iPad-notebook hybrid Brydge seeks Kickstarter funding

We have seen a number of cases made for Apple's iPad that attach a keyboard to the tablet. However, those cases are usually a poor attempt to turn the iPad into a device that could be used as a replacement for a notebook. Now, a company has created a keyboard for the iPad that it claims will turn the tablet into a true notebook replacement.

The company, and the product, are both called called Brydge. The product itself is an aluminum-based keyboard with a special hinge that makes the iPad look and work more like a notebook. The company states:

Brydge's aluminum body is machined and anodized so that it matches the look and feel of the iPad precisely. When paired together Brydge and your iPad appear to be two parts of the same device, blending style and functionality seamlessly. Unlike other products made of painted plastic in an effort to look similar to the iPad, Brydge does not fake it. Not only does it look good, but when held in your hands you can feel the quality craftsmanship Apple lovers demand.

The keyboard uses a Bluetooth wireless connection to link to the iPad and it also includes special keys that mimic the iPad's special functions. There will be two versions of the Brydge; one with and one without on-board speakers.

The company says it has been working on the Brydge iPad keyboard for the past six months and it is now launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $90,000 in order to launch the device sometime in October 2012. It will be interesting to see if Brydge is popular, especially since Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that Apple doesn't want to make a tablet/notebook hybrid.

Image via Brydge

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18 Comments

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I think that people who really *need* this (or something like this) really should have invested their money in a laptop as oppose to an iPad.

Sounds to me its just cashing in on the "omg ipad" craze. I mean you can just buy a Transformer Prime right now which is arguably better than the ipad already.

Terrible. Overpriced crap based on aesthetics alone. I ordered an iPad folio case with Bluetooth keyboard off eBay for $50 which at least has a backlit keyboard.

If you want a 'true' notepad, you need trackpad/mouse input, which needs jailbreak.

Now if they managed to squeeze an x86 CPU in the base and use the iPad as a Display, Then we can talk.

$185 (pre-order, without speakers) seems a bit expensive for a bluetooth keyboard, even if it does have a hinge / fancy aluminum body.

ZakO said,
$185 (pre-order, without speakers) seems a bit expensive for a bluetooth keyboard, even if it does have a hinge / fancy aluminum body.

Showing $150 here, but shouldn't be too much of a problem as it is targeting the Apple market. Their wireless keyboards are $70 anyway. $80 for an iHinge ... iSeenoproblem!

However you have to wonder by the time you have bought this and an iPad why you wouldn't just buy a convertible Windows 8 tablet which will do even more, or a basic Mac notebook.

Dot Matrix said,
I thought people didn't want to sit there and touch their PCs, lest their arms get tired?

Then what was the point of the the original Tablet PCs?

MASTER260 said,

Then what was the point of the the original Tablet PCs?

Using a tablet while in your hands is perfectly OK. But sit in front of your desktop computer and start reaching and poking at the screen. Now imagine that you had to do that regularly....it sucks... the only way it makes sense is if you are standing up and the screen is tilted up at you. May work for a kitchen computer. It doesn't work for a workstation.

rfirth said,
Exactly what I want for the Samsung Series 7 Slate.

Same. I had this idea a few weeks ago. Should have gone ahead and done it. lol.

rfirth said,
Exactly what I want for the Samsung Series 7 Slate.

Seriously, the docking connector is already there. They chose to make a stupid desktop dock though. I would still have my slate if it had a keyboard dock. I had to sell it, I can't justify it AND a convertible tablet PC.