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By 'Doctor Dave' Greenbaum
While many people can do occasional typing on the iPad or iPhone via the virtual keyboard, serious keyboarding simply isn't possible without a true external keyboard. While Apple offers two options, they are limiting and the US$99.95 Matias Folding Keyboard (http://matias.ca/foldingkeyboard/index.php) provides an ideal third option for serious iPad typists.
Before I got the Matias Folding Keyboard, I used the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and the Apple iPad Dock with Keyboard. I immediately disliked the iPad Dock. It required me to remove my iPad from its protective case while docked and didn't allow me to change the angle of the iPad nor move the keyboard to a more comfortable and ergonomically ideal position for me. Of course, it wasn't as portable.
The Apple Bluetooth keyboard was much better for me. My main complaint about it was that I didn't terribly like typing on it. The keyboard is physically small and the keys aren't as responsive. Additionally, when I'd do number crunching, I missed the 10-key pad of a traditional keyboard. Traveling with the Apple Bluetooth was better than the Dock, but the metal keyboard got hot in the car and the cylinder at the top of the keyboard didn't always fit in travel bags easily.
The Matias Folding Keyboard is an ideal compromise for the serious iPad typist. Unlike Apple's offerings, this is a full-sized keyboard. There are no tiny key caps designed to look good, but not to do heavy typing. This keyboard folds to about the overall size and thickness of the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, but unfolds into a full keyboard complete with number pad and a spacious typing area.
If you want to effectively type with an iPad, the Matias Folding Keyboard is an ideal combination of portability and function. You'll have a full sized keyboard that's compact and and a pleasure to type on.
Pros: Full sized keyboard with the ability to fold down to a portable size
Cons: Could use some feet to make it a bit more ergonomic.
Rating: 9 out of 10