Mon, 05 Nov 2012 Adonit Writer Plus iPad keyboard case review
A reasonably priced way to make typing on the iPad easier and more ergonomic
- Manufacturer: Adonit
- Distributor: ExecSpot
- Pros: Allows comfy typing on an iPad while on the move; acts as a stand; allows access to ports and buttons; cheaper than competitors
- Cons: Plasticky and fragile case; magnets not strong enough to keep the front cover closed; difficult to detach keyboard; gap in case when keyboard is removed
- Price: £70
- Star rating:
For those looking for a more convenient way to type using an iPad while on the move, or always using the device to write long emails and notes, Adonit Writer Plus is a reasonably priced solution.
The Adonit Writer Plus covers the front and back of the iPad, providing good protection from bumps and scratches, and also has a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. The case acts as a stand too, holding the keyboard in place at various landscape angles using a magnet.
The £70 price tag of the Adonit Writer Plus is less than many competing keyboard cases, but with think this shows in the quality of the product. We found that the frame that your iPad clips into is cheap-looking and fragile, and scratches had appeared on some of the plastic just from putting the iPad into the case and detaching the keyboard. The iPad does clip in securely, though.
The keyboard itself is nice to type on, with the keys substantial enough to make it feel like a MacBook keyboard, yet thin enough to add minimal bulk to your iPad. Specifically, the keyboard is 4mm thick, and the keys add an extra 2mm on top. It's made from aluminium and has more or less the same layout as a standard keyboard. The main omissions are the lack of a £ key, and there is a single height Enter key with the backslash above it.
Additionally, the keyboard provides a row of function keys that act as iPad shortcuts. There's a home key, Spotlight key and Photos key, as well as cut, copy, paste and media playback keys.
It's great that you can detach the keyboard from the case for use wherever you prefer, but the method of detaching and reattaching, by sliding the keyboard onto a piece of plastic attached to the case frame, proved time consuming, albeit more secure than the magnet technique used by many competing products.
The keyboard has five rubber standoffs that are designed to stop its keys from touching the iPad's display when the case is shut, but these aren't affective if the case is tightly squeezed into a bag, or if something is resting on top of it.
When it comes to pairing the keyboard to your iPad via Bluetooth, it's pretty simple, and once you've paired the two products once, they'll automatically reconnect, as long as your iPad's Bluetooth is on.
If you want to use the Adonit Writer Plus as a case without the keyboard on occasion, you can remove the keyboard completely. This does leave a gap between the iPad and the front cover where the keyboard would normally sit, but it's not a massive con.
Unfortunately, though, the magnets on the front cover that keep it closed over your iPad when you're not using it aren't very strong, and caused the front to flap open several times during our tests. Magnets do activate the iPad's wake and sleep function, though, and also automatically turn the keyboard on and off to avoid wasting battery power.
Talking of battery, the keyboard has an internal one that is charged by connecting the included micro USB cable to your iPad's charger or a USB port on your computer. According to Adonit, the battery should last for two weeks of normal use.
The case allows access to all of the iPad's ports, buttons and features, and helpfully, the front cover's magnets mean that when using the rear camera, you can fold it back on itself to avoid blocking the camera's view.
Review unit from ExecSpot