The only problem I had using this keyboard was the bottom left hand key. That was marked with a microphone and you use it to invoke Siri. My Windows-habituated fingers kept hitting it whenever I stretched out for the control key. The control key is, in fact, one in from the edge. I soon worked out that this could be cancelled by hitting the “Home” key at top left.
In the coffee shop
Apart from that, using the Brydge 9.7 was an entirely positive experience. It is very solidly built. The 1.2mm keystroke range was ample, and as each key hit the stop at the end of its throw, it stopped hard. The body is solidly built and feels it. There’s no flex. Apart from the narrower pitch, the typing experience was as good as that on the best notebook computers.
In fact, I am typing right now in the Blank Canvas café in Batemans Bay, New Sound Wales, freed from my office in part by the extreme portability of the unit. With a total weight — iPad plus Brydge 9.7 — of 985 grams, it’s easy to take around with me. The combo starts up more or less instantly, instead of the gear grinding of Windows on my regular Surface Pro. To be fair, even that normally gets going within ten seconds or so, but there’s something truly pleasing about the instant-on of this unit.
Again, this is primarily for typing and text entry, with a little web surfacing and email checking. For that? Just about perfect.
The Brydge 9.7 is a great way to turn your 5th or 6th Gen iPad, or iPad Air 1 or 2 into a kind-of notebook computer … one that’s very good for text entry and the like.
Brydge’s website for this product is here. Note that there’s now a new model regular iPad (7th Gen) and it has a bigger screen. So for that you’ll need the Brydge 10.2. It seems to be pretty much the same … except that it boasts a four-times-longer battery life.