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Jul 09 2012

Adonit Writer Plus Review

Last year I got the opportunity to review the original Adonit Writer for my first generation iPad. I found it to be a huge productivity boost and it was a holy grail moment for me.

Of course, that was 2 iPads ago! Moving to the new generation iPad has given me the opportunity to play with some other accessories and keyboards. Even with lots of other options, I found myself missing the Writer.

Luckily, Adonit has brought their game to the next generation iPad with the new Writer Plus – Keyboard and folio for iPad 3” target=”_blank”>Writer Plus.

The brief description isn’t much different than my last review. iPad folio style case, bluetooth keyboard, magnets…blah, blah, blah.

Wait, what do you mean you didn’t read my first review? Couldn’t you humor me and make me feel like I have a dedicated fan? Sigh.

Okay, let me hit the basics again to bring you up to speed.

The Writer has a plastic frame which the iPad slots into. It has cutouts for the iPad’s switches, plugs and the camera eye so you can do just about anything with the iPad installed in the Writer. Of course, if you do need to remove the iPad to do something that doesn’t quite work while it is installed, (like connecting the Camera Connection Kit), the iPad pops out quickly and easily.

The folio portion of the Writer is made of a different material than the original Writer. It is smoother, has a bit of a sheen to it and does not collect dirt and fingerprints like the original. The review unit I received is what Adonit calls “turquoise”. How did they know that I am originally from the Southwest? They have this color and red if the basic black is not to your taste. My review unit did have some small threads hanging from the edge of the case that were a bit annoying.

I really like the fact that the Writer Plus will fold open completely flat. This makes the Writer usable in laptop format but also in portrait format. This tiny, little feature makes the Writer Plus much more useful than some other keyboard cases that are available.

Unfolded completely flat

The keyboard has been changed slightly from the original in a couple of key ways, (sorry for the pun). First, they have gone to a through-hole design approach like Apple uses for their wireless keyboard. The keys are still scissor action and have a really good feel to them. The function keys have all the same iPad focused F keys as the previous Writer (home, search, photo frame, show onscreen keyboard, audio and brightness controls, as well as shut down) but they have added dedicated cut, copy paste buttons. This is a wonderful addition!

I do wish that Adonit would move the sleep button location on the keyboard. I tend to put the iPad to sleep when I am in a hurry to backspace.

Adonit is just as picky as you are about your iPad screen and their folio only makes contact with the glass on the very edge where two standoffs keep the keys from pressing on the glass. Very well thought out.

Corner keyboard standoffs

The keyboard now features an internal, rechargeable battery which is a huge improvement over the AAA batteries in the original. It uses a micro USB connector for charging and the keyboard will run for about 2 weeks between charges.

The keyboard is also thinner than the original, and in a very interesting twist is actually removable!

REALLY thin!

The keyboard just pulls off of a tongue and groove type attachment slot that works well and is very stable.

If you can’t find a comfortable position to type just pull the keyboard off and put it wherever you want. Because the Writer Plus uses magnets to lock itself into place, removing the keyboard does take away some of the stability of its stand aspects.

Oh yes…those magnets. One of my main annoyances with the original Writer was the loop closure to keep the folio closed. Nixed on the new Writer. It seals via magnets which, of course, puts the iPad2 or the new iPad to sleep.

Those magnets are what are used to set the angle of the Writer when you set it up to type. They are not infinitely adjustable but tend to fall into three distinct positions.

Conclusions:

All of the changes that have been implemented on the new Writer are positive. The keyboard, though slightly different, is still excellent and having the slight separation in the keys helped my accuracy on the slightly smaller than average keybed.

I vastly prefer the rechargeable battery approach on this and that little twist of being able to remove the keyboard adds a little bit of something when you are struggling to find an efficient way to work in an inefficient space.

I have reviewed a huge quantity of keyboarding devices for the iPad, but for my money nothing tops the Writer Plus. If you are serious about getting more work out of your iPad, do yourself a favor and grab one today. You will not be sorry.

Writer Plus – Keyboard and folio for iPad 3” target=”_blank”>Adonit Writer Plus $99-$109

Adonit
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1 comment

1 ping

  1. Jeff Mac

    I try not to carry specific chargers, but I always have a micro USB cable in my traveling kit.

    If you couple it with a multi USB outlet charger it is a good way to address the issue.

    I end up charging my keyboard on this about once a week to stay ahead.

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