Oh god here we go again. I’m typing on a Typo again. No, that’s not a typo—it’s the name of a keyboard. A keyboard attached to an iPad. I’m writing this whole review on an iPad keyboard case because I don’t have any damn sense. Except, uh, it’s actually not half-bad? My brain is exploding.
Last time on the hit reality TV show “Why Is Sean Such a Masochist?” I gave you a first-hand look at how the Typo Keyboard for the iPhone 6 was a giant heap of shit. I saved you from wasting your money for just long enough for the United States court system to ban Typo from selling that keyboard ever again. (That’s not a joke—except it had nothing to do with taste and everything to do with Typo settling with BlackBerry over their ripoff keyboard designs.)
But I digress. The Typo for iPad Air, which is most definitely actually a real product that will really be sold for the really, really ridiculously expensive price of $190, actually isn’t bad. I am really, honestly typing every sentence you see here on the Typo itself, and aside from the fact that I accidentally hit the Enter key almost every time I try to use an apostrophe and send the last letters of my words down to the row beneath, I could probably recommend it if it didn’t cost $190 and also came with a touchpad.
Because aside from a touchpad, it feels like I’m pretty damn close to turning my iPad into a laptop with this keyboard case attached. Unlike most keyboard cases you can buy for an iPad, the Typo has a pretty fantastic hinge that lets you prop up the screen at any angle you like, just like a laptop. Most other keyboard cases give you two or three positions, maybe a couple more. This one goes from standing up nearly vertical all the way down to a flat 180 degrees, and any point inbetween.
Combined with the glare-reducing properties of my iPad Air 2’s (shoot another apostrophe, just had to back up and fix that typo) screen, I can actually angle it enough to work outdoors. I tried it earlier today! (See that exclaimation point? That’s where I just made another typo since the “1” key is slightly offset to the left of where you’d expect. Shit another apostrophe.)
So yeah, the keys are thin, but surprisingly decent for typing. They
‘Ve (fuck it I’ll just leave this one in) got enough bounce that I can type at a fair clip. They do feel a bit too stiff such that I feel it in my joints when I press down, but it’s hard to complain with a keyboard this thin. Keyboard combinations like copy/paste/bold/italicize work just like you’d expect, and there are a whole bunch of other handy shortcuts built into the keyboard like dedicated buttons to pop out to the home screen, activate Siri, change the volume, even pull up the touchscreen keyboard if you want some auto-correct.
In fact, it feels so much like a laptop enough of the time that its weaknesses are all the more glaring. I can’t count the number of times I’ve reached down for the non-existent touchpad. (My wife complained about it right away too. Are we silly for complaining about something that ISN’T THERE? For $190, perhaps.) And every other time I pick up my iPad, I forget that the keyboard part isn
‘T actually permanantly attached to the case, it
S just a magnet holding it there. The magnet
S strong enough to snap into into place with a satisfying click, but not actually strong enough to hold it in place. I guess the detachable design does mean you can separate the two halves, but I can’t think of a reason why I’d ever want the already-fairly-small-for-a-laptop screen further away from my face. (Also, while we’re on the topic of “features that make the iPad worse,” the Typo is thick and heavy enough that it kind of defeats the purpose of the iPad Air 2 being so nice and thin.
For $190, I can practically buy an entire laptop for my typing needs—one that’s better than this. I would have to be very, very attached to the idea of using my iPad for work to spend my time with a Typo. But if I just described you, the Typo might actually make sense! I can’t give it my sterling recommendation, but I think the Ryan Seacrest-funded company (again, not a joke) might actually have a product here that might work for some people. If you
re one of them, I wish you the best.
Pictures and links added on a Windows PC. Text written on Typo for iPad.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.