Final Words

The iPad Keyboard Dock is good at one thing: turning your iPad into a desktop writing station. Think typewriter but with a different sort of multitouch. If the iPad is the perfect computing device for you, the keyboard dock is going to make it that much better. The ergonomics problems of using the iPad at a desk are solved, as are the typing speed issues thanks to Apple's excellent aluminum keyboard design. If the iPad was made for you, the $69 Keyboard Dock will be worth every penny. It'll turn your beloved iPad into a mini iMac Touch.

What it won't do however, is make the iPad any more attractive to you. If you can't deal with the limitations of the platform, the keyboard dock doesn't do you much good. Even if you just hate the idea of a virtual keyboard, the dock won't help much since it's a sort of awkward thing to carry around; not to mention that you need a desk to use it on.

Regardless of what side of the fence you're on, the quirks are annoying. It's great that Apple enabled some keyboard shortcuts (copy/paste/page up/down), but leaving out others (bold, reply) is disappointing. The lack of app switching is irritating but also understandable given the lack of a multitouch way to do the same.

Personally, I like it. It makes the iPad more useful at my desk and I like the ability to quickly pull it off the dock and carry it with me. I just wish you didn't need to take it out of its case all the time. The iPad is still much more portable of a device than a netbook, the keyboard dock just makes it more useful when you're not porting it around.

Like the iPad it pairs with, the Keyboard Dock is a very polarizing device. You'll either love it and think it's worth every penny, or burn all of your black mock turtlenecks in disgust.

The Keyboard & Using it
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  • AuDioFreaK39 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link


    Great review! Although you forgot to mention the most unfortunately difficult issue that the iPad dock keyboard misses. It is completely useless for using the device in landscape mode for widescreen text input and processing due to the nature of the first-generation iPad hardware lacking a 30-pin serial connector on the horizontal end of its frame.

    This was one of my biggest gripes about the first-generation iPad and one of the main points I clearly stated to the press on launch day when they asked me why I wasn't going to purchase one.

    It might be helpful to note that the Apple Wireless Keyboard for $69.99 should mitigate the problem, and I would sure hope that it can be used whilst the iPad is facing in landscape mode.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    Did you read the review? There's only 3 pages and he mentions the portrait-only mode on the second page.

    "And you'll need that case because the iPad keyboard dock only works in portrait mode. If you want to watch a full screen video on the iPad, you'll need the foldable case so you can prop it up in landscape mode."
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I've made mention of this too. You might need a stand to WATCH movies in landscape mode? But unless you have the input port along the long side of the device, you won't be able to plug your keyboard in, in landscape mode -- stand or no stand.
  • melgross - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    And who are you ? Why would the press care about anything you have to say? Why should we?
  • Stokestack - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    There's no real Delete key. Apple's failure to recognize this defect on their laptop & small keyboards is just baffling, year after year. This keyboard has only a Backspace key (mislabeled "Delete"). Every other keyboard, even on the smallest netbook, has a legitimate Delete key.

    I looked at this one to see what they'd do with the obviously unnecessary Eject key. Did they finally use this real estate to provide a Delete key? NO! It's a key with a "lock" symbol on it.

    Seriously, Apple, wake up. It's just embarrassing at this point.
  • QueBert - Sunday, April 25, 2010 - link

    IMHO Apple is the only one who got it right, I press the key and it DELETES what's back one space. To me the left arrow is the "backspace" If I want to delete the previous character in a Word document I press the key which Windows people think of as the backspace. While it technically go back a space, it deletes the character.
  • dworko - Thursday, May 6, 2010 - link

    with the use of a ipad stand and if a dock to dock cable could be found, landscape mode could be used while still using the keyboard and charging. First step for me is to find the cable that has the dock connector on both ends :)
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I now expect Anand to review all peripherals for all new tablets.

    Thank you for reviewing a 'dock'.
  • B3an - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    He would never do that, sadly he's quite an apple fanboy. Even when he writes an article about something completely different he often cant go long before he mentions apple.

    I like your articles Anand, but getting tired of these^ sort of things.
  • jasperjones - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link


    I'm starting to feel like I'm reading reviews by David Pogue here.

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