Most weeks, I write around ten thousand words. Occasionally it’s double this, sometimes it’s half this, but most of it is written using my Android devices. My desktop computer has been relegated such that I now typically use it to edit my documents. I am lucky in that I use public transport and I will put time spent traveling to better use than staring out of the window! Because of this, I am particularly fussy with regards to the keyboards that I use on my devices, both hardware and software. For this article, I’m going to talk about my current choice of hardware keyboard: the Apple wireless keyboard.
I’ve used many hardware keyboards on a number of different devices. There are always compromises in size, feel, quality and cost. I’ve moved from a smaller, less comfortable keyboard to one that is larger but much better to use: I now use an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard. It isn’t the perfect keyboard but it’s the closest compromise that I’ve found so far.
The main reasons for using the Apple keyboard are because it’s a great typing experience, it’s well made and robust. The Apple keyboard is designed for people to use with their desktop computers, so it’s much stronger than most other Bluetooth wireless keyboards. It’s not quite a full size keyboard as it doesn’t have a number pad on the right hand side, nor does it fold, but it still fits into my satchel. It also fits onto a standard class seat tray on every British train I’ve used, which is important.
A side effect is the fun to be had when (before the Apple iPad Mini was announced) people would ask if I was using a prototype iPad device. I would have to pack up my gear and sternly tell the individual asking, “this conversation did not take place.”
The Apple keyboard includes media controls to skip track and change the volume, plus a number of Apple specific commands that I do not use. It is powered by two AA batteries and on that note, battery life is superb. I do wish it was rechargeable but there are accessories to add this functionality if I really wanted to.
They are occasions when I would prefer to have the keys backlit, but this is not a deal breaker for me. Some wireless keyboard designs also have quick-switch keys to make it easy to use the same keyboard on multiple devices, which the Apple one is missing.
Finally, I should take a nod towards the cost of the keyboard: it isn’t especially cheap, but from a value / features perspective, those that I’ve seen offering the features that it’s missing, also cost a lot more.
What hardware keyboard do you use? Let me know in the comments below.