Hands-on with the iPad keyboard dock

CNET's Donald Bell shows a hands-on video and photo gallery of Apple's unique keyboard dock for the iPad.

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After years of users complaining about the lack of a full-size keyboard accessory for the iPhone, iit looks like Apple finally caved and created a physical keyboard with an integrated iPhone dock for the not-unreasonable price of $69. The trouble is, this keyboard isn't for the iPhone at all, but instead, is made for the upcoming Apple iPad.

The real head-scratcher here is that one of the biggest selling points of the iPad is that it has a nearly full-size touch screen keyboard built right in. Plus, Apple's product page says that the iPad will support Bluetooth 2.1 compliant wireless keyboards, making an Apple-specific solution seem unnecessary.

Whatever Apple's logic is behind what iPhone OS-derivative products get hardware keyboards and which don't, the iPad keyboard dock actually looks like a fairly slick way to turn the iPad into an ultralight word processing terminal. Anyone planning on trying the iPad out for blogging, iWork, or serious e-mailing, should probably give this thing a look.

Aside from the standard keys you'd expect to find, there's a few function keys up top that are uniquely suited to the iPad. Check out the video and photo gallery for a closer look.

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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