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Brydge keyboard turns iPad into a MacBook Air clone

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There are no lack of Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad (s aapl), 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.

15 Responses to “Brydge keyboard turns iPad into a MacBook Air clone”

  1. I don’t understand why people want to convert an iPad into a laptop. If they need one, get a MBA – it will do more as well. The beauty if the iPad is its native form factor.

    • Idon't Know

      Heh. Except the tablet part isn’t cheap plasticky junk running a poor copy of iOS and the company actually supports their product which doesn’t run malware and bloatware and you have many, many choices of keyboard options.
      Also great selection of high quality apps.
      Other than that..

    • Idon't Know

      Oh and it doesn’t require a silly GPS add on that also breaks keyboard functionality because the built in GPS doesn’t work like the Asus piece of junk.

  2. I like the Minisuit. It’s light, works good, looks good, battery charge lasts and lasts, and it sells on Amazon for only $25.00. Only thing missing is a ‘delete’ key.

  3. This ignores one of the great virtues of working with an iPad and bluetooth keyboard – you aren’t stuck with the laptop form factor – this is fine for working at a desk, but if you want to work in a space like library stacks, warehouses, attic, etc. where a laptop is awkward, being able to separate screen and keyboard is a huge asset.