Sounds like a good match...
... for the hardware it's designed to work with. Why whinge about a quite-cheap device not having a user-replaceable battery when almost all of Apple's expensive hardware is in the same boat?
I was all set to praise this clever iPad case with a built in Bluetooth keyboard... and then I saw what the battery life is. KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe KeyCase's iPad Folio Deluxe: easier typing on your tablet Not the length of time the keyboard will run on single charge of its battery, but how long the battery will go on …
"Because the iPad battery should last a good deal longer than three years."
The iPad has a regular Lithium-tech battery from the same el-cheapo produciton lines everybody else gets their cells from and they start to degrade pretty much the day they are made. The iPad's battery not going to last much longer than the folio battery will.
"take it in and buy a new iPad or new battery. Chances are buyers will want the former anyway."
The future iPad will not be backwards compatible with the old iPad so this folio/kbd unit will not work with it anyway.
Quote: The future iPad will not be backwards compatible with the old iPad so this folio/kbd unit will not work with it anyway.
It is a Bluetooth keyboard compliant with Apple KBD keycodes and keymap. I bet it works with any Mac starting from 2002 or so when Apple started putting Bluetooth as default.
It will take a considerable effort to make this incompatible
To quote Apple ...
"A properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 full charge and discharge cycles. You may choose to replace your battery when it no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs."
"Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. [snip] During the plan’s coverage period, Apple will replace the battery if it drops below 50% of its original capacity. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $99, plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax."
After years of use of battery operated products I have found Apple's quoted times and battery quality to be extremely good .. better than most other vendors.
@The future iPad will not be backwards compatible with the old iPad so this folio/kbd unit will not work with it anyway.
Its a bluetooth keyboard and unless they change the bluetooth stack for some future non-backwards compatible protocol standard (which is highly unlikely) then it will work for years to come ... this has been the case with Macs ever since they included bluetooth keyboards as an option in 2003.
Plus if you have any real inside information on future iPad's then you could make a lot of money out of that ... but I'm guessing that you're guessing and badly at that.
"Apple’s advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan."
3 years/500 cycles is far more typical and as much as you can expect really - most of the laptop batteries in the office are useless after 3-4 years. I can't help thinking a dock connector for the keyboard would have made more sense - why use BT for something that's physically attached anyway?
I would not be so sure.
I have switched my netbook for a 2002 model Apple TiBook running Linux nowdays. The old Apple machine (with Linux) can still run circles around most modern laptops and especially the ones crippled by Intel video. However, looking at Wife's MacBook pro build quality I can clearly see that the 8 years of success have taken their toll. The quality has gone _WORSE_ over the years, not better.
So the 3 years were definitely to be expected of what Apple used to make.
I would not make any such bets regarding what it makes now including the Holy Slate.
Most of recent Apple products have either easily or at least half easily changable batteries now. The iPhone 4 requires 2 screws to be removed and you can slide the back off. The iPad is not that easy but entirely possible without ripping off glue or something like that. For something you should need to do only every four or five years at best (and this is a looong time in gadgets) I wouldn't waste a single thought about it.
Anyway, I think a decent external BT keyboard (like the Apple one which is actually quite small and light) and a case for the lone iPad with a stand might be a better way to get at an iPad with a keyboard than this thing.
It's not that easy to change batteries in Apple products. For example to remove a battery in a MacBook requires a Tri-Wing screwdriver to remove it (that's after you've taken the bottom off the case), not that hard to come by but not common.
The MacBook Pro is much worse, it has a non-standard 5 pointed Torx-like screw holding it in, as far as I know it's only available through Apple for an exorbitant price. Also not sure if it's available for purchase to the general public or only Authorised service agents. Once again that's after you've taken the bottom off the case.
The micro-3-wing originally introduced by Fuji was hard to come by at first. Once it appeared as an anti-consumer measure on mainstream equipment the screwdrivers for it dropped down to about 2$ in no time.
Same with this - the 5 sided torx will be here shortly. In fact I think I have one on the last "specialist" kits I got. I would not be surprised if cheap far-eastern battery kits for the MacBook Pro will start come bundled with a couple of heads for a standard scredriver set to do the deed.
Fighting consumer tinkering is a pointless excercise. Out of all, Apple should have learned that long ago. Even the super-anticonsumer designs like the old mac mini were being tampered with by nearly everyone who had one.
The circle is nearly complete as Jim suggests, except that you've now got a netbook that isn't running a real operating system and can't do a lot of things you want it to do. Oh, and it cost you a lot more.
I don't see the objection to the 3 year life span to be honest, for £60 I think you can expect it to fail in 3 years, what other electronic frippery at such a low price would still be working fine after three years? Even a £200 (subsidised) phone only has a two year life cycle before it's upgraded.
Or, if you are the company I work for, 10 to 18 months, depending on the type of corporate contract.
I managed to make my old Sidekick II go for the better part of 4 years- and surprisingly, the battery held up pretty decently on it. Work decided to start paying for cell phones for my group, so this is the first time pretty much ever that I'm getting a new phone (Bberry curve to an HTC Incredible) before the contract is up.
(insert standard joke about the iPad and it's lack of flash or 'real' OS)
Some of us use rolling upgrade. A phone is not thrown out in 2 years. It is relegated to less demanding duties like alarm telemetry, junior's handset, spare handset for abroad, etc. As the 2-3 year old one is relegated the phone that used to be doing these less demanding duties is chucked out with an average age of around 4-5 years before this happens.
As a result you change them on a 5 year cycle with a 2.5 year rolling upgrade for the shift. If you do that it becomes cheaper to buy non-subsidised by a considerable margin. Last time I calculated it the savings were around 30%+
It is possible to write your own apps for the iPhone and load them onto your own machine at will - there's no need to upload to iTunes and get Apple's approval.
Any paid-up developer can transfer apps to a development device, and install them on non-development devices, though they will need to be provisioned with authorisation certificates which the developer can create with Apple's tools.
But yes, you do have to cough up to become a registered developer.
at amazon, cos i ordered mine this morning.
and 50quid for a zxspectrum style keyboard is a bargin, even if i get bored of it in a few months and get another case instead
3 years will be remarkable if i'm still using it by then, i'll consider i'll have well and truely got my money's worth
I bought a £3 iPad case (with built in stand) and £17 bluetoothcompact keyboard both on eBay (UK vendor) ... both are extremely well made and the keyboard runs on 2 AA batteries. The mini-keyboard includes a lovely mini-mouse joystick and is a chocbloc style complete with working multi-media keys and of course it easily pairs with my mac mini linked to the HDTV.
I loved the Z88 .. wrote my PhD using one (in LaTeX) ... 8 lines of 80 characters .. excellent and the dead flesh keyboard was great but attracted the dust but was wipe clean! I even wrote a file upload/downloader to transfer data to/from a Sun 3 workstation ... ahh those were the days 8-)
Im going to buy a table without the hinge bit dont worry about the keyboard etc etc ..
2 weeks later :
2 hours later :
Hey look i made my tablet a laptop with 1 simple purchase !!!!
that as another poster has already pointed out, it isn't a laptop because it has a poxy OS that restricts what you can do. And it's a pretty crappy spec compared to a laptop of the same price.
Ooooh it's got a clever multi touch screen! Gosh! So what? If it were that brilliant people wouldn't be buying keyboards for them.
I got over-eager and bought one of these ... sent it back for a refund the same day.
In a nutshell, the keyboard is like a dreadful hybrid of the worst aspects of the original Asus Eee 701 (too small, tiny, no right shift key) and the Cambridge Z88 (rubber! lots of rubber!)
It was impossible to type accurately on the bloody thing. And it wasn't even very good as an iPad folio case -- there are plenty of much nicer, better designed ones that don't include a failed keyboard.
Save your dosh and scour eBay for a second-hand iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard, say I.
I expected to see this produced sooner or later as soon as I saw the iPad. Really should have patented the idea (though I'd probably have suggested connecting via the dock connector and not having a separate battery at all...)
As for (in)compatibility with future iPads I suspect it won't take much to make it incompatible. Sure the bluetooth connection is likely to work, but I'd be amazed if Apple don't make some change to dimensions or styling that break the more basic requirement of the case physically fitting.
situation: lack of innovation, competitors better
solution: drag the market down to our level, then charge extra for basic functionality
step 1: buy 40 million asus 901s - remove keyboard and usb hub, hobble OS, add shiny screen, sand edges
step 2: double price, halve cost per unit
step 3: $$$
step 4: sell leftover keyboards with bluetooth dongle taped on
step 5: $$$$
step 6: sell leftover USB hubs
step 7: $$$$$$
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