I recently grabbed a couple of quick accessories for my iPad, as I’ve been getting a lot of use out of it as my “weekend” getaway computer.
The Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard seems like a really great deal. It’s usually under $20, is the same size as Apple’s bluetooth keyboard, has an actual easy physical on-off switch. For less than $20, it was easily worth a try.
It’s very clicky and loud. Probably too clicky and loud for my tastes, but some folks might like it.
It’s a fine keyboard. Except for two major things.
The Esc key is only accessible when you press a modifier key. Since I planned to use this as my keyboard for quick, emergency fixes, that means lots of vim. Sure, I could remap the escape key in vim. Or the key could just work on the keyboard without a modifier. A simple switch to flip the keyboard from having the function/esc keys act normally, and their iPad special features act behind the function key would go a long way.
I also had an issue where ctrl + another modifier key didn’t seem to work.
I bought another Apple Bluetooth keyboard. The Anker will probably work for someone, but it’s not right for my use case.
It also didn’t work with my other recent Amazon purchase …
The WINGStand iPad Stand is two little clips that wrap onto your Apple Bluetooth keyboard and hold your iPad in place. They are small enough to unclip and throw in a pocket, and then clip on and use when you want to do some work on your iPad.
Better than a full time iPad stand, where you keep your iPad and keyboard tethered 100% of the time, you can use your iPad like an iPad when reading in bed, but turn it into a workstation in a pinch. Which is exactly what I needed for my weekend getaway computer. Couldn’t ask for more for $15.
- The weekend getaway computer basically amounts to me trying to figure out how to travel (we’ve gone to a lot of weddings recently, and have more coming up—including our own) without having to lug an entire laptop. If I can do email/ssh on an iPad with a keyboard, why bring anything else? ↩