I-Pad Keyboards 2/24/12

Published On: Feb 21 2012 12:52:43 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 20 2012 01:52:01 PM CDT

Stacy Geisinger uses her iPad to write a blog and send messages. But she often makes mistakes typing on the virtual keyboard. Stacy Geisinger, "I have to start all over again or I'm backspacing. Constantly you have to watch what you're doing." To try to solve that problem, manufacturers are coming up with keyboards for the iPad. Consumer Reports tested ones costing 70 to 100 dollars. "With the keyboards we tested, the keys aren't necessarily larger than those on a tablet's touch screen."

But they have real buttons you press down on to help you hit the right key. Paul Reynolds, "We found most of these keyboards have pros and cons." This Menotek keyboard is lightweight and can even be rolled up. But its small, soft keys are hard to use, and it's easy to make mistakes. Paul Reynolds, "The RocketFish and Belkin keyboards we tested have convenient tablet-specific buttons, like Home and Lock Screen. And they have shortcuts to do tasks like running a slideshow." The RocketFish keyboard also serves as a case and a stand. But at more than two pounds, it's pretty heavy. And the Belkin case is so snug, it's hard to get even the thinner iPad 2 in and out of it. A better option is the ZAGGfolio keyboard for 100 dollars. Paul Reynolds, "It's not quite as snug a fit, and it has a versatile keyboard and handy iPad-specific buttons and shortcuts." But if you really want full-size keys, try Apple's Wireless Keyboard. At 70 dollars, it costs less than the others tested, but you'll need to pay extra for a stand and case. ."