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iPad keyboards tested on deadline (photos)

With my laptop crippled and a deadline looming, I needed my iPad to stand in as a fully functional word processor. It was the perfect opportunity to review five keyboards designed to get you typing from the tablet's touch screen.

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John Lewinski
Crave freelancer John Scott Lewinski covers tech, cars, and entertainment out of Los Angeles. As a journalist, he's traveled from Daytona Beach to Cape Town, writing for more than 30 national magazines. He's also a very amateur boxer known for his surprising lack of speed and ability to absorb punishment. E-mail John.
John Lewinski
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1 of 10 ThinkGeek

Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard

Wouldn't you know it? Just as I was approaching my deadline last week for a CNET commentary on John F. Kennedy's "moon speech" and the current state of the American space program, my MacBook Pro crashed. While the Apple store was installing a new hard drive, I turned to my iPad as my backup word processor. Since I don't like the iPad's onscreen keyboard, I tried a series of iPad keyboards I had on hand to review.

This Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard works well enough, but it provides many of the same problems as the virtual iPad keys. I need the "click" of real keys. Cost: $150.

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2 of 10 ThinkGeek

Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard in action

The laser keyboard is interesting to watch in action, but it distracted me from actual writing.
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3 of 10 ThinkGeek

Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg

The Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg doubles as a protective case. Cost: $99.
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4 of 10 ThinkGeek

Logitech Keyboard Case in harness

The keyboard in the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg works well, but make sure you hook your iPad into the case properly.
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5 of 10 Apple

Apple Wireless Keyboard

The Apple Wireless Keyboard works with desktops, laptops, iPads, and iPhones. But I've gone through two, and the number keys failed on both. Cost: $69.
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6 of 10 Omnio

Omnio Wow-Keys

The Omnio Wow-Keys can work with a computer, or you can plug in your iPhone and make that into a word processor. Cost: $100.
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7 of 10 Omnio

Omnio Wow-Keys in black

The Omnio Wow-Keys need to be hooked into a PC or Mac for power, even when you're typing into your iPhone.
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8 of 10 ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek's iPad Bluetooth Keyboard

ThinkGeek's iPad Bluetooth Keyboard serves up the best, most effective, and touch-sensitive keyboard I used so far.
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9 of 10 ThinkGeek

iPad Bluetooth Keyboard up close

ThinkGeek's iPad Bluetooth Keyboard doesn't "click," but the keystrokes are confident and clean.
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10 of 10 ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek's iPad Bluetooth Keyboard and leather folio

When you're not typing with the ThinkGeek iPad Bluetooth Keyboard, it folds into a full leather carrying case.

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