It was bound to happen. Between the existing laptop-looking keyboard docks for the iPad and the success of many premium quality accessories, such a case that actually looks like it came from Apple was inevitable. The Brydge keyboard is that case, essentially taking an existing product and making it aluminium. The keyboard basically looks like half of a Macbook, with a plastic hinge/iPad holder that is a bit clunkier than that on the Transformer Prime due to there not being any physical locking mechanism built into the iPad itself.
Aside from a straight up keyboard version, there will be a version with integrated speakers as well. They connect to the iPad with Bluetooth just like the keyboard does, but using the speakers will naturally affect battery life – so much that they don’t even dare put any concrete numbers in there. I’d estimate fewer hours than you have fingers though, depending on the speaker technology used.
The whole selling point here is looks and quality, as this type of keyboard in itself isn’t revolutionary by any definition of the term at this point. With $90,000 as the funding goal it’ll be interesting to see if they make it, as Kickstarter projects often have to be a bit more revolutionary than this to get that much in funding. A price tag of $170+ is going to make a lot of people look twice at their $70 Apple Bluetooth keyboard too, or perhaps the $100 Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.
An international shipping cost of $35 makes the difference even larger, and in true “never shipped internationally before” style, they cite the potential for lost packages as the reason. I won’t get into another rant about this growing issue with new start-ups, so I’ll just leave it at this: if the gain of cheaper shipping hadn’t been higher than the loss of having to replace a few lost packages, you wouldn’t see everyone from Amazon to Dealextreme offer it.
Shipping cost ranting aside though, I’ll be keeping an eye on this one to see if it gets funded. It’s definitely a looker, and if it hadn’t been for that new Logitech keyboard, this would probably have become the keyboard to buy for me if I ever decide to upgrade my Apple Bluetooth keyboard. As usual, video after the break.[Kickstarter]