After purchasing Editorial for the iPad I found myself needing a dedicated wireless keyboard for longer writing sessions. Enter the AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard. The unboxing is a pretty mundane affair as it comes tightly packaged with just the essentials. In addition to the keyboard you will find 2 AAA batteries and a plastic stand to prop up your device in either orientation.

the stand

The stand is flimsy and the rubber feet do not keep your device from sliding around but its a decent addition that serves its basic purpose. Amazon missed a HUGE opportunity here by not having the stand snap into the back of the keyboard. Most people will want to use another product or method to keep the device at the proper angle. I find that my iPad’s Smart Cover or my Twelve South Compass are both well suited for the task.

the keyboard

The keyboard itself is well built with excellent rubber feet. The keys are slightly smaller than those on my retina MacBook Pro but after a few minutes of typing and switching back and forth between the two keyboards I haven’t noticed any slow down due to the form factor. Key travel feels a tad deeper which is quite nice. I was annoyed at first with the rMBP key travel being significantly less than the standard wired/wireless Apple chiclet skeyboards.

special keys and minor quibbles

The keyboard has a number of special keys labeled on the function row that are designed to work specifically with the iPad. On iOS7 the special search key does not bring up the search interface anymore which is disappointing. It would be amazing if that key did work so that you could launch applications without tapping the screen. The special home key however does still work and allows easy access to the home screen or the multitasking switcher by double tapping the key.

UPDATE : The home key does now indeed bring up the search bar on iOS7!

recommendation

If you are in the market for a portable bluetooth keyboard I highly recommend the AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard. The ergonomics for users of the Apple chiclet style keyboards should be instantly familiar and as usual the Amazon price can’t be beat.

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