One of the regular deals making the rounds via Groupon and other discount sites is the Vibe Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case and Stand for the iPad mini. I decided to risk $22 to try it for my mini, and I'm pleasantly surprised by its performance.
The Vibe has a rechargeable battery that powers its built-in Bluetooth transmitter. When I first received the keyboard, I charged the battery using the power cord that came in the box. I then paired the keyboard with my mini.
Typing is a little cramped, as you would expect for a small keyboard, but after a few minutes, I was doing just fine. The aluminum keyboard has a metal protrusion near the spacebar that serves as a latch if you use it as a cover for the iPad. The protrusion does interfere a bit with using the spacebar. I'm working around it now, but it did bother me in the beginning. I learned that if I use my left thumb for the spacebar, I rarely have a problem,
I really like the blue function keys that control screen brightness, volume, search, home screen, and more. I find them easier to use than tapping on the glass when the iPad is positioned upward in the slot on the keyboard that serves as its stand.
Because they communicate via Bluetooth, however, you don't have to use the Vibe as a stand. I sometimes use my leather case as a stand with the keyboard positioned in front of it. I find that more comfortable.
You can use this device as a cover too. It locks into place over the iPad's screen. I don't use it that way because I don't want the keys in contact with the glass. So I continue to use my soft case for the iPad and just carry the keyboard separately. And because it's so thin and light, finding room for the keyboard in my shoulder bag hasn't been a problem.
Overall, I've been quite happy with the Vibe as both a part-time stand and keyboard for the iPad mini. It works as advertised, seems to have quality construction, and looks good too.
If you run across a Vibe online at a good price, you'll probably enjoy using it.
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