“Brydge, longtime makers of laptop-like keyboards for tablets, has stirred up a lot of excitement (at least among those who care about this kind of thing, and I count myself among them) with its latest product: the new Brydge for iPad Pro 2018 is a MacBook-like, backlit keyboard available for both the 11-inch and 12[.9]-inch models,” Khoi Vinh writes for Subtraction. “It’s also impressively styled with an aluminum housing, if the product shots are a reliable indicator.”

“The Brydge Pro attaches to the iPad at its corners via two reasonably elegant, padded hinges. This allows the tablet itself to be positioned at any angle, or at least many more angles than the two allowed by Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad,” Vinh writes. “Brydge touts the ability to flip the tablet around so that it faces away from the keyboard. This lets you prop the iPad up in touch-only mode, like a kiosk. This also allows you to fold the iPad and keyboard together flat, in what Brydge advertises as ‘tablet mode.'”

“The irony of attaching a tablet to a keyboard that promises you a ‘tablet mode’ seems lost on Brydge, but it highlights the central tension of any keyboard made for the iPad: is the goal to augment the iPad with optional keyboard functionality, or to turn it fully into a laptop?” Vinh writes. “The challenge of balancing these two options is the reason why, in my estimation, the perfect iPad keyboard has yet to be invented.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Bridge Pro keyboard really reminds us of our dream road computer…

Here’s an idea: Apple could sell iPad Pros as they do now, and for those wanting a “Mac,” Apple could sell them the macOS-powered display-less keyboard/trackpad/cpu/RAM/SSD/battery base unit. Attach your iPad for the display and off you go, you Mac-headed truck driver! Plus, you get to use the iPad’s battery, too, extending battery life to provide a truly all-day battery for portable Mac users. Detach the display and you get your iOS-powered iPad back, same as always.

Too outside the box? We’d love to be able to take our 12-inch iPad Pro, mate it with this theoretical Mac base unit, and turn it into a portable Mac. Right now, we carry 12-inch iPad Pros and MacBooks in our backpacks. Guess what’s redundant? Right, the displays. We don’t need to carry two screens on the road. The iPad Pro’s screen would do just fine, thanks.

Buy the Mac base on its own (for those who already have 12.9-inch iPad Pros) or buy it as part of a package (get a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at a nice discount when you buy it with the Mac base). Imagine if Apple had unveiled this headless MacBook that you use with your iPad at their iPad event last fall. How many more 12.9-inch iPad Pro sales would such a product have generated? Enough to return iPad to unit sales growth, we bet. And, how many more Macs would have been sold, too? — MacDailyNews, January 7, 2017

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application

Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application