Keyboards for Ipad Mini 2?

mc
mclark
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:43 am Post

I got my ipad mini 2 tonight and am impressed. Next I would like to buy a keyboard case for it, but there are so many! Which ones have people used and which have they liked? So far, I'm liking this one: https://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-NT31B- ... op?ie=UTF8

The reviews say you have to hit the fn key to use ? or apostrophe. Is that irritating or do you get used to it, like using the shift key? Do most other keyboards have to make the same compromise?

Includes screen protection and you can disconnect the keyboard. Hopeful price is below $50.

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kewms
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:21 am Post

I'd recommend either trying your choice in person or making sure the one you buy has a good return policy. Keyboard preferences are too personal to buy one based on other people's reviews.

The iPad mini is smaller than a standard keyboard, so anything that fits in its footprint is going to have to compromise somewhere.

I have and love the Zagg keyboard/case. It gives you nearly full-sized letter/number keys, but slightly compresses some of the less-used symbol keys to make room. Like I said, though, best to try it in person.

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ChrisRosser
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:47 am Post

I agree with Catherine about the footprint. The mini is too narrow for my hands to type comfortably.

I use a couple of different keyboards with mine. At home I a large logitech keyboard with a built in tablet stand. It lets you pair with three devices so I share it with my wife (for her iPad Air 2) and we use it with the Apple TV too.

For a portable keyboard, I bought from ebay a $10USD bluetooth keyboard that's basically a knock off of the old Apple wireless keyboard. It's very light, reliable and is powered by AAA batteries. I even take it interstate when I travel for work.
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mc
mclark
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Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:07 am Post

That's good advice to try in person. Unfortunately, Best Buy only had a mac brand keyboard on display. No keyboards for ipad mini2 were on the shelves, either. May try Target tomorrow. (Not very many electronics stores locally).

ma
marcoiac
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Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:07 am Post

I have a Logitech for my Mini 2 retina, which is OK, but a little too small. Smaller than it needs to be. If you look it up, you'll see what I mean. What looks very good to me, although I haven't tried it, is the Brydge keyboard. It allows to use all the real estate of the keyboard and it's thin. The one you are thinking about seems really bulky to me, but that's my taste

mc
mclark
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Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:04 pm Post

Some reviews say the New Trent tends to fall backwards; the keyboard doesn't weigh enough to keep the IPAD upright. And yes, the cover does weigh 1+lb. For these reasons I've moved away from the New Trent. I'll take a look at the Brydge. A few of the reviews say that the keyboard won't work with certain apps. Has anyone found a keyboard that wouldn't work with Scrivener?

Edit: Ugh, every product has negative reviews that say it breaks after a few weeks, doesn't fit right, or something. Analysis Paralysis!

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Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:43 pm Post

I tried the Airbender and didn't much like it for long-form heavy-duty work - in a word, too "plasticky". I now have a Logitech, which it seems to me is about as good as you're going to get for a keyboard of its external dimensions.
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Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm Post

this thread discusses some options. As I wrote there, I found the Logitech Keys-to-go to be ideal for use with my Mini2. Same footprint, and I love how silent, slim, and small it is when I'm taking notes in libraries or at lectures. In fact I kept using it after I upgraded to an iPad Pro.

I recently bought a little folding stand that raises it a few inches above the table to avoid 'laptop neck' -- a major advantage of separate keyboards over keyboard cases and laptops.

As noted above, keyboard tastes are personal and this one might take some adjustment because of the short key travel etc. I'm as accurate on it as on my regular Apple wireless keyboard or MacBook Pro keyboard but everyone's different. I found mine refurbed for about $14 and regularly see it for $35-$50 on sale new. Best Buy has it for $45 on sale now.

More Bluetooth keyboard options. http://www.imore.com/best-compact-bluet ... yboard-mac
Last edited by brett on Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AmberV
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Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:52 pm Post

Also look into folding keyboards, which often work with just about everything. The advantage to a folder keyboard is that it can occupy very little space when stored, but fold out to a full size keyboard, and in my experience they tend to have better mechanical action too. I used an iWerks Universal folding keyboard for a while, it had a very nice tactile response, more like writing on a laptop keyboard. It did give out half a year after I bought it though, necessitating a return.

When I did get it, it was one of the few folding keyboards out there, these days there are more options so I’d say it’s worth doing a little hunting if the concept of having a keyboard as a separate thing rather than part of a case doesn’t put you off. Plugable Technologies for example has a foldable keyboard that is very highly rated.
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mc
mclark
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Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:08 pm Post

Like the look of the Pluggable folding keyboards. And they include a case that acts as a stand.

The Zagg Slim Book had many folks complaining about the case breaking a few months later. I saw a Zagg of unknown model at Target, but they didn't have any for the Ipad Mini 2. The keys felt nice. A Belkin Quode was right next to it and didn't like it.

However, last night I ordered the Artek Ultra Slim Keyboard Cover. It has a separate question mark key and is reasonably highly rated. Mostly just decided to go cheap since all the keyboard case and covers have their share of negative reviews. I'll keep the post updated.

Thanks

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IamWereBear
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Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:30 pm Post

I got the Lexapro keyboard case for my iPad mini and I couldn't be more pleased. The battery lasts for a month and recharges fast, the case itself has saved my device several times, and I adapted to the smaller keyboard in about a minute :D

ma
marcoiac
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Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:36 am Post

IamWereBear wrote:I got the Lexapro keyboard case for my iPad mini and I couldn't be more pleased. The battery lasts for a month and recharges fast, the case itself has saved my device several times, and I adapted to the smaller keyboard in about a minute :D


Lexapro? The one I know is an SSRI used for depression :D

BTW, I must say the Logitech is a very nice keyboard. But I often end up using my thumbs on the screen keyboard, rather than the Logitech. The Mini is really a little too small for extended use of an external keyboard

mc
mclark
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Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:29 am Post

I've had the Artek keyboard and...it's ok.

Keys are plastic. Doesn't have auto-on, near as I can tell, but not a big deal to turn off and back on. Keeps a charge for a long time. Unit fits in Amazon basic padded carrier with a bit of room to spare. Not sure what sort of screen protector would work well with it, but with it closed, I'm a little happier the screen is somewhat protected.

Pros - $23 at amazon. Types when I hit the keys. Ipad Mini 2 fits in snuggly. Looks very cute.

Cons - still getting used to typing, especially the apostrophe. It is definitely small. Haven't written much on it, but haven't written much at all. It doesn't tilt back far enough for some places I use it ( eg kitchen table). However, I've realized it's a bluetooth, so I can unhook it from the keyboard and just lay it on the table. Much happier.

Going to try to write more over Lent and develop a good writing habit.

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sageimac
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Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:28 pm Post

A full-size keyboard is the best. Here is a nice flat Logitech bluetooth keyboard with a case that converts to a stand. It has keys for mac ios and there is a separate Windows version. I've been using it for years. Hard-shell case is the important part. Just carry it along with the ipad when you need it. You'll never be comfortable with a mini keyboard. I'm not sure if they are currently making this model, but you can find them online.
https://www.macstories.net/reviews/review-logitech-tablet-keyboard-for-ipad/

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Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:21 pm Post

I’ve had a first generation iPad mini for several years and have used a number of keyboards with it, but the last one I bought was also the most expensive, a ClamCase Pro made for the iPad mini 2 and 3. The iPad mini 1 was slightly larger than the 2 and 3 which caused a couple of hairline cracks in the case but that has never bothered me. The keyboard has a nice feel and good travel and feedback and is very quiet. It doesn’t have a row of function keys above the number keys which makes it look clean, more like a typewriter, but you might prefer another brand with the function key row. An “Fn” key allows access to Caps Lock on Shift and the iOS functions on the Number keys, and the Tab and a couple of other keys are half-width. But overall the ClamCase is less convoluted than other iPad mini keyboards I used previously.

The iPad presses into a protective shell so of course my Mini is still pristine. The ClamCase is unique in that you can fold the keyboard 180º underneath it to allow use of your iPad as a tablet. Very convenient. Of course the ClamCase keyboard works great with Scrivener. Scrivener’s ability to pinch to enlarge the characters makes writing on the small screen very enjoyable. It feels like typing on a miniature MacBook!

I’ve only got one hand so the small keyboard is perfect for me -- all of the keys are within easy reach. Anyone can learn to use this little keyboard with one hand, or two. Like most Mini keyboard cases it fits in my coat pocket so I take it most places. A great little writing machine!