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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tabletes Designs Best Computers

When it comes to tablets, there's no shortage of keyboards, docks and cases floating around. Here's a look at a dozen that stand out.

Though Asus’ keyboard docks are optional add-ons for the company’s line of “Transformer” Android tablets, the existence of “Transformer” in the naming scheme denotes the ability to use the tablets like tablets or dock them into keyboard/touchpad combos for more laptop-like use.

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2
Kensington’s new KeyFolio Pro 2 is the most shape-shifting of the items in our roundup. Its Bluetooth keyboard is held inside the leather-like case with magnets, which makes for easy and quick removal if you want to slim the KeyFolio down somewhat or set the tablet at a shallower angle while typing.
Pop the keyboard back in, and your iPad can be propped at a 70-degree angle while you’re working. Don’t need to type? The iPad can be propped down over the top of the keyboard at a 20-degree angle for lap use instead. With each position, the iPad’s angle is held in place thanks to Velcro, which makes the otherwise classy KeyFolio a titch less classy. But it’s more reliable than some solutions that rely on grooves or edges to keep the iPad in position. The spine of the KeyFolio features a pen holder, too, in case you want to rock things old-school.
Product Link: KeyFolio Pro 2

Brookstone Bluetooth Silicone Keyboard

To me, Brookstone is a place where I go to be briefly entranced by oddball products before deciding that I don’t really need them. This $59.99 gizmo is one prime example. It’s a Bluetooth wireless keyboard for the iPad–it also works with Android devices, Windows PCs and Macs–which you can roll up and put in your pocket. Brookstone brags about the “comfort-touch” keys and points out that it’s spillproof, a boon if you’ve got kids or want to clean it regularly to combat germs.
Me, I’ve concluded that the only iPad keyboards I want are conventional ones with little plastic keys that actually travel up and down. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t pause and stare at this one when I next find myself at the mall.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard

At the June event at which Microsoft unveiled its Surface Windows 8 tablet,  the company did a great job of raising expectations for the Surface keyboard–a cover which clicks onto the tablet with a magnetic connector and which sports a nearly-flat keyboard on the back. But it didn’t let the press people in attendance actually use it. Molded one-piece keyboards like this one are usually an unsatisfying substitute for real keys; Microsoft, however, says that motion detectors and gesture recognition make this one a joy. (Then again, it’s also going to sell a slightly bulkier cover with a conventional keyboard built in.) Let’s see what the consensus is once Surface shows up in late October or thereabouts.


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