When it comes to keyboards for tablets, WIRED has a fondness for the Brydge brand – indeed, we did a group test including one a while ago in the magazine with Executive PA magazine’s PA of the Year giving her expert view. The Brydge duly won.
Since then, the brand has expanded its range, most recently with the equally impressive BrydgeMini for the iPad mini 4. Brydg’’s iPad keyboards work so well because the company is not trying to make the lightest, thinnest set of keys for a tablet, is leads the current field because the industrial design is paramount. These things look and feel like they are designed in Cupertino, not Hong Kong.
So, while at CES in Las Vegas this month, WIRED made a b-line for Brydge stand to get our hands on the first prototype of the BrydgePro, the company’s new keyboard for the iPad Pro.
Designed to try and help the Pro masquerade as a MacBook, the form factor for the new version keeps all the good elements of the previous versions, including the 180-degree hinges, 100 percent aluminum build and backlit keys with varying brightness levels.
In fact, all that’s missing is the trackpad. So convincing was the paired BrydgePro with an iPad Pro that WIRED was constantly trying to use the non-existent trackpad, rubbing the aluminium casing to no avail. The key response was excellent, however, with fast touch typing perfectly possible, if you have the skill.
The two together do admittedly have some heft, but the overall look is sleek and refined. The thickness of the BrydgePro is 6.85mm, the same as the iPad Pro, and weighs 726g. When closed the profile pleasingly exactly matches that of the iPad Pro.
Charge is good too, with the keyboard’s rechargeable battery lasting supposedly up to three months as it pairs with your tablet using Bluetooth 4.0.
The BrydgePro will come in gold, silver and space grey, naturally, and will retail in the US at $189. No UK price is set yet, but it is available for preorder now.