The more I review compact keyboards and keyboard folios, the more I am inclined to believe that the best keyboard for an iPad is no keyboard. The new Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard (US$84.00) added ammunition to that argument.
The Ultra-Slim keyboard is typical of its class: it is small, lightweight, has good battery life, and connects to your iPad or iPhone through Bluetooth. In fact, the Ultra-Slim is probably the slimmest and lightest (6.9 ounces) Bluetooth keyboard I've seen. And that's exactly where I have a problem with it.
Make no mistake: the Ultra-Slim is perfect if you want the lightest possible keyboard around for Mac, iPhone, or iPad. But my concern is that so much effort went into making this keyboard compact that it's almost impossible to use. My current gold standard for keyboards is the Apple Wireless Keyboard. The one I have has given me years of flawless service, I can type quickly and accurately on it, and it's compact enough that it has traveled with me on trips where I want to use a keyboard with my iPad.
The Apple Wireless Keyboard is just a bit over 11 inches wide, and a little over 5 inches deep. The keys are nicely spaced both horizontally and vertically, and it's a fantastic keyboard for fast typing. Now let's look at the Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard. It jams approximately the same number of keys into a keyboard just over 8.5" wide and about 4.5 inches deep. As a result, there's no spacing between the keys at all, and it's quite easy to accidentally press two or more keys -- even with small hands like I have!
How small is that keyboard? Well, if you hold up the Verbatim Ultra-Slim next to the virtual keyboard on the iPad, they're about the same size. There's a hint here, folks -- if you think the iPad's keyboard is too small, then the Ultra-Slim is going to be too small for you as well.