Sunday, November 17, 2019

Part of me is tempted to try a keyboard case like this one, and part of me thinks I have enough useless things. There's at least two variants by various mostly generic vendors, Procase just happens to be one of the cheaper offerings with USB-C charging support.

My experience with keyboards and tablets have been a touch spotty, given my taste in device size versus my requirements for a keyboard. The smallest that I find really useful for a keyboard are models like Logitech's K380, and their old K810. Which is about as full size a keyboard as you can get while ditching the keys that don't really matter, and settling for laptop style arrow keys.

Device wise, I've usually favored smaller. One of my most heavily used tablets was the Galaxy Note 8.0, but it was useless with a keyboard case. An external keyboard like the K810 works beautifully, but a 16:10 tablet just yields a useless keyboard if you make it fit a case. An 8" wide case means the keyboard will be so ridiculously cramped that you're better off using the touch screen keyboard^.

The only good thing about 10" widescreen tablets were their screen size overlapped with the smallest you could squish a laptop keyboard down and expect it to be worth typing on. The 9.7" standard tablets I've had push that down a peg, but aren't useless. Using the keyboard case that Zagg made for the Tab S2, I found it a bit too cramped to really want to use seriously, but at least it was large enough to be useful rather than counter productive.

When I look at the size difference between my K810 and my 11" iPad Pro, I contemplate where this winds up. I've usually found 12"/4:3 laptops a rather a touch cramped.

One of the differences, I think is also the OS. In Android, using Gboard I generally could write a couple dozen paragraphs on my Tab S2 and Tab S3 without caring about the touch screen; throw in glide/swype typing using an S-Pen and I was damned efficient. Rather using keyboards with Android was more important for tasks like bash and vim sessions over SSH.

On the other hand, the way iOS works for editing text using Apple's keyboard: I'm inclined to think that text editing on an iPad was more of a scream at the top of your lungs and beat people with a stick kind of necessary for iOS 12; in iOS 13, it's not as bad but due to the buggy'ass nature of Apple's on screen keyboard, I would still say use a keyboard. It's like the most important iPad accessory, where as for an Android device, I would say a real (i.e. Wacom based) stylus is the most important accessory.

So I find myself wondering if it'll actually be worth it. The lossage to keyboard space is worrisome but it's much closer to normal than other tablets I've owned, and if I had gone with the 12.9" behmeth, I wouldn't even be contemplating the question since its so huge ^_^. But in my head, I figure if all else fails, I could velcro a real keyboard to the thing, and if I really wanted to get jiggy I could put my dock and hard drive on the back in a similar fashion.

In any event: the case would be getting removed and attached fairly often. The little magnetic case I use with my Pro, mostly serves for times when I want a stand to go and when I want a little more protection at work. At home, my device pretty much runs naked unless I'm using the case for a stand at my desk, and I prefer my devices naked.

^ To be fair, I also feel the same way about sliders. My HTC Doubleshot's keyboard didn't make up for the dinky 3.7" screen, and I was better off with the Galaxy SIII's 4.8" screen in every single sense of typing shit.

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