I’ve been trying to see what works best for typing on the iPad. When I bought it I also got the keyboard dock. After using it once or twice I found that I didn’t like the fact that it held the iPad in a portrait orientation (tall rather than like a normal widescreen TV). I’ve found the widescreen to be much more useful for reading and going through my GMail.
Dave Delaney hooked me up when I mentioned this on Marketing Over Coffee, and sent over a Griffin A-Frame. It’s a nice heavy duty frame but I had seen a different model they make, the Loop, and wanted to check that out too. So, here are the final stats:
Keyboard Dock – 20 oz (note: I am using a really crummy food scale so these numbers may be way off, but they are good enough for relative measures), $60 as of this writing from Amazon. This can be your complete solution if you don’t mind looking at it in portrait orientation all the time. Another benefit – it requires no power so you won’t be foiled by dead batteries.
Bluetooth Keyboard – 10 oz. $69, that weight is including the 2 batteries it takes. I was surprised how light it was. You now add the risk of dead batteries, but if you go with a Griffin stand, now you can view the screen in Landscape orientation
Griffin Loop – 12 oz. $29.99. A single solid plastic loop that is a bit taller than the A-Frame stand, but considerably lighter
Griffin A-Frame – 17 oz. $49.99 (retail, $36.99 on Amazon as of this writing). It’s rock solid, but heavier and more expensive. It does look more heavyweight than the Loop and it folds down to be flatter. I’d consider that a benefit for travel except that I prefer the weight reduction of the Loop over an inch space saving.
End result: I’ve gone with the bluetooth keyboard and the loop. I think it’s worth the extra $30 to get a landscape view, and it’s only 2 oz. more than the keyboard dock. There is the battery risk, but it can also be used with a Mac to recycle it, the keyboard dock is a paperweight for anything but an iPad. The A-Frame is nice but more money and weight are the deal breakers for me.