iPad mini: Bluetooth Keyboards' Growing Market Expands

By Cory Orlando | Dec 13, 2012 10:57 AM EST

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The accessories market for the iPad mini is a burgeoning one and is presently not as vast as that for the iPad. However, many companies are already preparing new accessories like keyboards, mice, and cases to customize iPad mini to growing consumer needs.

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The demand for an optional physical keyboard for the original iPad increased over the years. Throughout the iPad mini's first month of launch, demand was growing for another option to the tablet's touchscreen-only option for typing.

Currently, three companies are filling that demand this holiday season by releasing bluetooth keyboards exclusively for iPad mini. These third-party keyboards from makers Belkin, Zagg, and iPad mini mod combine durability with sleek design, without adding extra bulk to the already thin and light iPad mini.

iPad mini mod claims it can turn your iPad mini into "macbook" mini by using the company's new keyboard case. This bluetooth keyboard retails for $39.90 with shipping options in time for the holidays and is available in full black or silver white options. Many of the features are as follows:

     - Aircraft-grade aluminum with a bead-blasted, anodized finish that matches the iPad mini
     - Innovative spring-released flap supports iPad mini securely in either profile or landscape orientation
     - Stylish, think and lightweight
     - Recharagable Li-on battery (stand-by time: 60 days, working on full charge: approx. 55 hours depending on usage)
     - Physical keys to provide tactile feedback
     - Large, flat base allows for use on a soft or uneven surface such as a lap or on a bed
     - Special function keys: Home key functions like the home buttons on iPad mini
     - Remove the iPad mini from the keyboard case and your iPad mini automatically wakes up. Place it back and your iPad mini goes to sleep

Zagg gives two different keyboards for iPad mini users to choose from - the mini 7 and mini 9 - which are available only in black. The mini 7 model is a more compact bluetooth keyboard featuring greater finger space with island-style keys. The mini 9 model features the same island-style keyboard but is designed to give the traditional Zagg tablet keyboard feel. Both models retail for $89.99 and are sold from the Zagg Web site. The keyboards pack in the following:

     - Durable keyboard case that protects iPad mini from scratches
     - Sleek and unique layout provide maximum finger space in a compact bluetooth keyboard
     - Intuitive built-in stand holds iPad mini as ideal viewing angle
     - Dedicated special function keys
     - Rechargeable lithium polymer battery will keep keyboard powered for months at a time

Belkin has designed many mobile cases and accessories and its iPad mini case is no exception to the company's trademark ultra-portable and sleek designs. Belkin's keyboard case retails for $79.99 and is sold through the Belkin Web site. It is available only in black andincludes the following:

     - Well-spaced keys with tactile feedback for accurate typing
     - Shortcut keys for easy media control
     - Durable exterior and soft inner lining
     - Keyboard folds flat when not in use, making it ideal for on the go
     - 155 hours of active battery life
     - Camera-lens cutout

Which iPad mini keyboard do you think reigns supreme this holiday season?

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