Google has its own first-party keyboard solution for the brand new Pixel Slate, but Brydge’s G-Type looks like the best bang for your buck—especially if you’re looking to turn the Slate into a “real” laptop.
if you’re not familiar with Brydge, the company is known for making high-end keyboard cases for tablets like the iPad and Surface. Brydge cases generally use a hinged design that gives a connected tablet the look and feel of a true laptop—something that many users want to add to increase the functionality of their tablets.
The G-Type keyboard for the Pixel Slate is no different, but it’s designed from the ground up specifically for the Slate. The color and aesthetic are designed to perfectly match that of the tablet, giving it a seamless all-in-one look.
Like the official Pixel Slate Keyboard, the G-Type Keyboard features a backlit keyboard and touchpad, with Brydge claiming it has the “largest trackpad ever seen on a tablet keyboard.” And since Chrome OS is an operating system designed for keyboard and mouse input, the touchpad will integrate perfectly with the OS—complete with gestures.
The biggest drawback of the G-Type is that it connects over Bluetooth (4.2), which can have latency or other interference issues. This is in contrast to the official Slate keyboard, which uses pogo pings for the connection, and is always going to be more stable and reliable. That said, I personally use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse on my main desktop machine and rarely (if ever) experience issues. Your mileage may vary, of course, so it’s something to consider.
Finally, there’s the price: the G-Type is only $160, where the Pixel Slate Keyboard is $199. Dollar for dollar, you get comparable functionality and an arguably better overall aesthetic with the G-Type.
The G-Type isn’t available yet, but neither is the Slate (or the official keyboard), though no firm date is available either.