Using the iPad’s for word processing, note taking or communicating increases dramatically with use of a keyboard. When evaluating the AT needs of students who are in secondary or post secondary and using an iPad, the need for a keyboard for the device typically arises. What do you look for and what are the choices available for iPad Air 2 cases when a keyboard is needed to support their writing needs?
Of course there are many cases with keyboards available. The right case requires inquiry about the needs, preferences and use of the iPad by the user. Here are some considerations:
- How protective of a case do they need for the iPad to survive?
- Will they be drawing or handwriting directly on the iPad for input to apps?
- Will they be reading on the device?
- Will they be taking pictures or using a scanning app with the device input or convert hard copy text to electronic format?
- What functions of the keyboard do they frequently use?
When considering the writing needs below are some suggested cases for the iPad Air 2 considering protective or less protective cases or keyboards that are available.
Protective cases with keyboard and reading/tablet options for iPad Air 2:
Zagg Rugged iPad Case – This Zagg case is rugged but measures approximately 1″ thick adding bulk to the iPad. Highly protective, this hinged case allows the iPad to be separated from the keyboard. With the keyboard attached it can be used in a reading mode or typing mode with adjustable viewing of the screen. attached. The keyboard has backlighting and a standard keyboard. The case battery reportedly will last for up to two years before requiring a charge. Sells for approximately 102.00.
Logitech Type + with integrated keyboard – Logitech keyboard provides a magnet which the keyboard attaches and automatically connects with the Bluetooth keyboard. When the iPad is closed sleep mode is turned on, saving tablet battery life. The Logitech keyboard is a standard keyboard with function keys supporting iOS tasks. The case is protective and can be taken off relatively easy if needed. TheiPad keyboard folds under the iPad allowing access to the screen if manually taking notes or drawing. Sell for approximately 80.00.
Targus Versa case and keyboard for iPad Air 2 – This Targus case has a hard shell for the iPad and the keyboard with military specs for dropping from 4 feet. Rotates to offer keyboard mode or reading mode. When closed provides sleep mode to save battery life. Screen can be angled for ease of viewing. Offers iOS quick keys in the keyboard. Sells for approximately 79.00.
Anker case with keyboard for iPad Air 2 – Case with keyboard that can provide keyboard and reading/tablet modes. No Apple quick keys. On off key for Bluetooth keyboard connection. Reports battery life of 6 months. Sells for approximately 43.00.
Belkin QODE Ultimate case with keyboard for iPad Air 2: – This case has a keyboard and protective shell for the iPad and folds to be viewed in a reading or table mode. Keyboard provides iOS quick keys. Cover puts device in sleep mode. Long lasting battery life. Screen can be adjusted in different angles. Sells for approximately 60.00.
iPad attachable keyboards without cases:
Logitech Ultrathin keyboard for iPad Air 2: – This is a lightweight, slim option for use of a keyboard with the iPad Air 2. The Logitech keyboard attaches to the iPad 2 with a magnet. The keyboard turns on automatically when attached with the magnet. The iPad sleep mode is activated when attached to the keyboard and closed. Standard keyboard with iOS short cut keys. The magnet attaching the iPad is hinged allowing the screen angle adjustment. Keyboard battery life is reportedly 2 years. No protective covering for the iPad. Keyboard sells for approximately 55.00.
Finite iPad Air 2 detachable keyboard – This keyboard is hinged and is detachable, Allowing ease of scanning documents and images or taking pictures. Provides angle adjustment of the tablet screen from 0-50 degrees. Keyboard provides iOS quick keys. Slight lag when attaching with Bluetooth with start up. Sleep mode when closed reduces battery drain. Keyboard is standard with good feel and responsiveness. No cover is provided for the iPad. I have been using this case for approximately a year and am pleased with its performance. Slight caution with use as infrequently the iPad slipped from the hinges when moving it about. Recommend use by an adult. Sells for approximately 35.00 – a good value if used with care.
iPad cases and keyboards are readily available, however the adage that you pay what you get for is probably true. I like my Finite case for my iPad Air 2, however I carry it in a sleeve and take care of how it is attached to the keyboard since it does not have a case. Most of my recommendations for students include a case with recommendations for the Zagg rugged case when I know the device may require extra protection. I recommend cases such as the Logitech Type + or Belkin QODE which are lower profile for individuals who will be taking notes involving sketching, math problems drawing or writing and when in need of a keyboard. For those doing scanning a case that the tablet can be easily removed I find preferred.
Most cases now have iOS keyboard short cuts offered in the function keys. Checking the layout of the keyboard is important when working between devices. It is frustrating in my opinion to have keyboarding errors due to a different keyboard layout.
As always choice of equipment is individuals with many choice and pricing. It is always good to check out the keyboard at a store. I also find YouTube reviews extremely helpful in getting a closer look and opinions from reviewers – usually more than one
Do you have an iPad case with keyboard you are using and can recommend?
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