The Best iPad Keyboards and Keyboard Cases

Who Needs a Surface When You Can Get a Keyboard for Your iPad?

If you need to get some writing done on your iPad, you have a lot of different choices.  You can use the on-screen keyboard, install a third-party keyboard, or even use voice dictation instead of your fingers.  But if you have a significant amount of typing to do, nothing beats an actual, physical keyboard.  

To case or not to case? One of the coolest accessories for the iPad is the keyboard case, a combination of utility and protection that almost turns your iPad into a laptop. If you are going to do most of your writing in the home, simply buying a keyboard is perfect, but if you do a lot of travel, you may prefer a keyboard case.

Note: If you are considering a keyboard case, make sure the case matches your iPad model.  The iPad Air and Air 2 need special cases that fit their dimensions, while the iPad 2, 3 and 4 share the same dimensions and thus the same keyboard cases.

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Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case

Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case

Belkin's Ultimate Keyboard is a traditional keyboard case where the keyboard is a permanent feature of the case.  The keyboard slides under the iPad when not in use, allowing easy access to tablet mode, and weighing in at just under 1 pound, it doesn't add too much weight.  The keyboard itself is very nice, and one of the neat features of the QODE is the three adjustable angles.  Belkin also makes the YourType Folio+ for the iPad 2,3 and 4.

Price: $99.99

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Logitech Type+

Logitech has a long line of keyboard cases for the iPad, and each one seems to get a little better.  If you really want to give your iPad that laptop-like feel while still having easy access to tablet mode by folding the keyboard under the iPad, the Type+ has you covered.  This is one of the wider keyboard cases available, measuring around 10 inches, which gives you a lot of space to type without compromise.

Price: $99.99

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Apple's Wireless Keyboard

Apple doesn't push the wireless keyboard as a standard iPad accessory, but it works just as well with the iPad as it works with the Mac Mini and the iMac.  If you have heavy writing needs and don't want to go with a keyboard case, this one is a good choice.   However, it is a little more expensive than some of the alternatives.

Price: $69.00

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Kensington KeyFolio Exact

If you want a keyboard case that is not a keyboard case, you want the KeyFolio Exact.  This case uses the same magnetic smart locking as the Apple Smart Case and comes with a removable Bluetooth keyboard. This means you don't always need to have the keyboard attached to your case.  The keyboard itself won't win any awards, but its not bad, and it comes with special keys for completing tasks like selecting text very quickly.  

Price: $24.00

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Azio Large Print Backlit Tablet Keyboard

Don't want to spend $70 on a wireless keyboard? Azio's Backlit Bluetooth keyboard won't win any contests, but you can buy it for about half the price of Apple's keyboard.  The large, backlit font makes it easy to write in a dimly lit room, and at less than 10 inches wide, it is very portable.  

Price: $26.00

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Touchfire Keyboard


 If it's mainly the tactile sensation you are after, you might not need a keyboard at all.  The Touchfire "Keyboard" isn't really a keyboard, it's a silicon cover that fits over the on-screen keyboard to give you the feel of keys beneath your fingers.  Touchfire installs onto a Smart Case via magnets, and it is rather easy to switch from using the keyboard with the iPad or using the iPad without the Touchfire.  

Price: $39.99

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A Wired Keyboard

If your writing needs are light, but you don't want to be stuck with the on-screen keyboard as your only alternative, it might make sense to forgo the wireless keyboard in favor of an old-fashioned USB keyboard.  Apple's Camera Connection Kit allows you to hook a USB keyboard into your iPad and use it as well as a wireless keyboard.   The good thing about this strategy is you can use the keyboard from an old PC.

Price: $29.99 for the Camera Connection Kit + the Keyboard's Cost