Kickstarter success story Brydge has finally arrived. It’s a keyboard that wants to turn your iPad into a MacBook Air — or maybe it’s the Type Cover for iPad that Apple never made. “With a click, you can type with the efficiency of a laptop,” the company’s promo video even states.
It wants to turn your iPad into a MacBook Air
If you’re one of the many people hoping to replace your laptop with a tablet, it might be your best bet — especially considering its unibody aluminum design, adjustable hinge, and built-in stereo speakers. But at $210 (for the aluminum + version), is the Brydge worth it?
I tested the Brydge+, a keyboard made from an Apple-esque solid slab of anodized aluminum. When attached to a new iPad, it altogether weighs 2.74 pounds — .36 pounds more than the 11-inch MacBook Air it’s meant to replace, but a hair lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air. The Brydge in practice feels heavier than both, since it has a much smaller footprint. Like the MacBook Air, the Brydge does not flex when you squeeze it, and has nary a seam to speak of. There’s even Apple’s trademark chamfered front lip for your thumb to help you open the Brydge when it’s attached to an iPad.
The Brydge comes with a set of sticky rubber shim inserts to help it best grip whichever 9.7-inch iPad you’re using (including future 9.7-inch iPads, its creators say). The iPad fits snugly inside the Brydge’s hinge clamps, which is both good and bad. It takes some practice to remove the iPad from the Brydge without feeling like you’re making permanent marks on screen with your thumbs. If you aim to use your iPad as a full laptop replacement, you might not be removing it so often, but if you plan to remove your iPad for frequent rounds of Fruit Ninja, you’re bound to get frustrated.
The Brydge’s clamps use friction to hold in your iPad, which works, but it would’ve been cool to see something along the lines of what Logitech accomplished with its magnetic Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.
Read more: The Verge