Updated: May 23, 2015
iPad Keyboard Reviews:If you are like most people, owning an Apple iPad is on your wish list. We just bought an iPad 2 (right before the iPad 3 was released). My wife wanted the iPad eventhough we already own 2 PC's and an Apple Macbook Pro. I really like the iPad for computer basics around the house and when we travel. There is no better device available than an iPad for vacation usage. My only complaint is the keyboard - or lack there of. I have gotten used to the iPhone and having to hunt and peck for the correct letters, but while using the iPad I want an actual keyboard. The real question is - Do you need an accessory keyboard for your iPad? I would have to say it depends on what types of applications and software programs you are running on the iPad. Most games require no real keyboard to use, however, I play games like iAssociate which is a word association game which requires spelling words (about 100 per game). My typing skills on a regular computer are about 75 words per minutes so my frustration of using the touch screen on an iPad to type is very common.
Choosing a keyboard for your iPad - Consumer Reports just released a small article on iPad keyboards and they specifically looked at 4 of them - the Belkin, the Zagg Zaggfolio, Rocketfish, and Apple Wireless Keyboard. They range in price from $70 to $100 and that is the biggest factor as to why I don't just rush out and buy one of them. I hate buying electronic devices and then having to spend another 10% or 20% of the that cost in buying more accessories. I would say this, if you plan on taking the iPad with you on vacations or for business travel and will be doing lots of emails or typing in general, then consider the add-on keyboards. They can be huge timesavers if you end up doing lots of applications or processes that require typing. The iPad keyboards are really well made - you get an integrated case and a display stand with models like the Belkin Folio. The complaint from many owners and CR is that the fitted cases for these accessories are too tight. Getting the iPad and keyboard out of the case can be difficult. The keys are about as large as those you find on a typical desktop or laptop computer. The Bluetooth connection lets you use the keyboard without having to plug in any cables. The rechargeable built-in battery on the Zagg keyboard gives you plenty of charge - you could go weeks without having to charge it. One of the big bonuses to owning an iPad is that they are small and lightweight. If you add the keyboard accessory, understand that they do weigh over a pound (1.3 and 1.2 pounds respectively). Which brands are available? Consumer Reports only looked at the Belkin and ZAGG, but you will find similar products from Kensington, Logitech, and Targus. Most are priced between $60 and $100. We found the ZAGG to be the best of the bunch, but be forewarned that not all keyboards will be compatible if you choose to upgrade to the iPad 3 or beyond when newer versions come out. iPad Keyboard Reviews - The best sources online are Macworld.com, CNET.com, and the article in USA Today that is posted on their website which compares all the different models. Perhaps as they become more commonplace and usage increases we'll see some advancements so that the current problem areas are improved upon. You can browse the best selling iPad keyboard/cases here.