The clos­est you’ll prob­a­bly ever get to experiencing a 9.7-inch Mac­Book

Mac Format - - RATED | KIT - Strong and bal­anced in weight Sim­i­lar to a Mac­Book key­board Back­lit keys and stereo sound Hinge el­e­ments are ugly

From £111 Man­u­fac­turer Bry­dge Key­boards, bry­dgekey­

Re­quires iPad Air, iPad Air 2 Con­nec­tiv­ity Blue­tooth

Rarely does an iPad key­board case ex­pe­ri­ence repli­cate the com­fort of a real Mac­Book. The Bry­dgeAir is dif­fer­ent from the allplas­tic com­pe­ti­tion. It’s made out of the same alu­minium as a Mac­Book and has been de­signed to look like a 9.7-inch ver­sion of Ap­ple’s lap­tops. It’s not as light­weight as most other key­board cases and dis­penses with the con­ve­nience of a mag­netic con­nec­tion that make it like a Smart Cover. But that’s to your ad­van­tage.

Here you get a much weight­ier and stur­dier ex­pe­ri­ence. We’re in the ter­ri­tory of 11-inch Mac­Book Air com­fort, thanks to the ex­cel­lent repli­ca­tion of the Mac­Book key­board and a near iden­ti­cal lay­out (in­cludes bright­ness, vol­ume and lock con­trols). It’s also got four lev­els of back­light to en­sure it’s as us­able as a real Mac­Book would be in low light.

The Bry­dgeAir is much more than just a key­board though, with its dual stereo speak­ers – a big im­prove­ment on the iPad’s (though you need to set up a sec­ond Blue­tooth con­nec­tion for them).

In­stead of the mag­netic clasp seen in most other de­signs, the Bry­dgeAir uses two tough hinges that grip to the ar­eas just off the iPad Air’s screen. There’s a few de­sign odd­i­ties, such as the hinge re­cesses be­ing quite deep and ugly, and the fact you have to swap rub­ber grips for us­ing the iPad Air 2, but they’re for­giv­able com­pro­mises. The strange charg­ing light un­der the Shift key feels out of place though. But the Bry­dgeAir is a high qual­ity key­board that fi­nally makes the iPad vi­able for sus­tained typing. Chris­tian Hall

Weighty feel, su­perb key­board ac­tion and strong hinges. It’s the best iPad key­board case we've used.

Strong back­light­ing is an­other way in which the Bry­dgeAir feels like a Mac­Book key­board.

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