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GadgeTell Hands-On with the Touchfire keyboard skin for the iPad

Sections: Apple, Computers, Features, Mice / Keyboards, Mobile Computers, Peep Shows, Peripherals, Reviews

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What is being reviewed?

Up for review today is the Touchfire screen-top keyboard skin for the iPad. Some may remember this as a Kickstarter project. Regardless though, that project was a success and as of today, the keyboard has begun to ship out to those who backed the project and is also available for purchase for everyone else. The Touchfire is selling for $49.99. That bit aside, the folks behind the Touchfire were kind enough to send an early review unit for us to checkout so we have actually been using one for a few weeks now. Given that, we suppose it is just about the perfect time to share some thoughts on what we liked and what we didn’t like.

Disclaimer: The Touchfire keyboard skin was provided to GadgeTell for the purpose of this review.

My thoughts

The Touchfire keyboard skin is, well, interesting. It will fill a niche and it seems to work well enough. The reason for the interesting comment, while nice, I am not sure this will be for everyone. Me personally, I liked it and it did make typing on the iPad much easier and much nicer. That is not to say I could not live without one, but it certainly does help.

That brings us to the price, $49.99. And while I would not consider the $49.99 purchase price to be overly expensive, it may be more than a spur of the moment purchase for some. Some of the perks that are right upfront for me — the Touchfire works as advertised, it is easy to clean and maintain and given the way it folds and comes with a case — it travels well. Of course, for some users, say those with an iPad 2 or new iPad, that travel case can be rendered not necessary if you happen to have a Smart Cover. You see, the Smart Cover (along with the magnet system in the iPad) allows you to keep the keyboard skin attached –both to the cover and/or the iPad depending on your current needs. That said, it still works equally well on the original iPad.

Lets shift back to actual typing and getting some work done though. I would have to say that the Touchfire words as advertised — in that I can say that it makes it much easier to type on the iPad. I type all day long (being a blogger and all) and can comfortably type, which when I move over to an iPad — it would nornally become difficult because I can find the keys faster with my fingers than I can with my eyes. Given that, having the tactile feel on the iPad (from the Touchfire) — it makes typing at (near) regular speeds on the iPad an actual possibility.

Of course, I do want to point out that while it greatly improved my typing speed on the iPad — it was still not quite the same as me typing on my MacBook Air. But in reality, I would have been more surprised had that been the case. In short, the Touchfire is nice to have and makes getting work done on an iPad relatively pain free.

The bottom line

If you plan to get some work done on your iPad and are not all that happy about carrying a regular Bluetooth keyboard — the Touchfire should be something to consider. After all, it works reasonably well and is easy to travel with. Simply put, the Touchfire should be really nice for the person that wants to be able to create content on the iPad, but does not, or cannot travel with a regular external keyboard.

Product [Touchfire keyboard skin for the iPad]

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