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The following test and photos were taken by a friend who made the Brydge iPad keyboard under the microscope. I don't have an iPad Air on hand, so he did the "job" for me (thanks, Tom!). At this point also thanks to Brydge (brydgekeyboards.com) for the test device. But here we go!
It comes nicely packaged Brydge luxury keyboard called "BrydgeAir Keyboard" therefore. And the luxury starts with unpacking, because the BrydgeAir keyboard only comes out after opening a magnetically closing box in an elegant design. It comes with a USB charging cable and a quick guide that explains the most important steps and functions of the aluminum iPad keyboard.
The keyboard works with Bluetooth 3.0 and is compatible with the iPad Air and the iPad Air 2. The weight of the keyboard is approx. 520 grams, which is partly due to the fact that it is made of solid aluminum and has a battery life of 3 months. Stereo speakers are also built in, which can be linked to the iPad as separate Bluetooth speakers. The BrydgeAir Keyboard also has keyboard lighting that can be adjusted in stages.
The keyboard is available with a German keyboard layout and in the colors silver, space gray and gold. The price for the Brydge iPad keyboard is around 130 EUR in the Amazon shop.
Since the keyboard is intended for direct entry with an iPad Air2 ex works, a small modification must first be made when using it with a first-generation iPad Air. To do this, remove the rubber inserts in the two iPad holders and replace them with the inserts provided for the somewhat thicker iPad Air. Then the iPad Air can be pushed very easily into the mounts with gentle pressure.
With the stylish aluminum keyboard, the iPad Air now looks like a small, elegant MacBook and can be easily opened and closed. For good supervision when working, the incline can be continuously adjusted up to an angle of 180 °. The folding mechanism looks very high-quality and stable and is in no way wobbly or unstable - this is where the keyboard differs from some cheap models, which seem rather rickety.
Here you can find a few more impressions that show you details of the keyboard.
The product video that the manufacturer has made the BrydgeAir Keyboard shows you what the keyboard and its features look like in detail:
By closing the iPad, the screen is protected and - as with the Smartcover - it is automatically switched off. Firmly anchored rubber feet under the keyboard prevent it from slipping on the desk. Like the keys themselves, they are very reminiscent of those of Apple's MacBooks (Air / Pro). A similarity that, like most of the details of the high-quality keyboard, was certainly not left to chance.
The keyboard is coupled using Bluetooth 3.0. After switching on the keyboard, you have to activate Bluetooth in the settings of the iPad and pair the keyboard there. Since no code etc. is required for this, this process is done very quickly and easily. In the future, the iPad Air and Brydge keyboard will always find each other by themselves.
In addition to the usual keys, the keyboard has various features that are quite practical in everyday life. For example, you can simulate the home button with additional keys, lock the iPad and control volume, brightness and much more directly from the keyboard.
As a highlight, there is a keyboard light that can be set to three levels of brightness. Especially for someone who has to look for a key from time to time in a darker environment, this is a welcome feature that many other iPad keyboards cannot have.
As a "ten-finger tipper" you can quickly get to grips with the keyboard after a short period of familiarization, the keys have a very good touch and are easy to press. A difference to a keyboard on MacBook Pro / Air cannot be determined for me - except perhaps that the keyboard itself is smaller than the one on the MacBook Pro. But that's in the nature of things. ;-)
For me there is little to criticize: the workmanship is very high quality, it is easy to use and the keystroke is pleasant. Only the speakers on the keyboard are a bit disappointing, for my taste they don't come close to the quality of the built-in iPad speakers. However, this is not a problem, as the speakers are not automatically activated after coupling the keyboard, but must be coupled additionally. So you can still use the iPad's own speakers.
In conclusion, I can say that the addition of the BrydgeAir keyboard has made my iPad almost a MacBook replacement. The fast switch-on time, the long running time of the battery from the keyboard (3 months are specified in the factory) together with the running time of the iPad allow me to work mobile and do without a power socket nearby.
If you want to have a look at the keyboard on Amazon, you will find it via this link.
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.