My first generation iPad is equipped with this handy dandy little thing called the ZAGGMATE Bluetooth keyboard/case, manufactured and distributed by an innovative company called ZAGG (the same company who brought you the INVISIBLESHIELD gadget skins). I had this shipped and hand-carried from the U.S. for my wife (now it's mine) because at the time, it wasn't available for sale here in the Philippines. There are other keyboard extensions for the iPad out there, but ZAGGMATE has the edge over the others.
As a matter of fact, ZAGGMATE was the #1 iPad accessory back in 2010 and winner of the Macworld 2011 best of show - and, being an owner, I could see why. Took photos of my ZAGGMATE here while waiting for my movie to start.
The ZAGGMATE is a companion keyboard extension for the iPad that is connected through Bluetooth.
It's also a casing for your iPad, covering the sensitive touchscreen part of the device.
It perfectly snaps in the front of the iPad onto the ZAGGMATE keyboard. It's a little hard to remove the device from the case at first, but you'll get used to it.
Its stylish and sleek aircraft-grade aluminum casing holds the iPad like a glove. The silver design matches the finish of the iPad so it looks clean and seamless. The back part of the iPad is exposed to potential damage and minor scratches, so if you are O.C. then it's good to have it protected as well. The ZAGGMATE just adds 12.8 ounces to your iPAD, so it doesn't add on too much weight. It doesn't make it too thick either.
A bottom part of the ZAGGMATE case is cut open to expose the port of the iPad, so you can actually charge or sync your device without removing the case. You can also see that there's a microUSB port so that you can charge the keyboard, which by the way, lasts for weeks without charging due to its 510 mAH rechargeable battery.
The ZAGGMATE is also a stand, so that it conveniently converts your iPAD into a touchscreen Netbook. Ingenius.
Voila, a touchscreen netbook. You just have to synch using Bluetooth once. You can do both landscape or portrait orientations. Remember, though, that the iPAD is not locked on to the keyboard, so if you are not using it on a flat surface, it may fall from the ZAGGMATE.
Here's the view from the back.
Side view. There's someone using my heavy 15 inch Macbook Pro with the Spiderman case.
You can remove the iPad anytime and just put it back if you want to type using the keyboard.
Without a mouse, I can use the touchscreen for clicking on links, and use the bluetooth keyboard for typing. Fantastic for blogging, writing documents, and surfing the web. My only comment is the keyboard is quite small for large male hands, but you get used to it after a while. The keys are responsive
I would describe the ZAGGMATE as an "essential" accessory to the iPad if you do a lot of work on it, but if you are OK with using the touch keyboard, then that would be enough.
For me, its 3-in-1 function (keyboard-case-stand) is an innovative design, that no other iPad accessories have. With the price tag of around $99, it's worth the purchase. I recommend this accessory to anyone - it's the perfect companion.
ZAGG has the iPAD2 version on pre-order basis, so you might want to get that if you have the newest version.