Brydge iPad Keyboard Dock Looks to MacBook for Style Cues

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A new Kickstarter project called Brydge aims to make iPads more like MacBooks–just in time for Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments about the danger of combining the two products.

Brydge is an iPad keyboard dock with a magnetized laptop hinge. Pop the tablet in, and you can tilt it to the angle of your liking or fold it closed for travel.

Although there are plenty of iPad keyboard docks on the market already–my colleague Harry McCracken swears by the ZaggFolio–the Brydge stands out for its Apple aesthetics. It’s made from aerospace-grade aluminum, and its black chiclet keyboard would look at home on any MacBook. Optional stereo speakers have their holes punched right into the top side of the aluminum, just like a MacBook Pro.

Brydge has already hit its $90,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, just a day after its announcement. To pre-order one, you must pledge $170 for a no-speakers model, or $210 for a model with speakers.

Apple’s Tim Cook caused a bit of a stir this week when he dismissed the idea of laptop-tablet hybrids.

“[A]nything can be forced to converge,” he said during Apple’s most recent earnings call. “But the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn’t please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

I wonder whether Cook would be offended by the Brydge. Though it adds laptop hardware to the iPad, it doesn’t try to shoehorn the Mac OS X software into a tablet. Still, the instant success of this Kickstarter project suggests that people are warm to the idea of hybrid hardware. (I know some of the Techland crew are quite excited by the idea of a toasterfridge.)

In any case, props to the Brydge team for their absolutely perfect timing.

Brydge [Kickstarter]