1.03.2013

Coffee Talk: a virtual laser keyboard option for a new ipad

This holiday season I caved in and broke down.  Caved to more than 10 years of being Apple free.  Our teenage daughter was in need of a new laptop and after hearing her older sister sing praises about her mandatory-for-her-college ipad, we relented and got the Teenager an ipad for her birthday.   Last night I took at a look at it and all the 'fun' things she was doing with it and reminded her;  "You know, Dad and I expect you to use this for school too, right?  Not just fun things?  Like... use it for book reports and English papers."  

Which led to me asking a very stupid question, but not being an ipad-fan, I had to ask it.  "It does have an on screen keyboard... right?"

Which in turn led to a discussion about it having one, but "not a very good one and not very useable".  And how she said we'd have to get one of the little keyboards to plug into it.  (I'll touch more on this topic in a bit.)

So that, my friends is where this mornings Coffee Talk comes from.  My daughter's new ipad and me remembering that this Fall, thumbing through a random catalog that was sent to our home, I saw a virtual laser keyboard that looked really cool; and I set off to find one this morning online to learn more about them.

Almost overwhelmingly I've found all searches tend to come back to this one;  the Celluon Magic Cube Virtual Keyboard - Celluon MAGICCUBE.

  • English QWERTY keyboard layout 
  • Compact size for portability
  • Non-mechanical optical mechanism for superior durability 
  • Built-in lithium polymer rechargeable battery for mobility and convenience 
  • Compatible with latest operating systems: iOS 4 and later, Mac OS 10 and later, Android 2.2 and later, Windows XP/Vista/7 and later, and any device with Bluetooth HID support. 
  • A full-sized keyboard layout with multi-touch mouse capability 
  • Works on most flat, opaque surface 
  • Compact, ultra-portable moblie input solution 
  • Easy connection via Bluetooth or USB 
  • No driver installation required for HID supported devices
Basically, the little cube projects a laser keyboard onto any flat surface and you type as normally do.  The reviews I've read on numerous different sites tend to agree that for most people the installation is quick and easy.  It's a plug-in and play type technology and after you get used to it (and it to you), you can type with the speed you would normally on a click-clack regular keyboard. 

They also claim that because it's Bluetooth enabled, the laser projection keyboard works not only with an ipad, but with tablets, smartphones and most laptops.

I said I would get back to the topic of the built in keyboard that is on the ipad.  I also did some reading on that this morning while I sipped my coffee and realize that for most people that aren't doing a great deal of 8 hours a day typing, the ipad keyboard works just fine.  I suspect my daughter is just Jonesing for a cute little keyboard accessory to go with her new 'toy'.   At an average of $99 - $125 the laser keyboard isn't cheap, but it isn't overtly expensive either.  Worth a try perhaps, especially if you can get free shipping through Amazon or another site. 




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