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Brydge iPad Keyboard To Be Released By 'Oona' Smartphone Stand Company (VIDEO)

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The folks behind the Oona, a universal stand for smartphones, are set to release another ostensibly practical gizmo -- a keyboard that hooks up to an iPad making it look and, to some extent, function like a MacBook.

The product, called Brydge, has already met and exceeded the $90,000 fundraising goal on its Kickstarter page, which launched April 25.

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Its main features are a full QWERTY keyboard on a detachable stand that swivels to a range of viewing angles, and a built-in stereo speaker system that offers "a huge improvement over the limited iPad speaker," according to the company's promotional video. The Brydge also mimics the Apple design aesthetic, using brushed aluminum meant to match that of the iPad.

According to CNET, "the product is eventually expected to retail for $170 without speakers and $210 with speakers."

Other retailers offer less-fancy keyboards for iPad starting at less than a third of the price of the Brydge.

Current generation MacBook Air notebooks start at $999, while the new iPad is priced starting at $499. For users seeking increased functionality without the additional screen real estate of the notebook, the Brydge could constitute significant savings.

The product's successful Kickstarter launch comes on the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook's dismissal of an iPad-MacBook hybrid, arguing that the tradeoffs that would be necessary to merge tablet and laptop products would result in an inferior product.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user," Cook said on a conference call.

 
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