Apple certainly did things right with the iPad. The size, functionality, and flat out portability of the iPad have made it an ideal platform for nearly every technological purpose:

  • Connecting with friends and family via internet connection
  • Computing functions for road warriors and commuters
  • Portable platform for playing games
  • Student work – downloading and reading textbooks, and completing assignments
  • Business use – service technicians, managers, mobile work force

These barely scratch the surface of how the iPad has taken the technology world by storm. The only limit is imagination, and writing the apps that run on this incredible device.

But sometimes, it just makes sense to have a full-sized keyboard available, when you need to do heads-down or high volume data entry and keying.

That’s when you need the flexibility of connecting to your iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard.

Why Bluetooth?

One of the innate advantages of utilizing an iPad for technology tasks is the portability and power contained in a small, lightweight format. Carrying a keyboard that must be plugged in means the hassle of bringing along an extra component that may get lost or damaged, and tethering yourself to the iPad.

When you need a keyboard, it should be quick and easy to establish connectivity with your iPad. Bluetooth technology is the universal standard for making that connection. Now in its 20th year, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is a group of over 30k companies that collaborate on this short-range wireless connectivity standard.

Wireless accessories that meet the Bluetooth standard provide consumers with the confidence that the products will work seamlessly with their devices.

What Are Your Options for iPad Bluetooth Keyboards?

Apple is well-known for providing a wide variety of accessories for the technology products they bring to market, and iPad Bluetooth keyboards are no exception.

Apple keyboards for iPad

Depending on the specific iPad model you select, there are a variety of keyboards that provide the features you need:

Smart Keyboard for iPad (7th Generation) and iPad Air (3rd Generation)...
  • Unfold the full-size Smart Keyboard when you need it, then fold it to create a durable and...
  • No need for batteries or pairing.
  • It’s just as easy to use as it is to take with you.
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard models
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Magic Keyboard with numeric pad
  • Additional options that continue to surface from Apple

The catch – Apple utilizes their own proprietary connection for their peripheral devices such as keyboards – the Smart Connector. While this is great for Apple and sales of their keyboards, it is not a Bluetooth solution for keyboard input with your iPad.

Smart Connector is a great boost for iPad users, in that devices connect quickly and easily, and also draw power from the connector, but only devices created specifically for the connector will work with it. To be sure, there are vendors such as Logitech who make Smart Connector-compatible keyboards, but they are not Bluetooth devices.

Apple does provide certain wireless keyboard models that are Bluetooth enabled, but most that are designed for iPad incorporate Smart Connector technology.

Third-party/Aftermarket Bluetooth Keyboards

Fortunately for iPad users, there are a large number of manufacturers filling the gap with Bluetooth keyboards that are compatible with iPad models.

Logitech is far and away the leader in third-party technology devices for computers, including Mac and iPad peripherals such as keyboards.  The company offers multiple solutions for iPad Bluetooth keyboards including:

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard for Computer, Phone and...
  • Multi-device wireless keyboard: beautiful type-on-everything keyboard for any computer,...
  • Type and switch between devices: Type on up to three devices and switch between them at...
  • Comfortable typing: full size, fully equipped keyboard with large, quiet keys and...

Logitech’s Universal Folio case includes an integrated Bluetooth keyboard for use with 9-10” iPads. This popular model gives you the feeling that your iPad has transformed into a laptop.

Features include:

  • Holds iPad at just the right angle for ease of viewing while keying
  • Incorporated convenient stylus/pencil holder
  • Extra row of tablet control/shortcut keys right at your fingertips
  • 2-year battery life with easy replacement
  • Sturdy materials – closes securely with a built-in strap for protection

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Keyboard

This is a stand-alone model that can be used interchangeably between PC and Mac desktop computers, while also working with iPads and Smartphones. Full-sized and powered by AAA batteries (battery life quoted as 2 years), the K780 is a solid keyboard with numeric pad.

The unique feature of the K780 is that it is instantly switchable between devices with its integrated Easy-switch buttons. Type on your computer, then with a push of the button, you’re typing on your tablet. Hit another button, and you’ve made the move to your smartphone. Switch back and forth at will. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

Logitech has additional offerings in Bluetooth keyboards for iPad. A quick look at their web site will help you pick the one that’s right for you.

Amazon has an impressive selection of Bluetooth keyboards compatible with iPad models from many manufacturers:

  • Yekbee
  • Zagg
  • Belkin
  • Dingrich
  • Many more

Special Features for Your Consideration

Selecting the keyboard that is right for your needs is somewhat complicated by the fact that not all keyboards provide all iOS functions that you may find useful. Check vendor compatibility information closely before making your purchase.

Special features that may be of interest to you include:

  • Back-lighting or lighted keyboard, for keying in low light conditions
  • Battery life and charging capability (USB charging, or strictly battery replacement)
  • Weight and storage requirements – some include an integrated case, while others are separate units that store in their own sleeves or your own case

Additional Accessories that Make iPad Life Better

There a some stand-out iPad peripherals that should be on everyone’s list for consideration when looking for iPad accessories:

Belkin Qode Ultimate Lite Keyboard Case – this is a perfect companion for your iPad Pro and iPad Air. The Qode is durable, lightweight, and combines a keyboard made of premium aluminum with power management functions that optimize battery life.

Dingrich iPad case –  This premium case with tough aluminum construction includes multiple LED backlight color options with adjustable brightness and hinges that allow you to position the viewing angle to suit your preference.

iPad is such a popular computing device that there are many Bluetooth keyboard options available to consumers. Taking a little time to research features and compatibility will ensure you make the choice that’s right for you.

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