The Brydge Keyboard is one of the most gorgeous designed iPad keyboard accessories. It’s also one of the worse.
With its patented hinge design, one can recreate a laptop experience while using their iPad. But Brydge’s lackluster Bluetooth technology leaves one frustrated and upset. Imagine a scenario where you tap a key only to find the letter not populating on the screen as it should.
Considering how much this keyboard costs it’s unacceptable.
Why it Matters
Deciding to make the iPad Pro as one’s primary computer requires you to have a quality keyboard setup. There are many Bluetooth keyboards to choose from. But few actually offer a near laptop like experience like the Brydge. Wanting to be able to use the iPad as a laptop, I opted for the Brydge keyboard.
Ordering the Brydge Keyboard
I was lucky that Brydge was having a unique Father’s Day sale. For $150 they bundled the keyboard with a back cover designed to accommodate the Brydge’s hinges, a lighting cable, and the keyboard itself. How could I say no? What could possibly go wrong?
It took only a week for the keyboard to arrive. The ordering experience was seamless. It came a few days more than it would have had I ordered through Amazon Prime. Not a big deal.
Why I Wanted the Brydge Keyboard
I decided to buy the Brydge keyboard because this is my second attempt at having an iPad as my main computing device. (More on that here).
With my first attempt, I switched between Apple’s Smart Keyboard setup and a clunky setup where I put my iPad in a tabletop holder while using a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. (The Bluetooth mechanical keyboard didn’t take long to stop working. I should’ve realized this when it said it came with Bluetooth 3.0. I would offer that as an important example to my fellow keyboard enthusiasts. Never buy a keyboard with Bluetooth older than version 4.0. Otherwise, you’ll be sorry.)
The Brydge seem to offer the best of both worlds. A patented hinge design to hold the iPad tightly. A keyboard experience which looked like any Macbook keyboard (before the butterfly hinges). From every angle possible I could view the iPad. Instead of the two angles, Apple’s Smart Keyboard provided. Or a single angle most other keyboards offer.
But for what I paid I got everything I wanted … except for a decent keyboard.
The build quality looks superb. It’s built out of aluminum instead of plastic. When turned off, the keys feel and resemble all MacBook Pro keyboards before the 2016 butterfly keyboard nightmare. The hinges hold the iPad securely. The iPad is not going anywhere. You can slide the iPad out, but with some difficulty and a little strength.
Which is a good thing to also note: This is designed to turn your iPad into a laptop experience only.
Pulling the iPad out of the keyboard hinge, which can squeeze at the iPad, is somewhat tricky. Unlike other keyboards which are separate, or offer an easy detachment option. This iPad is designed to stay with the keyboard.
When I started using the Brydge keyboard, I didn’t have any issues. When switching to a new keyboard, there is always an adjustment period. Getting a feel of different keys. How the keys react to tapping. Etc.
These keys felt normal. But they required hard tapping to work.
I would have to tap each key hard with my fingers to get a response. Thereby adjusting how I type. Fair enough.
Using this keyboard would then turn me into that annoying guy who taps loudly on his keyboard at the office or in a coffee shop. Screw it, I said to myself. I’ll give it a try.
I tried. It became frustrating. Not only having to hard tap every key but whenever the keyboard seemed to miss what I was typing. I went from fast typing my thoughts, to have to stop and go back, and correct, not to mention iOS’ autocorrect trying to complete a word I had no intention of writing. Slowing down my thought process and hindering my quality. This would not do.
A Beautifully Flawed Keyboard
Switching back and forth provides an experience. It’s not perfect, but it works. I think it’s just something that will have to be improved. Already Brydge has released a new version for the 12.9 version of their keyboard. One which is thinner and the promise of better Bluetooth technology.
I look forward to reading those reviews. I also look forward to seeing if Brydge will release a new version of the keyboard I now have.
Will I return this keyboard? No.
It’s annoying, but it’s not the end of the world. Tapping hard is a different kind of typing. But the keyboard provides a good enough experience. Whenever it frustrates me, I will switch to the bulkier Logitech Slim Combo. (Why Logitech included the word ‘slim’ to describe that keyboard/case combo is more a sick joke on their part. It is anything but slim.)
I will continue to search for the best keyboard setup.