Cherry may not be the most high profile of computer accessory companies, but the German owned manufacturer has been developing and producing keyboards since 1967. The KW 6000 is their latest model, which embraces both Bluetooth wireless technology and Apple's best selling iPad. With a slightly smaller footprint than Apple's iMac keyboard, the KW 6000 is clearly aimed at those on the move who want to improve productivity without much additional weight or bulk. As a desktop companion it's also neat enough to sit just about anywhere. Visit Group test: what's the best tablet PC accessory?
After charging via the supplied USB cable, the keyboard needs to be 'introduced' to your iPad, a painless process that is made even simpler by only needing to be done once. A small connect button on the back of the keyboard needs to be held down briefly for the two to be introduced before the iPad asks for a Bluetooth confirmation code to be entered. The process takes less than a minute and has the potential to save hours using a real keyboard rather than Apple's virtual one. Writing anything for any length on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch is frankly slow, tedious and prone to making errors, something that Apple acknowledged with the introduction of the Dictation key on its virtual keyboard. See also Group test: What's the best tablet PC
The KW 6000 keyboard feels responsive and comfortable during extended use, although it lies flat to your work service rather than slightly raised, which may be an issue from some. The keyboard also lacks a built in iPad stand or dock so you'll need someway of keeping your screen in view during use. Battery life appears to be good, we are still typing on the initial charge after a few days, and you can turn the keyboard off when not in use. Despite a decent built quality, the keyboard lacks a dedicated sleeve or cover, which would be useful for additional protection when travelling or in storage.
The Cherry KW 6000 is solid choice for iPad users demanding a little more from their tablets, particularly those who wish to study or have business needs. It makes the time-consuming process of typing with one finger on a virtual keyboard redundant, and until voice activated dictation matures, that has to be a good thing.