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New, lighter BrydgeAir keyboard aims to bring laptop functionality to Apple's iPad Air

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Popular iPad keyboard maker Brydge is now accepting preorders for a new model designed specifically for Apple's iPad Air, bringing not only physical backlit keys, but also upgraded stereo speakers and a lighter aluminum design.




The new BrydgeAir is scheduled to begin shipping in October. Preorders for the device are currently available at a discounted price of $150 for the first 1,000 units, and it will eventually retail for $199.

Taking a cue from Apple's popular MacBook lineup, the BrydgeAir is made from a single piece of aluminum. It's also 35 percent lighter than the previous Brydge keyboard, matching the svelte design of the full-size iPad Air.



As such, the BrydgeAir is only compatible with the iPad Air, and will not work with previous-generation models. For those users on legacy iPad models, the heavier Brydge+ is available in polycarbonate for $79, aluminum and speakerless for $89, or with speakers for $99.

Like its predecessor, the BrydgeAir boasts a simple clip-in design that allows the iPad to be easily secured or removed from the keyboard dock. When in place and connected over Bluetooth, it turns Apple's iPad Air into a laptop-style form factor, complete with physical backlit keyboard, higher quality stereo speakers, and a 180-degree viewing angle.




The keyboard also features a full row dedicated to shortcuts such as Spotlight search, the Photos app, cut, copy, paste, media playback, volume, and screen lock.

Scheduled to ship in October, the BrydgeAir will arrive around the time Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad models. However, rumors so far this year have suggested that Apple's iPad lineup will not undergo any significant design changes, as the company is instead reportedly focused on bringing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to its 2014 models.

post #2 of 31
I wonder if this would support switching between apps using cmd-tab. That's something I wish Apple's BT keyboard would do, but sadly doesn't support.
post #3 of 31

Now you can turn your iPad into a Surface!  Heh.  :\

post #4 of 31
Zagg already made this with their folio case, but it's good to see the concept spreading.
post #5 of 31
want! looks very nice
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post
 

Now you can turn your iPad into a Surface!  Heh.  :\

Actually- the Surface keyboard is much better.  I thought it was a terrible idea- both the surface, and the keyboard- however the integration between the two was pretty impressive.  The Surface keyboard has its own battery life, but also extends the battery life of the Surface itself by 70%.  Thats pretty intuitive.

 

 

I like this look- great job by BrydgeAir- and clearly the best keyboard for the iPad out there.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #7 of 31
How come none of these keyboards has an ESC key? I (very) often use Parallels Access to connect to a Windows VM from which I VPN in to the office where I then SSH in to the various Unix machines I support. ESC is critical for using the vi editor and I have yet to see any of these iPad keyboards that can transmit the ESC key.

Okay, I may be one of the three people on the planet who do this, but still... 1smile.gif
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

I wonder if this would support switching between apps using cmd-tab. That's something I wish Apple's BT keyboard would do, but sadly doesn't support.

Double-tap the home key on the keyboard (top left corner).

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 31
Just buy a Surface.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
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Where's the new Apple TV?
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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Just buy a Surface.

Nah..... Just buy a Macbook Air.

post #11 of 31

KeyboardGate

 

If you need a keyboard for your iPAD, you're using it wrong.

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
 

KeyboardGate

 

If you need a keyboard for your iPAD, you're using it wrong.

Say your high school senior has an iPad you bought him for Christmas.  He goes to college and wants to take notes.  Do you buy him a $150 keyboard, or do you buy him a new $900 MacBook Air?

 

It's not a terrible idea, the uses are just extremely niche- thats one of the reasons why the surface was a colossal failure.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Just buy a Surface.

Just go away hater. You are just wasting your time.

post #14 of 31
The "dual stereo speakers" in the video are unbelievable.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

Say your high school senior has an iPad you bought him for Christmas.  He goes to college and wants to take notes.  Do you buy him a $150 keyboard, or do you buy him a new $900 MacBook Air?

 

It's not a terrible idea, the uses are just extremely niche- thats one of the reasons why the surface was a colossal failure.

First, if you bought a high school senior an iPad, and they have no laptop for when they start college, you clearly have your priorities WAY off, as an ipad is mostly a toy, and not geared for any real work.  A laptop can help you do school work, while an ipad will allow you to visit web pages, read ebooks, rattle off short emails, play games, watch movies, check facebook, etc (and you can only guess which of these tasks a college student is going to do the most).

 

As for taking notes in class...  Personally I found computers/tablets WAY too distracting for taking notes.  There are just way too many things available on the device that are MUCH more exciting than the class.  I'm no longer in school now, but when I'm in an important meeting, I often close my laptop and take out a pencil and pad of paper.

 

Phil

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

How come none of these keyboards has an ESC key? I (very) often use Parallels Access to connect to a Windows VM from which I VPN in to the office where I then SSH in to the various Unix machines I support. ESC is critical for using the vi editor and I have yet to see any of these iPad keyboards that can transmit the ESC key.

Okay, I may be one of the three people on the planet who do this, but still... 1smile.gif

You should try out Server Auditor. I use it for ssh almost every day, and it gives you an on-screen button for esc. Note that a lot of vim users map
Code:
jj
to escape, since you rarely type it for anything else.

The only thing I wish Server Auditor had that it doesn’t is way to type a backtick key, but I can just use
Code:
$()
instead.

If you do use it I’d recommend using tmux or screen so it’s less of a problem when sessions get dropped.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

 
KeyboardGate

If you need a keyboard for your iPAD, you're using it wrong.
Say your high school senior has an iPad you bought him for Christmas.  He goes to college and wants to take notes.  Do you buy him a $150 keyboard, or do you buy him a new $900 MacBook Air?

It's not a terrible idea, the uses are just extremely niche- thats one of the reasons why the surface was a colossal failure.

The iPad has a built-in keyboard; amazing, huh? No need for a $150 add-on keyboard or a $900 laptop. You can even record sound whilst taking notes in case you miss anything. You can also draw diagrams in your notes with your finger and ease, something you'd find difficult on a laptop.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

 
KeyboardGate

If you need a keyboard for your iPAD, you're using it wrong.
Say your high school senior has an iPad you bought him for Christmas.  He goes to college and wants to take notes.  Do you buy him a $150 keyboard, or do you buy him a new $900 MacBook Air?

It's not a terrible idea, the uses are just extremely niche- thats one of the reasons why the surface was a colossal failure.

The iPad has a built-in keyboard; amazing, huh? No need for a $150 add-on keyboard or a $900 laptop. You can even record sound whilst taking notes in case you miss anything. You can also draw diagrams in your notes with your finger and ease, something you'd find difficult on a laptop.

Draw with your fingers while the Surface owner is digging around in his backpack for his stylus. Way to go!
Later he's digging around for his power adapter and an outlet...
You could always offer to airdrop the poor slob your notes, but wait.... Microsoft's Surface needs a USB cable to transfer data.... bummer....hehehe.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #19 of 31
Buy a 16 gig Wi-Fi iPad Air for $500 or a 128 gig MacBook air for $900? Eh…I'd get the MacBook. Pretty good functionality on this thing though.
You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Double-tap the home key on the keyboard (top left corner).

You mean the top right - the power button? There is no home button on the top left corner of the apple BT keyboard. 

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

You mean the top right - the power button? There is no home button on the top left corner of the apple BT keyboard. 

You mean the top right - eject!?

He's talking about the home button in the top left corner of this keyboard. Clearly.

There is not one in the mainly-mac apple wireless keyboard, correct.

Although the parallels-windows-VPN-ssh-unix blah guy could probably do with an esc.

The original iPad keyboard dock (the only one released with an iPad-specific keyset) had a home button instead of esc also.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post


The iPad has a built-in keyboard; amazing, huh? No need for a $150 add-on keyboard or a $900 laptop. You can even record sound whilst taking notes in case you miss anything. You can also draw diagrams in your notes with your finger and ease, something you'd find difficult on a laptop.

If I had to take notes of any significant length on an iPad software keyboard then I'd be cursing Apple to the end of days.  Hardware keyboards for any prolonged typing all the way.

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post #23 of 31
I have a logitech solar keyboard folio. I originally got it because out of all the keyboards I tried, it had the best feel to me. I considered the solar a gimmick - and it turns out it's my favorite feature. As long as I lay the case down with the solar panels up, I never have to worry about the battery being dead or the keyboard not working. That is huge! With the iPad 1 I had a Zagg keyboard I liked, but half the time I went to use it, the batteries were dead because I forgot to plug it in and charge it. I wish more keyboards like this would add solar charging (low light in a room is more than enough to charge it, you don't have to park it in the sun) as it really reduces the hassle factor of one more thing to charge...
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgar View Post

As for taking notes in class...  Personally I found computers/tablets WAY too distracting for taking notes.  There are just way too many things available on the device that are MUCH more exciting than the class.  I'm no longer in school now, but when I'm in an important meeting, I often close my laptop and take out a pencil and pad of paper.

Meh - I love Omnioutliner. It makes taking notes very easy. A good BT keyboard with an iPad makes it a very powerful note taking tool. I use it in meetings all the time as I can type much faster than write and I can always read what I type later whereas with my handwriting....

There are pro's and cons, but the small size and low weight make an iPad a perfect digital assistant where the bulk of a laptop (even a MacBook Air) would be more distracting.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgar View Post
 

...as an ipad is mostly a toy, and not geared for any real work...

Phil

Hey thanks!  Haven't heard the "iPad is mostly a toy" troll for a while, needed the laugh!

post #26 of 31
Originally Posted by philgar View Post
as an ipad is mostly a toy, and not geared for any real work.

 

Posted 17 hours ago… Sure this wasn’t posted 4 years ago?

 

As for taking notes in class...  Personally I found computers/tablets WAY too distracting for taking notes.  There are just way too many things available on the device that are MUCH more exciting than the class.

 

Then learn how to have willpower. That’s your problem.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

How come none of these keyboards has an ESC key? I (very) often use Parallels Access to connect to a Windows VM from which I VPN in to the office where I then SSH in to the various Unix machines I support. ESC is critical for using the vi editor and I have yet to see any of these iPad keyboards that can transmit the ESC key.

 

Ctrl+C returns to normal mode as well. Once you get accustomed to it, it's way less effort than reaching for ESC.

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman2K- View Post
 

 

Ctrl+C returns to normal mode as well. Once you get accustomed to it, it's way less effort than reaching for ESC.


Erm... I've been using vi for over 25 years now. How come I didn't think of that :)

 

This won't work when using vi mode on the command-line to edit history ('cause ^C will cancel and bring up an empty shell prompt), but this will be very helpful when editing files. Thank's a bunch. Time for me to turn in my neck beard ;-)

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjzmml View Post


You should try out Server Auditor. I use it for ssh almost every day, and it gives you an on-screen button for esc. Note that a lot of vim users map
Code:
jj
to escape, since you rarely type it for anything else.

 

Thanks for the suggestion - unfortunately I have this very specific need, however, where I need to remote in to my Parallels session using Parallels Access where I will then run a SSH session. My Parallels VM will be running my VPN session - I can't connect directly with my iPad. I could, I suppose, use the VPN on the iPad itself and SSH but the thing is here that I run Parallels all day long for my work connection and it would be nice to simply remote-control that when I'm out at lunch or downstairs. I know, it's a weird need.

 

Also, jj is a very commonly-used sequence within vi which is where you use the ESC key to toggle back to command mode from insert mode. In vi the j key is used to advance to the next line, so I'd frequently use multiple repetitions of the j key to move down multiple lines. Yes, modern (i.e. since about 1980) versions of vi and the curses library will generally allow you to use the arrow keys instead, which these keyboards do have, but the terminals I was using in college 25 years ago didn't have arrow keys and I've just become so accustomed to using the jklm keys for moving the cursor around...

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post


Erm... I've been using vi for over 25 years now. How come I didn't think of that :)

 

This won't work when using vi mode on the command-line to edit history ('cause ^C will cancel and bring up an empty shell prompt), but this will be very helpful when editing files. Thank's a bunch. Time for me to turn in my neck beard ;-)

 

That's a voluptuous, sleek neck beard you got here, 25 years in the making, wow :D. You're welcome, glad I could help. Indeed, didn't think of prompt vi-modes!

post #31 of 31
Rather than toggling, escape moves you in one direction from insert to command mode. [hjkl] only moves the cursor while in command mode.

Though it will inconvenience you when trying to type the many words with double-j, or perhaps when entering vigesimal numbers, mapping jj to esc won't interfere with document navigation.

That said, while using a lot of moving parts can be fun, it is easy to create vulnerabilities. For instance while it may be a necessity to allow remote ssh access to the server, the tunnel to your workstation is an unnecessary target that would be nice to hide behind a firewall. Furthermore, this method elevates the privileges for an unattended workstation that probably has little physical security, and furthermore it is running a VM that can easily have it's state saved, and since it is running Windows it's worth noting that Putty once had a tendency to leave private keys in memory.
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