When tablets first started becoming part of everyone’s daily gadget life we were sold the whole “you don’t need a laptop anymore – you can do EVERYTHING on a tablet!” and while this has obviously never quite come to fruition, a large part of the working world has taken to using them for a lot of everyday tasks and newsreaders have never quite looked as cool.
So, for those of us wanting to use a shiny slab of glass to get some work done on the move it quickly becomes apparent how frustrating it is trying to type out even a lengthy email on the on-screen keyboards, on Apple’s devices in particular (although things have improved slightly now third-party keyboards are kinda useable), so what’s the answer? A bluetooth keyboard of course and while on paper it sounds like a genuinely good idea, over the years I’ve come across some horrific examples that have been proven to be more of a hindrance than anything else – this simply can’t be said of Moshi’s VersaKeyboard.
The case itself comes with a magnetic cover that’s exactly the same as the front of the company’s VersaCover case with all its functionality (the autowake function, the ability to be used as a stand in portrait and landscape mode) and finesse but turn it over and things shift up another level.
There’s a hard back to the case and the keyboard actually slides into it, it’s quite a strange thing when you first look at it but it just makes so much sense and suddenly all those external keyboards you have to actually carry around separately just seem insane.
While you’d think having the keyboard on the back would make the case unwieldy it’s actually fairly comfortable to hold. It’s well designed to fit in the hand and you don’t find yourself getting those awkward hand cramp things carrying this around for a while. It’s a little bit bulkier than normal cases of course but generally the extra weight didn’t bother me in the slightest, I can see how it might make the device a little bit unmanageable for users with smaller hands but they’d generally be carrying it in a bag or leaving it on a table/desk when not in use anyway.
When required you simply slip out the keyboard from the back of the case, fire it up and connect it to the iPad via bluetooth, a couple of seconds later and you’re cooking with gas.
The keys themselves don’t feel flimsy and are nicely springy to the touch. Despite the keyboard being super thin there’s a decent amount of travel and the keys are very responsive. There’s also a function key enabling you to utilise the additional controls along the top row, from scissor keys to media controls and other iOS shortcuts.
It is of course a mini keyboard so there are some limitations when it comes to the size of the keys etc, the portability of the unit far outweighs these though and for general document work, blogging, social media and so on, this thing is perfect.
When it comes to battery life Moshi are stating 130 hours of use – I’ve been using it on and off for a month and haven’t anywhere near drained it so I’d imagine you’d get that no problem. Charging when required is taken care of via micro USB and everyone has about a million of those cables lying around anyway (especially if you’re a heavy Android device user also) so power won’t ever be a problem.
If you’re looking for an iPad keyboard that isn’t going to break the bank or turn into a massive pain by becoming ONE MORE THING to carry around then you can hardly do much better than the VersaKeyboard. There are slightly bigger keyboards available which make larger document work easier but if you’re on the move regularly and need to carry out general tasks then you’ll want to get one of these quick smart.