Six Keyboards That Can Transform Your Tablet Into A Laptop

Tablets might be light, powerful, easy to carry and use, have great battery life and in many cases, be more affordable than notebooks, but the absence of a proper keyboard stops them from being notebook substitutes for a number of people. In fact, it is because of this key missing link that tablets have been saddled with the “It is great to watch content on, but you cannot really write on it” label ever since the iPad made them a rage more than a decade ago.

One can type on a tablet using an on-screen keyboard but many find this inconvenient, and not as comfortable as using a “real” keyboard with physical keys.¬†

That said, if you do want to combine the convenience of a tablet with the typing comfort and prowess of a notebook or even a desktop, there is a way out. There are a number of keyboards available at different price points that can pair with your tablet, letting you get the best of both touch and type worlds.  So if you want to notebook-ify your trusty tab, here are six keyboards that will let you do just that:

Logitech K480 – Big Boss of Multi-Device Typing

It has been around for more than five years, and still remains many people’s favourite wireless keyboard. That’s because the Logitech K480 just works. It is a large keyboard with a slot in front in which you can place your tablet or phone, saving you the need for a stand or a support for the device. Connecting it to multiple devices is extremely simple – you just need to pair the keyboard with them and then switch from one to another by moving the dial at the top of the keyboard. You could actually be typing a story on your iPad, flip the dial to type a reply to a mail on your Android phone and then flip back and continue typing on your iPad. The keys are large, round and have a “punchy” feel to them, making typing a satisfying if slightly noisy affair. At 820 grammes, this is a hefty keyboard (heavier than most tablets) and runs on AAA batteries (which last close to a year), but considering its functionality and price, we have no hesitation in declaring this as our favorite multi-device keyboard. Those who want a lighter, slimmer avatar can go for the Logitech K380, but the smaller keys seem like a compromise to us.¬†

Rs 2,500*

Targus KB 55 – The budget warrior

The Targus KB 55 is a tried and tested budget solution for those  looking to add keyboard functionality to their tablets. The keyboard has been around for some time now and is the one of the most no-nonsense keyboards that one can buy on a tight budget. Unlike some keyboards that compromise on key size and spacing to make the device more portable, the Targus KB 55 does no such thing. It comes with regular sized and comfortably spaced keys . It comes with Bluetooth connectivity and works with Android, iOS, MacOS, ChromeOS and Windows devices. The best thing about the Targus KB 55 is that it brings a number of OS-specific shortcuts which means you can customise them as per the device you are using. It runs on AAA batteries and you will not be able to connect it to multiple devices simultaneously, but this is pretty much a full-fledged keyboard at a really affordable price. A solid option for those looking for a basic yet well-working keyboard for their tablets, without busting their banks. 

Rs 1,250*

Apple Magic Keyboard РFor pro-level iPad users 

Yes, we know that its price is almost as much as that of an iPad (Rs 30,900), but if you use an iPad Pro or an iPad Air and are in the market for a keyboard that literally does it all, then this is the keyboard for you. The Apple Magic Keyboard comes with a keyboard as well as a trackpad, and can actually be used as a case for the iPad Pro or iPad Air. The keys are comfortable to use and are backlit as well. Best of all, thanks to what Apple calls a “floating cantilever design”, the keyboard actually holds the iPad in a “floating” position above it, giving you desktop feels. It does not have any battery of its own but uses the one on the iPad, so there is no need to fuss about charging it. On the flip side, it is expensive, is heavy (heavier than the 11 inch iPad Pro) and works only with the iPad Pro and iPad Air. It had some battery drain issues, but Apple fixed it with a few handy updates.¬†

Rs 27,900*

Logitech K375s – Those desktop keyboard feels

One of the problems with most keyboards designed to work with tablets is that they tend to be more square than rectangular with all the keys (numbers, alphabets, special functions) squeezed into one area Рvery different from the spacious keyboards you get with desktop computers. The Logitech K375s is an exception. It is designed exactly like a desktop keyboard, with large alphabet keys, complete with a dedicated number pad on the right and separate areas for direction arrow keys and the insert, home, delete, page up, page down, end keys, in two separate rows of their own. The keyboard also comes with a separate stand on which you can rest your tablet or phone. Its sheer size means that you cannot slip it into a bag or even use it easily in a cafe, but the kind of typing experience you get on the K375s is the classic desktop one Рspacious and comfortable. There are also three dedicated buttons that let you switch between different devices seamlessly. The best option for those who want to do all their typing on a desk! You can even pair it with a television, desktop or a notebook, using the USB dongle in the box. We just wish it had its own chargeable battery instead of two AAA cells, although those two cells last for months. 

Rs 2,500*

Portronics Chicklet – The ultimate ‘pocket-friendly’ keyboard¬†

This is a¬† keyboard which is pocket-friendly in both literal and liberal manner of speaking‚Äď it is both small and light and comes with a very affordable price tag.¬† The Portronics Chicklet is the perfect keyboard for those who are always on the move simply because it is unmatchably portable – it literally folds in half. At 175 grams it is one of the lightest Bluetooth keyboards and its foldable form factor makes it even more so easy to carry. Fold the Portronics Chicklet up and the device is no bigger than a big smartphone or a regular sized e-reader. It comes with Bluetooth and is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows. It comes with its own battery and can last for up to 140 hours on a single charge. But its portability and lightness means the keys are smaller than usual. The band which divides the keyboard in half in order to fold it, can also be a problem while typing for the first few days. Still, if you do not want to¬† carry big, bulky keyboards around and simply want something you slip into your coat‚Äôs pocket along with your phone, then the Portronics Chicklet is perhaps the perfect option for you. And it does not cost the earth either.

Rs 1,099*

Logitech POP Keys РThe keyboard that makes eyes pop 

If you are someone who likes their gadgets to have personality and not look like they were simply dipped and taken out of a grey/ black paint can, then the Logitech POP Keys might be the keyboard you are looking for.  It not only comes with vibrant colour options but also has vintage typewriter feels. You can literally pop the keys of the keyboard out and then replace them with other keys provided in the package and give your keyboard a personalised touch. It will effortlessly stand out of the boring and basic looking keyboard crowd that dominate the market.  The POP Keys come with very well spaced out circular keys, giving it that vintage typewriter kind of look. They might take some time to get used to, but they definitely make typing fun. But that is the only old school thing about the Logitech POP keys. The keyboard comes with Bluetooth and can pair with up to three devices. It is pretty much universally compatible and can work with any platform. It is backed by AAA batteries and the company claims that they can last as long as 36 months. The keyboard is slightly on the heavier side, making portability a problem but if you want to jazz up your work desk and make writing a fun task then the Logitech POP Keys is the one for you!

Rs 9,995*

(*The prices of the keyboards are indicative and could vary from store to store.)

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