Tablet Keyboard Review: Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad/iPad 2 Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Slim and light, great for traveling, very comfortable to type on, standard layout.
What's Not: Doesn't have a tilt.
TheJoyFactory makes quite a few products for Mac, iPad and iPhone devices. The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard works with the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4 and Mac wirelessly. The keyboard has built-in Bluetooth radio and comes in a compact and thin form that makes it ideal for traveling with your tablet and phone. Though the white portable keyboard mimics the modern and clean look of Mac keyboards and TheJoyFactory labeles it for iPad and iPad 2, the keyboard worked with all devices we tested that had Bluetooth HID support smoothly.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard aims to be your traveling companion no matter which device you carry as long as they have Bluetooth. The keyboard is super slim measuring 10.4 x 5.0 x 0.4/0.5 inches, and weighs 10.4 ounces. It?s an inch shorter than the Logitech Bluetooth Tablet Keyboard and a lot smaller than the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Keyboard Dock. The keys on the Logitech tablet keyboard have more spacing thanks to the extra width, but the Arpeggio has slightly bigger keys than the Transformer keyboard.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard has an aluminum front plate with matte surfaced white keys that stand out from the background. The back of the keyboard has white plastic, and thanks to the four long rubber pads, the keyboard doesn?t slide on a table or other flat surface. Unlike the Logitech keyboard, the Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard doesn?t have added thickness on the back that creates a more comfortable angle for typing. Eve so, the keyboard is quite comfy to type on while it?s on a table or in your lap. The keyboard has a convenient power on/off button on the bottom and a connect button which you can poke with a pen to put the keyboard in pairing mode.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard is easy to pair. Turn on the power, press the Connect button with a pen until the front LED light flashes blue, use your phone or iPad to find the keyboard and enter the password given to pair and connect. We tested the keyboard with several phones including the iPhone 4 and Android phones, the iPad 2 and the HTC Jetstream Android Honeycomb tablet, all paired and connected with the keyboard easily. It?s handy that the keyboard has an LED for Bluetooth status, and it also has a small LED for battery status.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard offers excellent typing experience. The keys have very good tactile feedback, though travel isn?t very long, typing on it feels as good as typing on a Mac notebook?s keyboard. Spacing between the keys is just right, and it took us no time to fly on this keyboard. The keyboard has Shift keys on both sides in extra length, and both Back Space and Delete keys, nice! The 5-row keyboard has standard layout, and the Fn keys above the 5-row keys offer iPad/iPhone specific functions such as turning on/off the Home screen, launching universal search, multimedia playback controls, launching on-screen keyboard and more. We tested these keys with an iPad 2 and found they all worked as advertised, and this is where ?Made for Apple? advantage comes in. Some of these keys don?t work with Android tablets.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard also works with Mac desktop computers and includes the menu keys (fn, control, alt/option and command) found on a Mac notebook keyboard, but the fn and control keys switch places on the Arpeggio keyboard. Unlike the Logitech Bluetooth tablet keyboard, the Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard has built-in Lithium Ion Polymer battery that?s rechargeable via USB and it comes with a USB cable for charging only. The LED light on the F11 key indicates battery status and will turn red when battery life is low. Turn the power button off once you are done typing on the Arpeggio to conserve the battery which should last you months on a full charge.
The Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard from TheJoyFactory is very slim and light, yet it?s surprisingly comfortable to type on. The standard key layout, full Shift keys, both Delete and Back Space keys, and full set of menu keys give you an uncompromised typing experience on the go. It works with phones and tablets with Bluetooth, though has iPad/iPhone specific control keys, and it?s a choice for taking with you on the road. If you prefer keyboards with a big tilt angle, then the Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard doesn?t offer that. But thanks the good travel, appropriate spacing, and matte surface of the keys, the Arpeggio Bluetooth Keyboard is surprisingly easy and comfy to type one. The keyboard comes with a USB charging cable.