Typing directly on an iPad, or any tablet for that matter could be a huge pain, especially if you intend on doing using it as your daily driver. After watching Federico Viticci discuss how he uses his Apple iPad Pro for virtually everything, I decided to venture into doing it myself.
But the task comes at a big price, especially considering the on-screen keyboard takes up a lot of screen retail. So chances are you’ll need a Bluetooth Keyboard. After scouring the internet looking for keyboards comparable to Apples very own Magic Keyboard I stumbled on the Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard. The question, though, would simply be: How would typing on a Bluetooth keyboard compare to just using something like an actual desktop or laptop keyboard? Let’s find out.
Satechi’s Bluetooth wireless smart keyboard is, you guessed it — a Bluetooth wireless keyboard. Unboxing you get the keyboard itself, two AAA batteries, and all of the instructions on exactly how to use the device. What’s unique about this keyboard, in particular, is that its compatible with up to four completely different devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs. As someone who has a Macbook, iPad Pro, and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, it is good to know that you can not only use these devices individually, but if you type cross-platform, you can use apps such as Duet Display with the Satechi keyboard.
Available in black and white, I opted for the white color which gives off that Apple vibe with its white keys atop of the silver platform, almost identical to the Magic Keyboard. It’s a bit longer than the Magic Keyboard, and compared to my iPad Pro it’s a tad longer than that as well. It’s certainly not something you can just toss in your bag as it does not fold at all, but it does have adjustable legs for sitting upright when typing. It’s truly everything you could want out of a full-sized keyboard, complete with function keys, and a separate numbers key, which would cost you extra if you decided to go with Apple.
Although this device doesn’t charge with a lightning cable, I can live with that since the batteries can be changed. Most won’t like the idea of having to buy batteries, which is completely understandable as it’s just easier to charge the keyboard when the battery gets low, and honestly, outside of that, this keyboard is just phenomenal.
On the back of the device, you’ll see your power switch which allows you to turn the device on and off. While I would’ve much rather had this on the front of the keyboard, possibly with an indicator letting me know it’s still on, it’s not much to be concerned about.
There’s also the Bluetooth connectivity button on the back next to that which allows it to sync to your devices. Now, this could be a problem that’s isolated. However, my iPad and iPhone synced fine. The issues came with syncing to my MacBook. It searched and searched for way longer than it needed to, even causing me to turn the keyboard off and on before it finally registered and was selectable. But once it did, it was smooth sailing from there.
Satechi added five shortcut buttons to the keyboard that allow you to do functions such as change the volume, mute, or activate the home screen how you see fit. This is great for those of you who might be typing on a tablet and don’t want to have to press the on-board buttons to turn down the volume or simply skip a track in your Music app. It’s little features like these that most don’t think they will need, but when you’re on the go with a tablet attempting to make it function as a Mac traditionally would, you appreciate a keyboard such as this adding capabilities you would’ve gotten on your laptop or desktop. But with the shortcut buttons, it’s fantastic that you won’t have to remember these on your own since the keyboard itself remembers the profile of your device.
Say for example if you have your iPad as your first function key and your iPhone as the second. While typing a document, regardless if you are in two completely different apps, or typing simply in notes, if you are currently typing on the iPad, and want to switch over, all you need to press is the function key and the corresponding preset function key. and it will switch over to that device.
The keys are soft to the touch, and while making keystrokes they do not make much noise when transitioning from letter to letter at all. Key travel is fantastic as well, and hands down better than any of those “keyboard cases” for tablets I’ve seen on the market that fail at doing things as simple as searching directly from the keyboard itself.
Concerning Bluetooth, Satechi says that the keyboard can work up to 33 feet away, which is pretty generous. I’ve personally never been that far away from the monitor I’m using to type on it, but if you are in a boardroom with a projector up and typing in a conference room, I can see where this applies, and that’s a great feature to have. I feel as though Satechi has the makings of a great keyboard here, with my only issue being the lack of USB-charging. Sure, AAA batteries may last you a few months without having to change them, but the last thing you want to do is be in a meeting, or traveling with a wireless keyboard, only to find out the batteries have died, and now you’re scrambling to your local store for AAA batteries.
Despite that, I love the Satechi Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, and it’s a mainstay in my work area in my home. If I can make a suggestion, you should go out and get yourself Satechi’s Eco-Leather mousepad to go with this keyboard. Not only does it make your desk area look fantastic, but works flawlessly with wireless keyboard, including my personal favorite, the Logitech Master MX wireless mouse. It’s only $14.99, and you can pick that up here.
For more information on the Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard, you can head directly to Satechi’s site today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Key travel is better than Apples own, and function keys are a brilliant way to switch devices instantaneously.
What Needs Improvement: USB charging should be standard, especially for a portable keyboard