Review: Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
Brydge's new BrydgeMini II is an aluminum Bluetooth keyboard ($130) for iPad mini 4. The keyboard's design, like other Brydge keyboards, contains two cushioned hinges to hold an iPad mini — the hinges can be moved to display the iPad at any angle up to 180 degrees. When folded in completely, BrydgeMini II covers the screen of the iPad mini 4, but it does leave the back and sides of the device exposed. Brydge claims the keyboard's battery life is three months before it needs recharging — a USB charging cable is included. BrydgeMini II comes in silver, space gray, or gold.
BrydgeMini II weighs about .75 pounds, and its size matches up perfectly with an iPad mini 4, making it look like a folded book with the device when not in use. The two padded hinges work as well as you’d hope, holding the iPad mini securely and moving back and forth with ease when proper pressure is applied. Those hinges are placed just outside of the iPad mini 4’s screen, so the display isn’t blocked in any way. BrydgeMini II’s power switch and Bluetooth button are found on the front-facing side of the keyboard. A micro-USB port for recharging is located on the left side of the keyboard. Overall, BrydgeMini makes for a nice, clean, attractive package when paired with a mini 4 — it looks like a miniature laptop.
As always, when dealing with an iPad mini keyboard, a company is required to make decisions due to the limited space. BrydgeMini II has six rows of backlit keys — the top row is used for shortcuts. The majority of BrydgeMini II’s keys are close to “full” size, but as you reach the sides of the keyboard, the keys shrink. Sometimes this shrinkage is dramatic — the combined tab/caps lock key is a mere sliver. BrydgeMini II uses a number of these “combined” keys, such as the dash button being coupled with the plus/minus button. That’s when another “combined key” — function/control — comes into play. All things considered, though, Brydge’s decision works out pretty well, as BrydgeMini II felt pretty good to us when typing. We didn’t get as many errors as we expected. Writers who plan on frequently using quotation marks might be perturbed, however.
BrydgeMini II is a well-designed keyboard for iPad mini 4. The typing experience is pretty good — when considering the typical iPad mini limitations — and the keyboard is a lightweight, attractive option. On the downside, BrydgeMini II offers very little protection for an iPad mini, and most importantly, it’s pretty expensive. Spending $130 on a less-than-ideal typing experience is probably a non-starter for many users. But for those looking for a top-rate iPad mini 4 keyboard, BrydgeMini II might just be your best bet.