There are no lack of Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad, but the newest Kickstarter project is most impressive. Called Brydge, the wireless keyboard makes the iPad look more like a MacBook Air than anything I’ve seen yet. Backing starts at $150 and the project will fund if it tops $90,000 by June 4.
Unlike other keyboard cases, Brydge appears more secure: It uses a patent-pending hinge to secure an iPad and allows the entire setup to open up a full 180-degrees. This also allows the iPad to tilt in a myriad of positions instead of being fixed to a few. A nice addition is the option for stereo speakers. You’ll pay at least $30 more for that luxury, but’s a small cost to upgrade from the iPad’s single internal speaker.
The team behind Brydge says the product will work with both the iPad 2 and the newest iPad. Battery life is going to vary greatly due to speaker use, but the Brydge will easily recharge over a microUSB connection. Apple-specific keys are also part of the QWERTY setup, which should come in handy.
I was recently enamored by the $99 Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad, but I may hold off and back the Brydge instead. The addition of speakers is a big draw, for starters. But on the flipside, the Brydge will add 1.28 pounds to an iPad. As a result, the iPad will not only look like a MacBook Air, but weigh nearly as much as one too!
While the Brydge looks Apple-like, I wouldn’t count on Apple bringing a similar product. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said (in reference to convertible tablets), “You can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user,” so I don’t expect an iPad to officially converge with an Air.