My New Mobile Workstation

For a while now I’ve carried my iPad most places I go, when out and about. In the very beginning I would carry an Apple Wireless Keyboard with it, for better typing on the go. Then, at some point, my touchscreen typing got fast enough I couldn’t justify the hassle of carrying the keyboard, for the small amount of typing I was doing.

Lately though, I’ve been writing a lot more on my iPad, so started to use the wireless keyboard again, at least, I did when i was at home. At home I could leave the iPad in its dock, and happily type away. In fact, almost a year ago, this was pretty much my main computing setup1. Away from home though, I still wasn’t carrying the keyboard, as I was finding the wireless keyboard was getting damaged in transit; as nice as those Apple keyboards are, they are not the cheapest.

This ended up frustrating me. I was using the iPad mostly when I was away from home, but only had the best typing experience when I was at my desk – so I’d be as well just using my Mac. After a bit of a look around I decided an integrated cover/keyboard were probably the way to go, even if it did seem a bit redundant given I already had a good keyboard, and would have to take the iPad out of the case to sit it in the dock.

Fortuitously at this point The Verge published a lengthy review of the best iPad keyboards. I started looking at a couple of the Logitech case/keyboard products, as they seemed the best of the “combination” types. Later though I noticed a link buried in the review of the Apple keyboard, to the InCase Origami Workstation (also pictured in the review header image). Once I had found this, I knew I had my solution.

The Origami Workstation is a case for your Apple Keyboard. Yes, that’s right, a separate case for your keyboard. It gets its name from its ability to be folded – “origami-style” – into a stand for your iPad. Because your iPad doesn’t connect into the case in any way you can comfortably use it with your iPad still in its covering (the original Smart Cover in my case). The next day I headed to the Apple Store and picked up my own Origami Workstation for £20 – much cheaper than buying a combined case/keyboard.

I’ve used it a few times around town now, and it’s quite frankly great. The Workstation keeps the keyboard safe from travel damage, prevents it from slipping around, and holds up the iPad at a comfortable angle. Usually I’ll have the iPad in portrait orientation2 as it is more “page-like”, which seems to encourage me to write more, but in some cases (usually email) I will sit it in landscape. This mobile setup3 is helping me to Get Stuff Written©, finally. Time will tell how well the cover holds up to constant carrying around amongst the other contents of my bag, but so far there’s not a mark on it.

  1. Here’s a picture of this setup. Yes, that’s an HP Touchpad pulling duty as a clock. 
  2. In this picture the iPad is “upside-down” to how I use it with the case – I have the home button at the top when I use it in Portrait mode. 
  3. At least, for now. I am eyeing up a MacBook Air/Retina to replace all my other computers.