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Modifying the adonit Writer Plus Keyboard for iPad mini

I’ve always wanted to take advantage of the detachable keyboard on the Writer Plus, but it was only recently that I was forced to figure out how to really make use of it.

Typing on the iPad mini’s software keyboard is far more comfortable than typing on the iPad 2, but I still need a hardware keyboard to write properly and comfortably for long periods of time. The Logitech Keyboard Case still has the most comfortable keys of any tablet keyboard I’ve used thus far, but the sheer size of that accessory simply dwarfs the tiny iPad mini. Bringing that keyboard around with this smaller tablet just feels silly.

My other go-to keyboard case, the Writer Plus, was designed for the iPad 2’s shape and size, so the folio portion of the case is simply much too big for the 7.9″ iPad mini. The detachable keyboard works beautifully with my mini, but it doesn’t work nearly as well outside of the folio it was designed for – the keyboard lacks any sort of rubber feet to keep it from slipping and sliding on desks, and the power switch is completely inaccessible without long nails (or a handy ballpoint pen). Fortunately, this was something I could do something about.

I decided to address the slipperiness by cutting microfiber cloth into strips and taping them to the underside of the keyboard. This works surprisingly well and adds just enough friction when used on glass, metal, and wooden tables to keep the keyboard from sliding around while I type. It isn’t terribly pretty, but it’s totally stable, and it works.

Addressing the recessed power switch was a little more challenging. The switch is located along the bottom of the device, and is most easily manipulated with the tip of a ballpoint pen (or a good three minutes of scratching at it with a nail). My roommate helped me “fix” this switch by cutting off the sharp end of a plastic flossing tool and using crazy glue to wedge it into the hole of the keyboard’s power switch. The result is a small plastic notch that I can easily flick with any of my (short) nails, but isn’t so large that it keeps the keyboard from sitting flat on the table.

I’m very happy to have finally found a way to make full use of the Writer Plus’ detachable keyboard. This iPad Mini writing kit is preposterously light, fits into all of my bags, and works beautifully in conjunction with my Smart Cover. I’m still hoping that adonit or Logitech will create a more novel iPad keyboard in the months to come, but even if that never happens, I’ll still be typing happily away on this modified Writer Plus setup.

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