Disclosure: I have received the reviewed product from Best Buy for free. All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and are that of my own.
I received the Rocketfish Advanced Series Keyboard Capsule for Apple iPad 2, as well as the Rocketfish PadPivot Stand to review. Both products are interesting concepts, and I was excited to have the opportunity to review them.
The Keyboard Capsule is a keyboard plus a type of shell for the iPad. It pairs to the iPad via Bluetooth and can also pair to other Bluetooth-capable devices such as iPhones and other smartphones, to make typing longer emails a breeze.
The iPad can be placed three different ways in the Capsule: propped up vertically in front of the stand, locked horizontally into the stand and placed behind the keyboard, and locked horizontally into the stand and placed over the keyboard.
Placed over the keyboard allows for a more top-down approach, where the iPad is placed at a slightly sloped angle for desk or couch work. The most common use is to place the iPad horizontally behind the keyboard for typing. Typing is very easy to do on this keyboard. Although the keyboard is slightly smaller than a normal keyboard, they keys are raised and separated a slight bit for easier typing, and I never found myself fumbling for letters.
Pairing the keyboard and the iPad was very easy — I simply turned on Bluetooth pairing on my iPad and it recognized the keyboard right away. I typed the four-digit code into the keyboard and was off and running.
I used the keyboard while witting on the couch, mainly, with a lapdesk, and it was at a great position for typing and also for general browsing. When I wanted to play a game, I moved the iPad in its holder over the keyboard for easy access.
My only slight grumble is that it’s definitely heavy (2.2 pounds), even without the iPad in it. It’s also a bit slick to hold, with no good way to grip it, and I can see accidentally dropping it without a good hold on it. When it arrived, I had to charge it, which I did by plugging the USB connector into my iPad charger, and then into the wall. I charged it overnight to make sure it had a good charge, and it was ready to use the next morning.
Overall I would recommend this keyboard for travel and general use. It’s quite a bit easier to type on than the iPad’s own virtual keyboard (I can’t get used to virtual keyboards unless they have some sort of haptic feedback), especially if you’re a
heavy typist. As I mentioned, the only drawback is that it’s fairly heavy and slightly cumbersome to carry, but I plan to keep it in one place for easy access when needed. This product can be purchased on the Best Buy website for $99.99.
The second product I received was the Rocketfish PadPivot Stand. This stand was developed as a Kickstarter project, where money from interested parties was put toward the creation of the stand, and is a very creative product. The idea is that you can use the stand to position your iPad or other tablet or eReader device for ease of use while at your desk or on your couch.
The “pad” part of PadPivot refers to the little pad that the iPad can rest on. It has a dust cover that can be removed to reveal a sticky pad that adheres to the iPad. The pad leaves no residue, and can be reused over and over, kept fresh by simply rinsing and air drying from time to time. The pad with the dust cover on can also be used, depending on what’s covering the back of the iPad.
I have a skin on the back of my iPad, so I removed the dust cover and stuck the iPad directly to the pad on the stand, and it worked quite well for holding it in place. I also used the stand while my SmartCover was on the iPad, where the fuzzy inside portion of the SmartCover was facing out across the back of the iPad. With that texture on the cover, I left the dust cover on the pad and it worked well to grip the iPad and hold it in place.
It worked very well on the desk, but I had some issues using it on my leg. I could never get it into a comfortable position while propped up on my leg, even though I was able to get the stand to stay in place using the included leg strap. I felt like I was looking too far down at it while I was using it, and like it would strain my neck. Generally when I use my iPad while sitting on the couch, I’ll use the SmartCover and a lap desk, which props the iPad up higher, causing much less neck strain.
It’s also set up to be portable, which is great. You just unscrew the pad from the stand, screw it into the underneath side of the stand, and fold up the legs on the stand. It folds up to be about half of its normal size, which makes it easier to toss into a bag.
Overall I’d say this stand is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for another option for using a stand either on a desk or on your lap. I’m not going to rule out lap use just because I wasn’t able to use it comfortably — each person is different, and I’m probably in the minority on this one. If you already have a SmartCover and don’t have other devices to use this with, such as an eReader or smartphone, I’d stick with the SmartCover. However, if you’re looking for a great stand at a reasonable price, definitely check this out! You can purchase the PadPivot through Best Buy for $39.99.