The Brydge+ iPad Keyboard was originally launched via a very successful Kickstarter campaign. It is available in Aluminum and Polycarbonate models, with or without speakers. This review is of the top of the line model- the Brydge+ With Speakers Aluminum iPad Keyboard. It is compatible with the iPad 2,3 or 4 (a new version for the iPad air is available for pre-order).
The Brydge + keyboard turns your iPad into a miniature MacBook – more so than any other keyboard case I have tried. The keys are very similar to those on a Macbook – they have a similar look and feel, with a nice scissors action. The case is anodized, aerospace grade, aluminum and attaches to the iPad via strong hinges. If you ignore the (rather obvious) hinges the overall look, when attached to the iPad, is very similar to a MacBook Air. It even has the same cutout for opening the screen. It doesn’t have is a trackpad, of course, as you use the iPad’s touchscreen instead, but it feels enough like my Macbook that at times I forget it’s an iPad and go looking for the trackpad!
The hinges are a little ugly but they do an incredible job. They come with different shims for different iPad models (2,3 or 4) and with the correct one installed you can lift the keyboard using the iPad and it stays firmly attached. The viewing angle is totally adjustable from 0 to virtually 180 degrees. The keyboard is weighted so it doesn’t tip over at all whatever the angle. This does mean the keyboard it quite heavy, which is fine for use at home or in the office but may be a consideration if you are carrying it around. (The manufacturers say the weight is to counterbalance the iPad weight and that the iPad Air keyboard will be lighter when it is available).
The Brydge+ has built-in stereo speakers that are considerably louder than the iPad’s internal speaker. The sound quality is similar to the MacBook’s built-in speakers- good clear sound for work or watching a movie, but not a really rich sound profile- so not my first choice for music listening.
I have been testing this keyboard for the last 6 weeks or so and have become very fond of it- so much so that on a recent trip to Europe left my MacBook at home and brought along the Brydge+ in preference to other lighter keyboards that I own. My only complaint is doesn’t have a caps lock light.
If you are looking for an iPad Keyboard that looks stylish and provides a great typing experience the Brydge+ is a great choice. The Brydge+With Speakers Aluminium iPad Keyboard is available from the Brydge website RRP $99. A neoprene sleeve is also available for $19.99 which fits the iPad with Brydge+ attached, and I would recommend this to protect the iPad and keyboard if you are traveling with it.
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.