Adonit successfully united a Bluetooth keyboard with a folio case and called it the Writer 2. Our review of the Writer 2 was full of positives and negatives, and at the end we ultimately wished for a better keyboard. Since then, Adonit has gone back to the drawing board and came up with the Writer Plus. Its got the same great concept with a whole lot of pluses. Forget about the Writer 2, this is the keyboard folio we've asked for. Catch the full review after the jump!
The Writer Plus is tucked inside amazing packaging, the same exact packaging that came with the Writer 2 in fact. But what you'll be unboxing this time around is entirely different. The Writer Plus comes with its own USB to micro-USB cable along with some helpful documentation. It gets better when you find out that you won't be needing any triple AAA batteries with this sucker, because the Writer Plus can power itself without your help. I say hallelujah to that.
Adonit listened to all of the drawbacks and criticism we all had regarding the Writer 2 it seems. Starting with the most important aspect, the built-in Bluetooth keyboard. The Writer Plus now carries within itself a rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard that's slimmer than the original version, and it's still made out of aluminum. That alone is a big positive. The built-in rechargeable battery will last you two weeks on a single charge. It's true, we've put it thru the test and it still hasn't completely drained from the first charge.
And because the Writer Plus carried with it much greatness, it'll automatically wake and put your iPad to sleep thanks to a magnetic closure that is strong enough and secure to keep all that junk in its trunk when on the go. But it also looks after itself by putting the Bluetooth keyboard to sleep, conserving battery.
How about a detachable bluetooth keyboard? Why thank you, that sounds pretty good to me. And why not? Adonit wanted to put the Plus in Writer Plus to good use. Having a detachable Bluetooth keyboard can really come in handy. It's slim enough, extremely rigid and rechargeable so you can use it with almost any Bluetooth enabled device. AS far as Bluetooth connectivity goes, the Writer Plus' Bluetooth keyboard has proven to be most reliable. Not once has it dropped connection and is free of any lag. The Writer Plus instantly and simultaneously wakes up both the iPad and the built-in keyboard so you can start to type your passcode write away. It's that fast, painless and easy.
Pairing up both of these gadgets is also quick and effortless. Press that power on button to start up the paring process for the first time and a green LED light will come on showing you that you're paired and that the Bluetooth keyboard is powered on. Though I should point out that there isn't any way of known how much battery is left. If you want to completely turn off the Writer Plus' keyboard, there's an on/off switch around the bottom of the keyboard.
The best is saved for last. Adonit has finally done what we've all been asking for, a spacious keyboard. Look at all that spaciousness going on. The keyboard layout is now much more spaced out like it should have been from the get go. So another plus for that, Adonit. The chubby keys of the Writer 2 were scrubbed off for these chiclet style keys you'd find on that of a Apple Wireless Keyboard. Not exactly as identical, but close enough. After all they are a bit smaller still due to the compact form factor.
The keyboard is a big improvement over the predecessor. It's more spacious, removable and better than ever. Or so it seems. The keyboard is what held back the original Writer folio from being the perfect keyboard case for the iPad 2. Writer Plus improved upon the drawbacks and is now what the original Writer should have been. There is however, a new issue that has surfaced with this new and improved keyboard. It's a lot easier to type on, but will still require a bit of adjusting. There are newly added cut, copy and paste keys, but I would rather have brightness keys instead if I'm honest.
With the Writer Plus at my disposal for about a month now and after spending quality time typing away (part of this review is was typed with the new keyboard), I noticed that my fingers would slightly get clipped by the keyboard's aluminum unibody frame. Upon closer look, I noticed that each time a key is being pressed, it would dive deep beyond the aluminum frame causing the finger to meet with the sharp edges of the key frame. If you type fast, you'll notice this indefinitely. And it isn't very pleasing unfortunately.
Though if you're a novice typist, then you shouldn't experience this. But who is these days? As much as I hate to say this, Adonit has replaced their wonder keyboard full of fluffy keys with one that has anorexic keys that don't feel as great to type on weirdly enough. Though they are tactile in every way. In any case, it might be more of a personal preference.
Other than some enhancements, the Writer Plus retained its Writer 2 good exterior looks with that black, rubber cover which feels like a more grippier version of the polyurethane Smart Cover. Cutouts are all in place and allow full access to everything. Though it is worth mentioning that the rubbery exterior still attracts and shows dust and lint very easily, but thankfully the Writer Plus is available in both red and blue colors as well. The black and silver Writer Plus will set you back $99.99 while the red and blue colors are priced at $109.99.
The Writer Plus has the same magnetic strip that allows you to easily adjust the viewing angle of the screen by sliding the keyboard across the magnetic felt pad of the Writer Plus. While the magnets are strong enough to secure each angle at a rigid position, I was disappointed to find out that the built-in keyboard will no longer slide out and fold out with the flap of the folio when opened up. A tad bit of inconvenience and nothing more.
Should you invest in getting one of these for your iPad 2? Well it's tough to recommend only because the newly improved keyboard still has its own faults. At least that is the case with our particular review unit. With that being said, the Writer Plus brings much needed improvements over the Writer 2. Unless Adonit does something about the keys and strengthening them to be more rigid so that they don't fall below the aluminum frame, the Writer Plus isn't the perfect keyboard case you'd want to get. We will be sure to update if we hear better news from Adonit regarding our findings.
Update: Just as we thought, our review unit was an early "prototype" and Adonit has indeed fixed the keyboard keys to depress less in current production Writer Plus keyboard cases. "We have addressed the issue in our productions models and the key depression is less dramatic." So by all means, if you want to get a solid keyboard folio case, the Writer Plus is one of the best there is.