Sunday, December 29, 2013

Writing on my iPad Mini

(If you prefer WordPress, you can find this post here)

I'm married to a tech guy. So, as you may imagine, many of my birthday and Christmas gifts have been tech and computer related for the last 17 years.

As a writer, this suits me just fine--usually.

This year, when I opened my gifts, all the paper was piled in the middle of the floor and, aside from the laptops we had both purchased for our children, there were no other tech type gifts.


Wait for it.

Then, Christmas Story style, my husband gets a quizzical look on his face and asks my son, "Matthew, what's that over there behind the couch?" Yes, you guessed it, three more tech gifts. One for me and each of our children.

This year, my gift was an iPad mini. I already had an iPad, a first generation one, and I think iPads are great, but I never really used mine for anything much more than as a reader and I would occasionally watch Netflix on it.

"Thank you love!"

The iPad mini sat unopened for a few days while I worked on my new Lego set.

Fast forward--tech husband insists that all expensive devices be properly outfitted in suitable protective gear. (This is an ongoing joke around here) So, I'm online looking at cases for my iPad mini...and I have an idea.

What if this iPad mini could be more than a glorified reader and occasional movie supplier. What if this little baby could actually help me produce content?

Suddenly, I was excited about my Christmas gift. All she needed was the proper attire, and for me, that attire included a functional keyboard--one I could touch type on.

As a writer and mother who is still employed full time (Nelson Literary Agency) I am always looking for opportunities, stolen time, to use for writing. Writing books, writing blog posts, writing status updates, comments, you name it. I never really used my old iPad for any of this because I never acclimated to using that stupid, flat, virtual keyboard (the opinions expressed about the iPad keyboard are my own and in no way represent the opinions of a person that actually knows anything about tech or tech usage.)

For example, I have been known to whip out a pencil and piece of paper to write on my bus rides to and from work--I then transcribe all of this later when I am at home.

What if this tiny little package could help save a little time by allowing me a smaller, easily mobile device that I could take out in a second, type a few hundred words, then simply cut and paste later?

The search for a usable keyboard case began.

I will spare you a detailed description of the hours I spent online researching for such a device and get right to the two choices I settled on.

One was the ZaggKeys Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Mini.
The other was the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the iPad Mini.

After reading many, many reviews and taking several trips to Target and Bestbuy to find and try out these devices (along with several others) I ended up purchasing the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio.
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Here is why: The Logitech Ultrathin allowed me the utilization of a functional keyboard, large enough for me to touch type on, without sacrificing the basic functionality and benefits of having a tablet in the first place. Basically, with this device, you can fold the keyboard under the iPad mini and still use the iPad as a tablet, comfortably, without ever having to take the device out of the cover.
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While I didn't purchase the ZaggKeys Folio Keyboard Case, it does have an excellent keyboard for typing. It is back-lit, and has a multi-angle tilt function that is awesome; however, you basically turn your iPad mini into a tiny little laptop. You cannot bend that keyboard all the way back. It only opens to 135 degrees. To use your iPad mini as a reader that didn't operate the same as your laptop, you would need to take it in and out of the case (not what I wanted to do.)

So, I am now thrilled with my new tech gift, "Really, thank you, thank you love!" and my new tiny little keyboard case that allows me to produce actual content on said gift. I am hopeful that it will be a great device for commuting to work on the bus and allow me to take it out of my purse in a second, wherever I am, to write whatever little thing is crossing my brain in that moment.

And in case you are wondering, yes, this entire blog post was written on my iPad mini and Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio case.