The iPad mini is one of my favorite devices. It’s compact, it’s lightweight, and it has a lot of the speed and features of its larger siblings. I like to use keyboards on my iPads, so when Inateck asked if I wanted to try out their new BK2002 Keyboard Case for iPad mini 1/2/3 (US$29.99, affiliate link), I jumped at the chance.
Most keyboard cases follow a similar design meme: they have a polycarbonate shell that holds onto the iPad in landscape mode, and a Bluetooth keyboard to type on. There are openings for all of the various switches, ports and camera, and everything closes clamshell-like to protect the keyboard and iPad when not in use.
The Inateck BK2002 uses magnets to hold the iPad mini into two different positions, each with a slightly different angle. Once the mini has been propped up into one of the positions, the magnets automatically turn the keyboard on. There’s no need to flip a switch to turn it either on or off; it’s all done for you.
Like most iPad mini keyboards, the keys are somewhat cramped. But that comes with the territory — if you’re going to type on an iPad mini, you just get used to typing on a very small keyboard. The stickler is that some keyboards put keys in unfamiliar places, where your fingers and muscle memory don’t hit the correct keys so you mistype thing.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with most of the keys on the Inateck BK2002. About the only issue you’ll have is with some punctuation marks like the single and double quotes, slash and backslash, and so on. On this keyboard, those are accessed by pressing a function key and then one of the alphanumeric keys (Fn-K is the question mark, Fn-L is the single quote, and so on).
The keyboard has a full set of number keys on the top row, as well as special function keys for iOS that are accessed by pressing Fn and one of the number keys. Tab and Caps Lock are also accessed via a function key combination.
The shift key on the left side of the keyboard is rather small, but is more than compensated for by the larger shift key on the right side. There are also the usual compliment of other keys like Command, Alt/Option, and Control, as well as an arrow key pad.
Pairing of the keyboard is a cinch. Once the iPad mini is placed inside the case and it has propped up in a typing orientation, two LEDs — one green and one blue — light up briefly. The green one indicates that power is good, while the blue one is used to designate Bluetooth connectivity. Pairing is done by briefly pressing Fn-Z, which causes the blue LED to blink. Going to Bluetooth in Settings on the iPad mini shows the Inateck BK2002 device, and tapping on that device starts the pairing.
You’re asked to type in a pairing code on the keyboard followed by the Enter key, and then the connection is complete.
I found typing on the keyboard to actually be quite easy once I found the index finger “dots” that align the hand properly on the keys. My only issues came with typing those pesky punctuations like the single quote or question mark, since my fingers aren’t used to having to type a function-key combo to type those. But within minutes I was actually hitting the combinations properly without looking at the keyboard.
The left shift key is almost too small to use and I cannot undo over 50 years of using my left pinky to shift, so I really had some issues with capitalization of words. Once again, it’s just a matter of getting used to.
The Inateck BK2002 is inexpensive, easy to pair, and has good key action. For anyone with an iPad mini 1/2/3 who wants a keyboard that works well, the BK2002 is definitely worth your consideration. Just realize that it’s not a full-size keyboard and you’ll soon be typing your Great American Novel on an iPad mini!