution is that it naturally converts an iPad into a notebook and makes typing easier and more effective since you can easily angle the hinge so you can see what you are typing. They managed to do this without limiting the connectivity features of the iPad since even when the keyboard is flipped over, you can easily access all the ports and buttons of the tablet. 

 

Conclusion:

 

Notebooks and laptops still have the advantage as productivity tools, specially since they have fixed QWERTY keyboards and run desktop class operating systems. The limitation of notebooks is that they’re fixed and while many are portable, they aren’t ideal handheld devices.

Tablets are starting to encroach on the specs and features of more expensive notebooks even if they are more portable, have better battery life and are designed for multi-touch operation. The one weakness of the tablet class is the lack of familiar and efficient input methods. That’s where keyboard cases come in. These peripherals free up valuable screen space, turn a content consuming tablet into a content creation device and give users a quick and efficient way to input information, which elevates a tablet’s level of functionality.

SHARE
Gadjo is a veteran journalist covering consumer technology, lifestyle and business. He has written for international newspapers, magazines and online publications. He is founder of Canadianreviewer.com as well as an avid photographer and travel enthusiast.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Two thoughts…

    • test the keyboard if it has the right feel for touch typing.  Some keyboards have really cramped horizontal keyboards making it difficult to type.
    • look closely for a right shift key.  Early keyboards lacked a right shift key.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here