Apple’s infamous iPad which was introduced earlier this year has revolutionized computing and virtually created the now exploding tablet computing industry. For style, weight, and perhaps other rationale—the iPad’s primary text input is via the soft-keyboard which pops up whenever you need to type. The keyboard is laid out well and the textual input is intuitive, but in spite of those bonuses it’s still easier, more comfortable, and quicker to input text with a hard, sturdy, physical keyboard.

Apple knows this. That is why they offer a $70 bluetooth keyboard and a similarly priced keyboard/docking station. In spite of how the advertising makes it appear, a customer need not rely on expensive and overpriced bluetooth wireless keyboards. Apple actually sells a product that allows you to connect a wired or wireless keyboard via USB. The problem is that Apple markets this product not as a keyboard connector, but rather as the Apple Camera Connection Kit. This kit features 2 different adapters to ostensibly allow you to download pictures from your camera. One of them is an SD card reader, and the other is a USB adapter for connecting your camera to, both adapters connect to the iPad’s 30-pin dock connector.

If not otherwise using your 30 pin dock connector, the USB adapter allows you to connect USB devices other than your camera, including but not limited to USB keyboards. When first connecting a USB keyboard in this manner a brief message comes up (click here to view), likely only for non-Apple keyboards, which warns that use of this device is not supported. Once that is acknowledged, the keyboard functions just fine for all text input. This can work perfectly for composing emails, typing out notes, or using many great iPad apps like Apple’s own Pages app for your word processing needs. (NOTE: When using with a standard KVM switch, if the keyboard does in fact function, this error message is shown every time you switch back to this port on the KVM. With ConnectPRO’s PLUS series KVM switches, you only receive this message on first connection, not everytime you switch to this port.)

Like many other iPad users, you might already have another computer, or other computers, which you already use for such things. There’s no need to buy a new keyboard, if you like the one you’re already using, because such things can be shared with the use of a KVM switch. KVM switches are used to share a Keyboard, Mouse, and Video display between several computers. If you’ve already been using one, or are interested in using one, these also work with your iPad, allowing you to switch your keyboard between your iPad and other computers. ConnectPRO’s UR-12+ and UR-14+ KVM switches are ideal for this and have been tested to work with wired and wireless USB keyboards.

Other switches might work as well, but ConnectPRO’s DDM technology makes switching between your computer and iPad all the more simpler. Other non-DDM switches work too, but every time you switch to the iPad you’re faced with another pesky Not Supported warning. The DDM technology in ConnectPRO’s PLUS series KVM switches provides a constant communication with the iPad and every other computer, so regardless of what port the KVM is switched to all the connected systems still know that the keyboard is connected, and subsequently don’t have to redetect the keyboard or keyboard and mouse whenever their port is switched to.

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