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.

 

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