If you’re looking for the perfect solution to turn your beloved iPad into a netbook, you might want to put the search on hold. Say hello to Brydge, an idea by a San Francisco man which is about to become very real.
Brydge is an idea that has become a Kickstarter, which means that the inventor has created a page to promote a prototype product, with the aim of scoring funding from anyone who would want to buy one. With a target of $90,000 to cover manufacturing costs of the initial batch, Brydge has already smashed the target, raising $98,000 within 24 hours.
We’ve seen some decent Bluetooth keyboards out there for the iPad, but let’s face it: most Apple fans want something designed by Apple or as close to the style of the iPad as possible – it’s gotta look good and it’s got to match. Brydge fits that bill perfectly, with everything from the black Chiclet keyboard to the silver finish looking every bit an Apple designed product. When the two are folded shut together, the combination of Brydge and your iPad is as thin as a MacBook Air, and will weigh about the same, too.
Brydge is crafted from a machined block of aerospace-grade aluminium, so it’s built to last. The keyboard is neat and resembles that of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, albeit with added hotkeys at the top for popular functions such as cut, paste and spotlight search.
Your iPad slots into a clever hinge design until it ‘clicks’ into place. The design cleverly uses magnets to hold your iPad and the hold is extremely firm –check out the video below to see just how well the two stick together. The hinge provides close to a 180 degree tilt – perfect for watching movies or eliminating glare – and when you ‘close’ the two together as you would a laptop, both devices will go into sleep mode to save battery.
So how does the Brydge keyboard interact with your iPad? Bluetooth! Once you’ve made the initial pairing all you need to do in future is make sure Bluetooth is turned on in your iPad’s settings, dock the keyboard and away you go.
Stereo speakers are an optional extra and these work via Bluetooth as well. The micro-drilled holes above the keyboard look very stylish and conceal the speakers – it looks very similar to Apple’s design on the 17-inch MacBook Pro models.
Brydge has its own separate battery which charges via USB, although at present we’re not sure how long it lasts from a single charge.
If you like the look of the product then you can secure one of the first models for yourself by pledging on their Kickstarter page here. For $170 you’ll get the regular dock, and for $210 you’ll get the stereo speaker-equipped model. It’s a tad pricier than other options out there, but we think it’ll be worth it for the build quality and stylish looks. Will you be getting one?