The Brydge: a First-rate Case & Keyboard for Your iPad [UPDATED]

| In-Depth Review

[Editor's note: In the spring of 2014, Brydge LLC was no more. New ownership completely took over the company and has been about the business of making things right with customers old and new. See: "Brydge Keyboard for iPad Reborn with New Owners." Information about how to contact the new company is in this article.]

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The Brydge is a high-quality aluminum keyboard and stereo speaker unit into which you slide your full-size iPad (2,3,4) and then link via Bluetooth. The combination is like turning your iPad into a small MacBook Air. For those who need this kind of duo, it's a first-class way to go.

Preamble

This is a product review, but I need to back-up for just a minute to explain some history. Back in April, at Apple's earnings report, Tim Cook responded to a question about convergence. Would the iPad and the MacBook ever merge to create what what later coined as a toaster-fridge? I wrote an editorial about all that: "No FridgeToaster for You: Let the iPad Evolve." It explains why Apple isn't going down that road for its millions of customers. So first and foremost, this review is not about whether a toaster-fridge is a good idea or not. It's an irrelevant question in this context.

More than 3,000 potential Brydge customers have signed up at Kickstarter, and while the initial funding was set at US$90,000, a remarkable $798,000 was received. So there is a healthy, demonstrated interest in and need for a product like this. Thus, the relevant questions, instead, are:

  • How does it work?
  • What are its features?
  • How does it look?
  • How secure is the iPad in the hinges?
  • How well is it priced?

Next, I don't believe this product is about selecting just a MacBook or just an iPad based on price. A top end 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad4 ($699) plus an aluminum Brydge+ ($210) costs about the same as a 11.6–inch 64 GB MacBook Air ($999). But making that choice based on variations in price ignores the specific needs one might have in usage, OS and apps, and I believe the decision is based how one may need to augment an existing iPad, not chose one or the other. So with that out of the way, on to the review.

The Review

The Brydge solves several problems common to some iPad users. It protects the display when closed. It provides stereo speakers instead of the iPad's mono speaker. It provides a first-class keyboard for content creation, and it matches the style of similar Apple products. As a result, a casual observer might mistake the Brydge plus iPad as an 11-inch MacBook Air. And so what one has is a unit that preserves the quality, looks and craftsmanship of the Apple product line, and that's a plus. The Brydge is a product one can take pride in.

Note: there are two models: aluminum "Brydge+" and polycarbonate "Brydge."  There's more on that below. For editorial simplicity, I'll just refer to this product, generally, as the Brydge.

Setting up the Brydge

The Brydge is designed to be used with the iPad 2,3 or 4. One must remove any cases and insert the iPad into the hinge units. There is a plastic shim on the inside of the hinge that has the perfect amount of friction. That is, the iPad is both easy to remove, but it's also securely held. While Brydge doesn't recommend it, one can can hang the unit upside down without fear that the iPad will fall out. I've tried it.

The default shim set is for an iPad 2. Extra shims are included for the iPad 3 or 4, and they're very easy to replace once . I changed from iPad 2 to iPad 3 shims without a problem.

It's a handsome device indeed.

Alert readers will note that the design for attaching the iPad has changed since the original concept. The developer explained, "The original design was modified for two reasons. First, the new design is future proof allowing the hinges to fit the iPad 2, 3rd and 4th generations, and in all likelihood future versions of the iPad. This means customers won't need to buy a new keyboard when they upgrade their iPad. Secondly, the new hinges give more of a minimal look, showing off the beauty of the iPad design. We have received extremely high praise via email from everyone who has seen the new design and are thrilled with the response we've received."

Once attached, you pair the keyboard and the speakers separately to the iPad via Bluetooth. Like most Bluetooth keyboards of this design, it has a small battery unit and a micro USB to USB cable is included to charge it. The Brydge FAQ says that the lithium ion battery should operate for several months (without speaker use.) The first-rate on/off switch doubles as an indicator. It glows red while the cable is connected and charging. When the cable is disconnected, it blinks blue periodically to show that the battery has a good charge, and then turns red when it needs charged. I liked the design.

The developer notes that when the unit is turned on, the speakers are not automatically paired in order to conserve battery power, and I think that's a sensible approach. It only takes a few seconds to pair the speakers to the iPad when you need them.

Side by side with (2011) 13-inch MacBook Air on left.

Using the Brydge

The illusion that I had a MacBook Air in my lap was so convincing, at first, that I found my thumb instinctively reaching for the the trackpad -- one that doesn't exit. I had to remind myself: "This an iPad, dummy. Reach out and touch the screen!"

Followers of the convergence issues discussed in the preamble above will be happy to know that when the combo is resting comfortably on your lap, there really is no "gorilla arm" issue. That is, I didn't find that my arm got tired on those few occasions when I had to touch the iPad's display. That's probably because I was immersed in writing these notes. (By the way, my preferred tool for that is UX Write.) While this mode of operation, typing then touching the screen occasionally, is a bit alien, I got used to it quickly.

The keyboard is laid out exactly like a MacBook -- except for the top row of function keys. The function keys provide handy operations like going to the Home page, music player control, brightness control, search, slide show and a Lock key.

The feel of the keys is good and have just a tad more resistance than my MacBook Air. And they make a soft click. I can't say one is better than the other, but I tend to favor the softer, quieter keyboard on my MBA. However, I can also see how a smaller sized keyboard may benefit from more audio feedback.

Because the keyboard is only 9 inches wide and the center to center spacing is just a bit less than a MacBook keyboard, the initial user experience isn't quite the same. I had to adapt a bit, but then I was typing pretty much full speed after awhile. I was initially tempted to describe it as not a pure writer's keyboard, but seeing how some people work always amazes me. So I won't make that assertion.

There is no LED light for the caps lock mode. Also in the latest models, based on feedback, the Cut, Copy and Paste keys have been replaced by Brightness keys.

As I described above, the hinge mechanism has changed from the original concept shown in the Kickstarter videos. The current design allows the iPad to rotate through a full 0 degrees (closed) to 180 degrees, laying open and flat. The only port that's covered by the hinges, which by the way do not block the display, is the SIM port -- if the Home button is placed on the right side.

When the Brydge and iPad close together or open up, the iPad sleeps and wakes.

However, I did find what I believe is a correctable problem with the keyboard layout. In a fashion somewhat like some of the early Apple IIs, the Lock button is too close to the Backspace button. If you make a lot of typing errors on that smaller keyboard, you're going to hit that Lock button often and exit your app. The good news is that after you swipe past the Lock Screen, you're back where you were. Still, it's aggravating.

I recommend one small change: the Lock key's icon be colored blue and accessed only with the Function prefix key.

Another issue I noticed is related to the speakers. If you play a song via the Apple's Music app, all's well. But if the speakers have powered down to conserve battery, and you, for example, send an email, instead of hearing the expected "swoosh" sound, the first time, you'll hear a click. That's the speakers waking up again. It's a minor issue, but something to note lest you think there may be a problem.

Handling

With a MacBook, the guts of the machine are below the keyboard, and the LCD display is fairly light. However, with the Brydge, you have the entire weight on the iPad and all its innards hanging behind the keyboard. That produces a different kind of feel. It's not particularly bad, but one does have to be a little more careful handling the combo unit to take that shifted center of gravity into account. For example, if resting far out on your knees and you release your wrists, it could topple backwards, overboard.

The Aluminum Brydge weighs 1.3 lbs, so the total system weight with a Wi-Fi iPad 4 is 2.74 lbs. The two together are about 19 mm thick. The thickest part of my MBA is about 17 mm.Prior to this review, I was using an iLuv Flexi Gel case for my iPad 3. This case has to be be removed, exposing the aluminum back of the iPad.  I don't like that. However, it might be possible to cut out parts of that case so that the case will still protect most of the back of the iPad and still allow the iPad to slide into the shims. That would also add a little bit of weight to the iPad and affect the balance of the system even more. Plus it would look awful when the iPad is removed from the Brydge. Perhaps there is an opportunity here for a custom designed gel case.

Two rubber shims on the wrist rest area keep the iPad's display away from keyboard's keys and finger oil when closed. A MacBook style cutout on leading edge helps grip the iPad when opening. (See the side by side photo with my MBA further above.)

Documentation

A small four page Quick Start guide accompanies the Brydge in the box. There is a full manual available online. Despite the capabilities and the cost associated with a device like this, it really is easy to use and the manual reflects that. The packaging, shown above, is sturdy and descriptive.

Models, Pricing and Availability

Since the initial announcement, Brydge has developed two models. There is a black polycarbonate model which sells for US$150 and is called the Brydge. The original aluminum model, the Brydge+, sells for $210. The developer says that the aluminum is the same kind that Apple uses. Also, note that neither Brydge works with the iPad 1. 

The company is now accepting pre-orders from the public, and the official launch is December 1st. All pre-orders are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

Polycarbonate model

The Verdict

This product is drop-dead gorgeous. (I reviewed the aluminum model.) If you have a need to protect your iPad's display on travel, write notes and travel reports, or even if you're soon on a plane to Saint Croix to write a novel on the beach, you will want a Brydge.

The materials, the fit and finish, the power switch/LED, the design and the keyboard are all first-rate. The whole system is a joy to hold and use.

The unit is thoughtfully designed so that it can grow with you. The new hinge design is designed to accomodate, as best as possible, future 9.7-inch iPads -- so it won't become obsolete quickly.

I think the pricing is spot on, and reflects the above mentioned design, quality and materials.

In my own case, as a writer, I can appreciate how one can be writing a major document and then, in a few seconds, undock, and be able to treat the iPad as a pure tablet for other purposes. In fact, several pages of notes for this review were composed on the iPad/Brydge+ with UX Write and then edited for publication on my iMac. As I mentioned above, not everyone needs to work this way, but for those who do and want some serious quality, the Brydge is a godsend and a delight. I predict that many of you will want one, without a doubt, for Christmas.

[UPDATE 4 Feb 2013. As can be seen in the comments below, several customers have had order fulfillment problems. One of the founders of Brydge.com told me that they've hired a new customer service representative -- who can be reached at info@thebrydge.com . Please keep us all informed, here in the comments, how that interaction goes.]

Product: The Brydge

Company: Brydge

List Price: US$210 (aluminum), $150 (polycarbonate)

Pros:

Well designed, great fit and finish, MacBook-like design of keyboard and features, stereo speakers, looks terrific, easy and secure docking, easy iPad removal, replaceable hinge shims, Bluetooth connection for keyboard and stereo speakers, aluminum or polycarbonate models, charger cable included, easy to use and clear documentation. Designed, insofar as feasible, to accomodate future 9.7-inch iPads.

Cons:

Duo is a bit top heavy, inconveniently placed Lock key. Hard to protect back of iPad with conventional cases.

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Comments

astandy

This is very interesting. Just yesterday one of the Mac pundits was saying how BAD the Brydge is & warning people away from the poor quality.

Kris

It would have been useful to compare the Brydge to the aluminum-backed Logitech Ultrathin keyboard/case, which has the same size bluetooth keyboard, is more than 1/2 the weight and thickness of the Brydge, has excellent tactile keys, and has an ingenious magnetic case-lock mechansim that also turns the iPad off on closure, and on when it is opened.  For mobility and lightness, it wins hands down.

John Martellaro

Kris: Perhaps Logitech will send me one for review.  The Brydge/iPad do, in fact, sleep or wake when closed or opened.

David

Logitech and Zagg have a slot in which the ipad is placed. The Brydge’s hinge seems to be a lot more secure. I am less concerned with style than the function and durability of the keyboard.  I’d like to see a comparison review of the Zagg, Logitech and Brydge keyboards.  Thanks for this review.

John Martellaro

Kris:  Logitech says it’s on its way.

Robby

My Logitech Keyboard/Cover is really great. I’ve been using it since June, & travel all over the West coast with it. Better than a Laptop, as its lighter, smaller & more usable with all those APPS. It cost me $106, but is now down below $90 on Amazon. With the Built in Camera on the IPad it’s just a better set up all around. Also, I have access to AT&T without having to find a Starbucks Hotspot. At $25 a month I’m free as a bird anywhere.

iJack

Yeah that Logitech looks pretty cool.

Jim

I have the Brydge+ and love the keyboard, but find my iPad 3’s speaker sounds leaps and bounds better than the speaker built-into the Brydge+.
You didn’t mention how you thought the speaker sounded.
Thoughts?

Robby

There are no speakers on the Logitech K/B!

tablet2cases

I thought the pricing was based on with or without speakers, not material.

Ruel B.

I think the Sharksucker Aluminum Wireless Keyboard for iPad is much better than the Brydge. It almost has the same technology and style, with anodized aluminum body, attaches to the iPad with a special quick release hinge, charges your iPad and iPhone, and most of all, sells for a much affordable price of $99.00. 

[A promotional link that wasn’t a review but rather a web commerce URL was removed. -Ed.]

Lynn Y.

Hey Ruel B., are you using the Sharksucker keyboard? I’ve been trying to find reviews but to no avail. Do you have more information on the quality of the keyboard etc?

Thanks!

jane

The Sharksucker (is it for real with that name?) looks like a total copy of the original Brydge design (plus a couple of ports). I wonder what the quality is like. I never heard of it before here today.

Ruel B.

@ Lynn Y. - Yes, I am using the Sharksucker keyboard. You try to read this review in this link: http://dianatan.net/sharksucker-keyboard-case/

@jane - I am quite satisfied with the quality of the Sharksucker keyboard. I haven’t heard of any quality issues unlike the Brydge where its keys get stuck.

Rick Smith

I just got the Brydge with speakers.  I like the keyboard a lot.  I had the original Logitech keyboard case for the ipad 2, but i didn’t like have to pull it out and position it.  The keyboards didn’t have a nice feel.  The Brydge feels very nice and is feel is great.  I like the multiple viewing angles as well.  My unit shipped with the ipad 2 shims and I had to remove them to install the ipad 3/4 shims.  It should have shipped with no shims installed as it was a kind of a pain to remove and get all the glue off.  My only real criticism is the speakers, they sound tinny and for $200 they should be better than that.

Vivian

Just wondering if anyone who ordered in December has had any difficuilties with delivery after payment?  Sent emails seeking information but not getting responses

Chris

I ordered this in November and just received it yesterday - December 27th, after being guaranteed delivery before Christmas.  I don’t know what the company means by “guarantee”.  I’m not a happy customer.

Vivian

They have opened my email enquiry- just wish they would say something. Not very responsive

John Martellaro

I sent an email to one of the founders yesterday on another matter.  Haven’t heard back yet.  I surmise they are on holiday break.  But I will follow up and monitor to make sure they’re shipping and responding to customer inquiries.

John Martellaro

Brydge responded as follows: “We are up and running for the holidays, but our staff has spent some time out of the office for the days around Christmas so we were a little behind responding to emails. I do apologize to anyone who hasn’t heard back from them, as of yesterday we were completely caught up so I encourage anyone who hasn’t heard from us to email again.”

Vivian

Thanks for that John. Ive sent another email.

Coracii

They must be really behind, they’ve refused to respond to any of the four emails (along with Facebook postings and Kickstarter messages) that I’ve sent them in the last 13 days.  They’ve failed to deliver on their promises more times than I can count, and their guarantee for a Christmas delivery is another example of that.  I ordered and paid for my Brydge+ back in June and here we are on the 3rd of January and still not even a tracking number.  A glance at their Kickstarter page will show that I’m not the only one dissatisfied with their business practices.

Vivian

After John’s attempts I sent 3 more emails, then I received my first response. Today I received a UPS tracking email advising delivery by 1/7. Sigh. Fingers crossed

Coracii

After some assistance from John this morning, one of the founders of Brydge made contact with me and we were able to resolve the situation quickly and to my satisfaction.  I received my shipping notification earlier this evening and it looks like all is moving along well now.  At this point it looks like my Brydge should be here in less than a week according to UPS.  Can’t thank you enough for your assistance John, looking forward to my Brydge arriving.

Neil

7 months on and I still have not received my brydge!! This is completely unacceptable. On December 6th Brydge told me within the next two weeks, 5 weeks on still nothing! Brydge + Delivery = joke

Jes

Brydge has bad customer service and no business sense. I ordered this product on December 18th with the promise on their website that the product was actually available for shipment (seems like they always promise something they can’t deliver). My credit card was charged $200+ and one month later I still haven’t received a product or any email or other communication with an Order Number or status. I found a comment on a discussion board online that Brydge+ is actually backordered until at least March! Brydge has no phone number for customer service (the phone number linked to the company for credit card statements is an unmanned Google phone number). Someone named “Whitney” responds to the email address and is unhelpful and just says “Your order is being processed,” with no additional details. I’ve read horrible experiences from others online. I have asked for an order cancellation and full refund. If I don’t see it within 24 hours I’ll be calling my credit card company to reverse charges. Ridiculous. At this point, I’m just happy not to be one of the people who received a faulty keyboard only to have to pay a 15% restocking fee to receive a replacement.

Vivian

Sorry to hear your bad experience Jes. Now that I’ve got them, have to say they are excellent.
I ordered 2 BrydgePLUS with Speakers on December 8. Credit card was charged straight away also. I ordered from outside of US for delivery to CA when we are in LA for Christmas. Trail above shows I sent a number of emails with no response and John managed to get hold of founders. Sent a few more emails and finally sent an urgent email on January 2 to advise I was returning overseas and needed urgent response. Got an email from Whitney which said-
“We just updated our website:
International Brydges: These have all be shipped to our international warehouses, however, due to the fact that we have seen some Brydges slip through our quality control that should not have, we have made the hard decision to ship these units from our warehouses to a company who will perform additional quality control on the units before we ship them out to individuals.  We know this is probably isn’t a popular decision because of the delay, but we feel this is necessary in insure that everyone who receives their Brydge receives a product up to our standards. This process will take several weeks before they are shipping out again - we do apologize and will update you on their progress.
So sorry for delays, we are looking to get these international orders out as soon as possible!”
When I advised my shipping address is LA, Whitney responded immediately on 1/3 that “you will receive tracking within 24-48 hours”, which I did and my package was delivered as promised.

The Brydge allows me to use the ipad as a notebook - you may be interested to know that I am used the free app “CloudOn” which lets me edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents.

Geoff

Im afraid to say my experience from here in the UK has been terrible. I ordered and paid for my Brydge in June 2012 and its now February 2013.  No Brydge, no replies to my emails this year at all. There are better alternatives.  I will be informing Paypal and I would have thought that if there were sufficient number of complaints they would remove their facility. My advice to anyone considering this keyboard would be to look at others that are now available and avoid Brydge - especially if you live outside the US. I dont hold out much hope of receiving my keyboard or a refund - they seem a hard nosed and poorly run operation. This is also the last time I back a Kickstarter project!

Danny

Brydge are rubbish, ordered my product in July 2012 and still having nothing to show for it! Disgraceful load of rubbish.

Andy

Echoing what has already been said, it seems Brydge are quick to take your credit card payment but slow on the delivery of the product (or in my case not at all!).

Ordered beginning of December, received a brief email about quality control problems for European stock from Whitney but i have heard nothing since despite numerous emails. Brydge, Please don’t treat us like Mushrooms, treat us with respect. At least have the dignity to email your customers with the truth i.e. you’re overwhelmed, out-of-your depth, under resourced and badly managed.

Shame on you guys, my experience has ruined my hopes for the kickstarter project.

My advice, avoid and buy one of their rivals.

Andy (disappointed from the UK)

John Martellaro

******** IMPORTANT NOTE *********

I got an email from one of the founders last week.  He said that he has hired a new customer service representative.  Anyone still having problems with order fulfillment should contact:

  info@thebrydge.com

If that doesn’t result in a success, let us know here in the comments so there’s a public documentation.  (I’ll update the article as well with that mailto: address.)

Rolly Wheeler

I did the “Kickstarter” thing and have only now, 11 Feb., recieved the unit.
I felt that the bridge people did the right thing by not doing the usual “put them out there and deal with the fault returns when they happen.”
I accepted the neccessary delays and am now typing on the unit for the first time.
So far, I feel that I made a good decision.
I love the prcise feel of the keys, too.

Grace

I ordered a brydge for my IPad from since 19th November 2012.  I paid via paypal and it was meant to be delivered to my cousin in Port Charlotte who would be brining it back to London for me.  To date the item still have not arrived and the contact number that I received from paypal is fraud as no one answers but a message comes on instead.  I have left several messages and email and to date I still cannot get my money back from The Brydge company or my item.

Can someone help me please?

Leading Edge Boomer

Ordered the aluminum Brydge+ on December 15, 2012 and received it today, February 11, 2013.  I made two inquiries about back-order progress, and received responses (albeit somewhat optimistic) both times.

After replacing the shims for the new iPad, everything works well except Bluetooth pairing with speakers.  The iPad sees an iMac at the other end of the house, which I’ll power off when it’s idle and try the initial speaker pairing again.

I adapted pretty quickly to the somewhat miniaturized keyboard, a concern I had.  Since I won’t be carrying the combo long distances on foot, the weight is not an issue for me.

So far so good.

Lisa

I ordered my Brydge on 9th January and now worried that I am never going to receive it! I had hoped to have in time for a conference a few weeks ago but after emailing the Brydge several times and getting a response ‘Shipments are delayed by 1-2 weeks…’ etc and seeing that people from the UK who ordered in December are now only receiving their keyboards is worrying. Those who have received their Brydge’s what model did you order? I ordered the Black Brydge which is supposed to be in stock!

Jess

I too ordered a few weeks ago where the only model on back-order was the Brydge+ with speakers, which I did not order. I was charged right away and was “told” that orders were shipping daily. After two weeks I contacted thm and Whitney responded that when I ordered they were actually back ordered (nowhere was this indicated). This was for a valentines day present which sadly is not here. I was told I will receive shipping information within 24-48 hours of it being shipped. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it will be shipped. Unfortunate I had to find out on my own it was on back order. Poor customer service if you can even call it that.

Anne

Well, after reading all these complaints I wish I found this site before I ordered the brydge last week. This week I received the case that goes with it, but no paperwork or note that the keyboard was on its way or stuck in China somewhere or any indication that they even had my order. I guess I will contact my credit card company and stop payment.  What a ripoff, and such a great idea, too.

Lisa

After reading all the comments on this forum I was very pleasantly surprised to receive my Brydge yesterday. As previously mentioned I ordered it on the 9th January so has taken exactly 6 weeks to arrive. I ordered the original Brydge polycarbonate model and am pleased with it. It is a bit heavier than I had thought and actually feels a bit cheap so with high-insight I may have gone for the aluminium body. Overall I am very pleased with the product - it sits wonderfully with the iPad and was very easy to setup. With regard to the ordering process Brydge should give *realistic* shipping times so customers are not worried about whether their product is actually going to arrive or not!

Sam

FWIW, I loved the concept of the Brydge when I first heard about it in the summer of 2012. I really wanted a keyboard with a nice aesthetic and more importantly versatile functionality without bulk. After looking online every few weeks to check availability, I stumbled on the Sharksucker in late November. It seemd like a good keyboard and was only ~$70 (with free shipping). I didnt need speakers on the keyboard since if I was going to be listening/watching anything, I’d use my headphones.

I ordered the Sharksucker in early December and got in 4 days!! I’ve been using it for notes, drafts for papers, making keynote presentations, emails, etc. since then and absolutely love it…almost.

The main obstacle for me with the Sharksucker is that the keyboard battery life is not very long at all. Its promised to last for months, but even if i have the entire thing turned off for 2-3 days after a full charge, its a no-go when I try to use it. This unfortunately renders it unusable in the exact situations when I would need it (traveling and having it pre-charged beforehand). The iPad battery is great, but there’s no way that I know of to power the keyboard from the iPad (even wired if necessary).

Another issue is that the keyboard will not charge the iPad from the associated USB port as promised on the site. The iPad gives a “charging is not supported with this accessory” message when I try.

Does anyone else own/use the Sharksucker keyboard? Any issues/rants/raves? There’s not much out there besides the (somewhat heavy) marketing info..

jane

Anne, I am wondering what kind of case you received as there is nothing on the website about a case and I have never received one.
I received my keyboard 11/29 and it was great until one night when it went off the rails and typed all kinds of nonsense. I wrote to the company and they emailed me a shipping label and it was replaced very quickly. the replacement works find but the shims were to loose for my ipad 2 and it kept slipping out. It took a couple of emails to get a response but they sent me new shims and said if that didn’t solve the problem they would replace the keyboard. So we’ll see if the new shims hold - so far so good (one day)= out).
From everyone else’s comments the customer service seems to be spotty, I’ve just been lucky so far. As for the keyboard itself, I really love using it. It makes using the tablet so much easier for many situations.

Anne

This is the response I received yesterday2/20/2013 from Whitney at TheBrydge:

As this product is currently backordered (as indicated on our website) it
has yet to be shipped out. We are expecting a large delivery of backorder
units in by month’s end. We should have shipping back on a regular timetable
at this point for all clients. Upon shipping, you will receive an electronic
tracking notice with 24-48 hours.

....I hope this actually happens. I am trying to be patient with this but am skeptical.
...Jane: I ordered a neoprene case $20.00 that was available that fits my iPad, but I doubt the bridge will fit as well.

 

Craig Carroll

I backed the original kickstarter project. My brydge arrived this week damaged as the keys are out of alignment down the right hand side, they stick down, don’t work and the speakers do not pair. Aesthetically the keyboard looks great. I’ve contacted them this week and heard from “Whitney”. I was sent the rma paperwork of which I have completed and sent with video and photo evidences. Its now 3 days later and nothing despite subsequent emails.

Great to see you got hold of the founder but he needs to know that this lack of customer response is giving the company a bad reputation. I quick look on twitter, Facebook or a google search and others are in the same boat. Even an autoresponder to the email or rma request would help but nothing.

Further irrespective that they have hired someone to deal with customer care they need a team of people if they can’t cope.

Sadly a great piece of tech has been let down by poor QC because you can see the key alignment is just bad; and the lack of after support due to inability to respond in good time on issues.

If there is anything you can do to assist in this then please do.

Regards
Craig

Dan

I ordered a Brydge+ (with speakers) in mid-December knowing that it was back ordered. I finally received my Brydge on February 13. Unfortunately the mini-usb port was inaccessible so the unit could not be charged.

I advised Whitney (info@thebrydge.com) and she sent promptly sent me an RMA request form, which I returned and they issued me an RMA and return label.  Unfortunately they used an incorrect city and state. I advised them of this and they said no problem. I sent the unit back with a note on the internal box, a note in the package and emails. With all that, they still shipped the replacement product to an erroneous address.

I asked them to correct this (again) -Whitney sent me an email that it was corrected but I just checked the UPS site and it is still bound for an address that does not exist 2000 miles away from my address, the original shipping and billing address provided with the original order. I sent another email this AM (no other way to contact them.) All I can do is “hope” that they actually contact UPS and have my shipment address rerouted to the correct address. The time spent in trying to actually get a functional non-defective product is adding a significant premium to the already premium $200+ price. 

As I wrote to Whitney, I know that defects occur as do mistakes however a “we’re truly sorry for these series of inconveniences” and actually making sure the mistakes are corrected would go a long a way in assuaging frustration and build customer loyalty. Then this would have been a very different comment. 

Neil

A word of warning for International purchasors - if you have to return the product (and reading reviews quite a few units do ship faulty) then refuse to pay for sending back the faulty unit to Hong Kong.

Whitney promised that the cost of the courier would be refunded. It is now 6 weeks since I chased it up and still no refund to my PayPal account! 4 emails asking have now not be replied to ......... seems the ydo not ever want to refund any money even when they send faulty goods and promise on email to refund shipping costs. Yes they sent the replacement unit, but to break promises like that and not have the courtesy to reply is bad business!

Ryan Johnston

Look at all the lucky people who have actually received their Brydge!! As of April 29th I am still waiting (original proposed delivery Oct 2012)and no replies from Whitney on email or on Kickstarter.  This company have what seems generally to be an excellent product but the customer service levels are truly abysmal.  For all of the retail customers expecting a Christmas delivery you better ask them to confirm which year!!  Extremely disappointed Kickstarter backer :(

Barry R Jones

Have been looking to buy a Brydge+, but having second thoughts after reading this thread!!  And I cant get a sensible answer out of Whitney as to why they charge $35 carriage to the UK when their website clearly states that they have stock held in the UK!! Anyone got an answer to that?

Patrick Blindeman

I order one two Days ago im living in Belgium so i ask when i recieve my Brydge pklus en neoprene case .... I send many mails but still Not a single answer ...are they still in business hope so because i payed already the stuff

Brydge Keyboards

Wow! 47 comments and not one positive one!

To everyone on this thread who has posted and to everyone who reads this.

Brydge is now under new ownership. We have a new focus that is squarely directed at two areas, customer service and the development of future models. Since taking over the former business at the beginning of April we’ve been inundated with stories of poor customer service which are unequivocally appalling.

The new website is www.brydgekeyboards.com and our facebook page is www.facebook.com/brydgekeyboards.

If anyone has any issues that are still yet to be addressed, please email us at support@brydgekeybaords.com. You will get a response within 24 hours.

Have faith, its a killer product, its just been rubbish service.

Jon Curley

I’ve had my Brydge for almost two years and love my keyboard.  I do a tremendous amount of both traveling and writing and couldn’t survive without it.  I do however understand the service issues as I had problems with the rubber feet coming off and was unable to get any service, or even response from the previous owners.

The new owners have changed everything.  They are responsive, and even more important, they do what they say.  I’ve been so impressed by the new ownership we just bought a new light weight brydge for my wife. 

Give Brydge a try.

jimler

I was an early adapter and a kickstarter backer of this product.  All of the horror stories you have read applied to me at the beginning.
Last week Brydge reached out to me to see how it was going.  When I shared my experience they sent me a new keyboard and I could not be more pleased.  The product is 100% different and better than the early versions.  I like the feel of the keyboard, the speakers work great, the bevels that hold the ipad are sturdy, but still adjustable and I can see myself using this keyboard every day.  Probably more importantly, the customer service has been exceptional.  The original founders appear to be out of the company and there are some real professionals who understand that this is a service business, not just a product.
I recommend the keyboard to anyone.  My wife has the logictech keyboard and she is always fumbling with putting the ipad into the slot and it falls out whenever the machine is jostled.  I don’t have that issue.

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