Months ago I backed the Brydge project on Kickstarter: The device is a wireless keyboard and cover for Apple’s iPad(s aapl). I paid extra for the Brydge+, which includes integrated stereo Bluetooth speakers. The good news is that my keyboard arrived. The bad news is that I no longer have an iPad! Upon buying an iPad mini — a product that wasn’t even announced when I backed the Brydge project — I promptly sold my iPad 3. Is my investment a total loss? Not quite. Here’s a look at the Brydge+, which of course would work better with a full-sized iPad.
The keyboard seems well made and pairs easily with my iPad mini. I especially like the top row of iPad-specific keys for the Home button, screen brightness, volume control and search. Key travel is quite good and I’m able to type easily on the Brydge+, even though the keys are bit more cramped than Apple’s own Bluetooth keyboard.
An aluminum Brydge without speakers costs $170 right now, while the speakers add $40. You could also go with a polycarbonite Brydge without speakers for $150. Battery life is expected to last for months, although I obviously haven’t tested that claim. I suspect that heavy use of the wireless speakers will drastically cut that time down to days.