Apple products tend to have functional elegance and beauty. This is evident in everything from small items like their headphones to larger ones like their iMac desktop computers. Every now and then, however, even Apple’s designers have an off day and produce an odd-duck clunker. Last year, that odd duck was the keyboard dock for the iPad. I pre-ordered one sight-unseen expecting it to be a slick and functional product design that would let me fold up a full-size keyboard for use with my iPad for heavy duty writing. Its design also made it impossible to use it with an iPad in Apple’s own carrying case (for the iPad “1″).
Instead, I was shocked to see something that looked like a mutant Klingon weapon with a heavy base (enough to hurt someone), a fixed iPad dock angle, and no possible way to easily carry it. There was no way to easily stick it in a briefcase or backpack given its odd design and things poking out in several angles and places.
The fixed docking angle meant that adjusting it for your viewing comfort meant either putting it on top of something, adjust your chair, or contorting your back and neck in some uncomfortable position. Like many people, I ended up buying an Apple Wireless Keyboard (Bluetooth) and a case which adjusted itself to multiple viewing angles.
The iPad “1″ keyboard dock was quietly discontinued at some point in time. I do not know when. But, I noticed it was missing when looking at a list of iPad accessories on Apple’s online store.