Tools of My Trade: Day 4 Bluetooth Keyboard Case

As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, I was without my Mac laptop for a few days after the catastrophic loss of my hard drive, and during the time before I replaced it, the iPad became my best friend and so today’s favorite tool is the Poetic leather bluetooth keyboard case.  My friends gave it to me for Christmas last year after they got tired of me bitching about the virtual keyboard on the iPad.

The death of my laptop happened just days before I was to leave for the RT Convention, as if things weren’t hectic enough. Out of necessity, I got used to typing on the new external keyboard pretty quickly. In fact with the iPad and the keyboard case, I was able to type notes as fast as the speakers could talk during the RT panels. After the sessions and convention were over, I had all of my notes and my ToDo list saved to DropBox thanks to yesterday’s favorite tool—the free PlainText app I used.

While we’re on the subject of making the iPad useful through accessories and apps–while still at home before the convention, I’d downloaded the PDF of the RT convention schedule into Dropbox, then from the iPad opened it in GoodNotes. In that app I was able to highlight with yellow (or another color if I wished) important sections, and even scribble notes onto the document. That way at the con, when I couldn’t remember which session I wanted to go to, I could just open the schedule and see what I’d highlighted. Yes, I could have done that with the paper schedule we were given, but not until I’d arrived, waited on line and checked into the convention and received my packet of welcome stuff. Guess where I found out where to check in and get my packet with my paper schedule? Yup, that info was on the PDF I’d previously saved in my GoodNotes. Files saved in GoodNotes are accessible when offline just in case your convention hotel has no free wifi.

Like all things, there are cons to balance out the pros of all my favorite tools. The Poetic keyboard case is very HEAVY! Mostly from the thick leather construction of the case, which serves to protect the device. The plastic keyboard itself is pretty light, and by they way, it’s removable from the case! That’s a plus, but another con for me personally is that the keyboard has a HOME button which I’m not used to because MACs don’t have it, and this button is located right where the right shift key should be, so I am constantly hitting it and being sent HOME, which seems to be the beginning of the last line I started to type. Why would I want to go there I have no clue, or why the designers felt that was such an important place to be it warranted its own key. Anyway, when using that keyboard I’ve trained myself to use the left shift only and just avoid that whole far right side of the keyboard. There may be no place like home, but not on my damn keyboard! Regardless of the cons, the keyboard case has taken my iPad one step closer to functioning as a laptop when I need it to, and it’s totally and easily removable when I just want the thin, light device in my hand. Best of both worlds!

I found my case on Amazon for $39 with free shipping. It also has that magic magnet closure that automatically puts the iPad to sleep just like the official Apple cases do, and the keyboard charges with your existing iPad charger so no extra chargers laying around. And it also comes in red!


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