Don't want to spend a ton on a fancy iPad keyboard? Here's one that costs less than half of others -- and you can tell.
It always feels like iPad accessories cost a fortune. Paying for good cases or keyboard covers can end up easily tallying close to $100. Where's the mercy for budget shoppers?
The Anker TC930 Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air looks a lot like one of my favorite Logitech iPad accessories, the Ultrathin Keyboard Case . But it costs only $30, while Logitech's costs $100. Could this be the best bargain in iPad-land? Is it a budget diamond in hiding?
After using one for a while, the answer is: kinda-sorta. This Anker accessory certainly looks the part. It's plastic on top and gray aluminum below. It's as thin as Logitech's Ultrathin and even magnetically snaps onto an iPad Air's side in the same way, resting on top of the iPad's glass screen as a "cover" of sorts (you'll still need a protective sleeve or padded bag). Unsnap your iPad and it slots into a little groove above the keyboard, with a pop-up kickstand behind it for extra support.
The Anker TC930 isn't the only budget-priced iPad keyboard accessory out there: I found a TC950 on Amazon that's a full folio case with detachable keyboard for the same price. I prefer this all-in-one slim keyboard design, but you might feel differently.
The TC930 charges via Micro-USB and has a little on/off switch on the side. The keys are configured at around the same size and layout as other keyboards like Logitech's, too. Its number keys double as iOS-specific hotkeys if you simultaneously press Fn.
But, the drawback to the TC930 is -- no surprise -- keyboard quality. The keys feel clackier and cheaper than my favorite Belkin or Logitech cases. And I found that I got a lot of repeating characters when I typed quickly, which made me have to backtrack. It's a mediocre typing experience, and after all, aren't you buying one of these keyboards as a way to write more easily on an iPad?
In a pinch, for $30, this Anker Ultra-Thin is not bad as a basic travel keyboard, especially if you're using it to type emails vs. novels. But for serious typists, this isn't the keyboard you're looking for.