Apple resists but Franken-pads arrive

Liam Tung | Apr 27, 2012 6:50 AM
Comparably light but less storage.

Apple chief Tim Cook may have panned Microsoft converged lightweight laptop tablets, but at least two startups disagree. 

Bluetooth-enabled keyboards that compensate for the iPad’s soft keyboard are nothing new, but non-Apple hardware makers have developed solutions that hybridise iPad cases with a tangible keyboard. 

A keyboard case that launched Wednesday called Brydge is seeking US$90,000 in funding on capital raising website Kickstarter.com and has attracted 466 backers, just days after Cook compared converging the two device-types with blending a “toaster and a refrigerator”. 

In Cook’s view, to attempt such a feat would involve so many trade-offs that it would not please anyone.

Mac specialist news site 9to5 Mac points out that an earlier released “NoteBook Case” does a good job of converting an iPad into a lightweight MacBook for a cost of €85 (A$108), giving it a USB port and additional battery power at an addiitional weight of 620 grams. 

The kicker Brydge offers is “aerospace-grade aluminum” with optional speakers that is aesthetically consistent with the Apple’s iPad craftmanship.   

Like Apple’s additional A$45 polyurethane protective case, Brydge magnetically attaches to the the iPad, but is about 400 grams heavier than Apple’s own protective cover, whcih weighs in at 141 grams.

Brydge's additional keyboard cover meanwhile weighs in at 1.17 kilograms, which compares with Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air 1.3 kilograms.