Every time a new piece of tech hits the market the first thing many people ask is: When are they going to make this other add-on to make it even better? We have a tendency as a buying audience to not be satisfied with the product in its original state, but only as we see it in our mind. That can be great for innovation and imagination, but those ideas can sometimes be unfairly altered by the crazy sci-fi tech we see in the movies. Then again, sometimes they can help bring us exactly what we wanted to make the product of our dreams (at least the dreams of the moment).
iHome just released its Type Pro Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad. Admittedly this is already a crowded market, with keyboards from Zagg, Brydge and many others, but they key to standing out is to do one thing the rest don’t. The Type Pro keyboard has a cover space where your iPad clicks and holds tight, but the surprise is that once locked in the iPad can rotate 360 degrees. You can spin the screen around to show someone sitting across from you or tilt it to give a better angle to your neighbor. Even more, you can flip it 180 degrees, fold it back down, and now you’ve gone from a laptop-style device right back into an iPad in seconds.
After using the product for a few days, I have to say I am quite pleased. I’m a stickler for a good keyboard (I’m particularly attached to the super-thin Apple keyboard) and this is not bad at all. The keys respond well and the accompanying click is not too abrasive (I remember some keyboards making enough click noise to make me want to light them on fire). There are a handful of hot keys linking to volume, brightness, home, music controls and instant lock.
It has some heft, weighing around 1.8 lbs, and with the iPad installed it feels close to the weight of the MacBook Air. Some people commented early in the iPad keyboard rush that customers were trying to build a makeshift version of the MacBook Air, but it really comes down to what you are using it for. The iPad is never going to give you the computing power and the overall choices of a full laptop, but for folks like me who want to flex out the iPad into a true writing tool, the iHome Type Pro is one of the best I have seen.
This is the product I have waited for; it feels like the most natural fit to my workflow ever. That’s the sign of a well-made product.