On Sunday, the husband and I went down to Best Buy and I bought this Rocketfish Advanced Series iPad Keyboard Capsule ($59.99). I’d been looking at bluetooth keyboards for the iPad, but the small, folding kind tend to sacrifice key size or, in at least one case, the right shift key.
Now that I’ve been using it a couple of days, my thoughts… (I’ll put them after the jump in case you’re not interested.) (Unless you’re reading this in your RSS feed and you won’t see the jump, but I tried.)
Here we have them side by side. The Capsule (left) very obviously isn’t any smaller than my Macbook (the other left). But it has the vanity cut-out, of course, because everybody has to know you have an Apple product. (The guitar pick-shaped white spot is just a reflection. It was directly under a recessed can.)
There was little-to-no adjustment to the keyboard, really. They didn’t squash keys or remove some to make the keyboard smaller. It’s very similar to the Macbook keyboard, actually. (Portable here means it has a handle, not that it folds up and fits into the side pocket of your purse.) The keyboard takes two AA batteries and goes to sleep in approximately one minute and, upon tapping a key, it takes approximately 4.5 seconds to wake up. I wish the sleep time was adjustable. I’d sacrifice a few batteries to have it stay awake while I give the blinking cursor the thousand-yard stare.
(To add to my fun, I sit at the Macbook and poke at the screen, which does nothing because it’s not a touchscreen. Then I move to the Capsule and run my finger around the wrist rest, which does nothing because there’s no trackpad. Crazy stuff.)
Sitting on the couch with it on my lap, it’s not really much different than the Macbook. But I tried sitting with it on my lap in a kitchen chair to simulate a conference-type chair and the lid, with the iPad in it, is heavier than the keyboard. If you don’t hold it down with your wrists, it’s going port over teakettle off your lap.
You have to take the iPad’s case off to nest it in the Capsule and that’s a pain in the butt. Putting the iPad into the case I have now is like trying to put a human’s condom on a horse’s…well, you get the picture. (And good luck shaking it.) So I bought a slip-on silicone jacket for when it’s not in the Capsule. (Although, to be honest, it wasn’t much easier to get on.) (And it added another $30 to the cost. I keep waiting for iPad1 accessories to drop in price. So far…not so much.) There is a notch on the base if you want to prop it against the lid in portrait mode for a bit, in which case I wouldn’t have to take the silicone jacket off, but I use my iPad in landscape probably 95% of the time. Especially if I’m writing.
So my intended usage: Working at the counter this summer when the Short Kid has absconded with my Macbook because it’s the only way he can tend his Webkinz and watch TV at the same time. And/or working at camp. (The reason I chose it over the bluetooth Apple keyboard is that I’d then have no way to prop up the iPad.) I love that the iPad slips into my purse so I didn’t have to lug the Macbook to camp, so I didn’t really want to lug a keyboard. If I find myself not using it at home (if I use the crappy desktop instead), I’ll leave the Capsule at camp and just carry the iPad back and forth.
I think it’s great for what I’m going to use it for (it essentially makes the iPad into a laptop), but if you’re looking for real portability, this might not be your beast.