Kickstarter project ‘Brydge’ makes iPad like MacBook Air — no toaster required

Apple CEO Tim Cook took a thinly veiled jab at Microsoft and Windows PC makers yesterday, saying that the notion of a hybrid tablet/notebook requires so many trade-offs that no one ends up being happy in the end.

“You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user,” he said.

Well, what about this? A newly launched Kickstarter project securely attaches a very Mac-like aluminum keyboard to the iPad and connects to the Apple device via Bluetooth, turning it into something like a MacBook Air — in appearance, at least.

The project, called Brydge, is seeking to raise $90,000 via the crowd-sourced funding site, with people who pledge at least $150 getting a basic version of the keyboard accessory, without speakers.

Pledges of $180 or more will get a version of the accessory with speakers, solving the problem of the iPad’s not-so-loud audio (as explored in detail recently by Andru Edwards on GeekWire.)

How’s this for good luck? The timing of the Brydge Kickstarter launch and Cook’s comments were purely coincidence, said Sam Gordon, one of the people behind the project.

So what do they think of the Apple CEO’s statements?

“My take away from Tim Cook’s comments is that he was referring more to software incompatibility of creating a laptop with a touch screen, rather than any problem with combining a keyboard with an iPad,” Gordon said via email. “We believe that Brydge is the perfect companion for an iPad — it gives you the ability to be productive with the keyboard when you need it, it’s very portable and easy to adjust or remove if you need a horizontal service.”

CNet News.com reported on the Brydge project earlier today. Here’s a video with more.

  • Guest

    This is brilliant! $680 for a 2048×1536 display laptop would be a great idea. Thank you, Kickstarter men, for doing that which Tim Cook won’t.

  • http://twitter.com/HiImAGeek Benjamin Visness

    Nice! Finally, an iPad laptop case that actually looks nice.

  • John Gathly

    what is new about this?