in blogging, iOS, writing

I recently bought an Airbender Mini second hand from eBay. I needed a case+keyboard solution for my first gen iPad Mini and this seemed to be a good solution.  The ideal case would have been the new iPad Mini Clamshell, but this was available for a fifth of the price and so, worth the try. I have been using it all afternoon and frankly, this is not the solution I am looking for.

The case is solid, the hinge between the iPad cover and the keyboard is strong and allows me to hold the iPad at any angle (which is nice, since that’s my biggest complaint about the WingStand) and the keys themselves are pretty good, instead of flaky plastic keys that I’ve seen in some other cases. But the design of the keyboard is flawed. Since the general design of keyboard cases is to have the same max size as the device they ensconch, the Airbender Mini’s keyboard is the same width as the length of the iPad Mini, which is not nearly enough to be comfortable while writing longform. (I am writing this using the setup described and frankly, it is not comfortable.)

Besides the small design, New Trent has tried to fit in a lot of functionality into the keyboard, thus cramping the keys even further. The topmost key is the +/=/Lock key and not the Delete key, thus making this the least ideal key for writing instantly. Also, vital keys such as the apostrophe, both slashes and the question mark are all only accessible using a special Function key, thus making it rather difficult to write fluently.

My usual setup is an Apple Bluetooth keyboard with the WingStand. It’s not a covenient setup, because of all the disparate parts, but it works fine because of the Bluetooth keyboard’s large size. The main problem, as I mentioned before, is that the WingStand does not have multiple angles, which makes it very uncomfortable to use when sitting upright. I have even tried a credit card sized solution called the QuikStand by the same people who make the WingStand, but it’s too flimsy.

I believe that I need a keyboard case that’s built for the larger iPad but allows the user to fit the Mini into it as well. That would be the optimum solution. I’d like to write more about that idea, but I’m writing using such a small keyboard that my hands have started to hurt. Oh well, time to restart my search. Thanks for reading and sharing.