Minimalist Bluetooth Keyboard Review – It’s Only P569.75





 

It has a Mac keyboard layout, it’s sexy black, it’s comfortable to type on, it’s withstood dozens of drops from my table (thank you, my obnoxious kitten), and here’s the best part: it’s cheap at P569.75 at Landmark, Makati. It’s cheaper than a similar-looking Bluetooth keyboard from CDR-King.

It’s been almost two months since I bought this nameless Bluetooth keyboard, and I’ve been using it (paired with my LG G2) to type out outlines of stories during events I cover – just pull out my Android phone, set in on the table, and plop this keyboard in front of it. Like so.

So you know I rely on this keyboard, its marathon battery life, and its no skip responsiveness. It’s not just a review unit I am handed to play with and which later gets retrieved.

Let’s get through these shots below, so you know what you’re getting into, before diving into the Good, the Bad, and the Do You Buy It.

TABS

  • The white keyboard above is a USB one, and from CDR-King. The keyboard layout is for Windows but you can see how similar the design and dimensions are. The white version of the Bluetooth keyboard above, save for the Mac button layout on the lower left side, is a dead ringer for the USB keyboard above.

  • Just to give you a visual size marker. The phone on top of the Bluetooth keyboard is the Nokia X. beside the Nokia is a plastic USB and SD card case.

  • Front of the box of the Bluetooth keyboard. These are the specs.

  • Back of the box. Notice that this unit comes in more colors besides black and white. But these other colors, I asked, were not available.

  • Yep. That’s the BT keyboard on top of the keyboard of a white MacBook. Snug fit wouldn’t you say? In case your Mac or Windows laptop’s keyboard malfunctions, you can probably get by with this BT keyboard instead.

  • BT keyboard paired with Sony Xperia Z1.

  • BT keyboard paired with an 8 incher tablet, the LG G Pad 8.3

  • That’s the BT keyboard placed on the tablet rest area of the Belkin Bluetooth Keyboard for 10″ Android devices. As you can see the BT keyboard is longer, because it has full sized keys and is widely spaced. By contrast, the Belkin’s are tiny and cramped.  You’ll type better on this nameless keyboard, trust me. Also, the Belkin keyboard suffers from delayed input and skips.

  • Underside of the BT keyboard, with on-off switch, “connect” button, and closed battery hatch.

  • Two triple A batteries will do the job. Invest in getting long lasting ones.

  • BT keyboard paired with Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10. I was testing both the USB keyboard and this BT one, and I enjoyed the latter  better.

  • Raised end of the BT keyboard. LG G2 rests beside it.

 

The Good

  • Cheapest Bluetooth keyboard I know of.
  • Thin and compact enough to slide into any backpack, or even an envelope.
  • Soft full-sized keys and properly spaced, not like those of the cramped keyboards out there with tiny keys.
  • Keyboard layout is that of a Mac’s, but works just fine for Windows and Android devices.
  • Function keys, some of them at least, work with Android devices – home screen, volume up and down, and pressing Alt+Tab brings out recent and running apps.
  • Marathon battery life – two months with no slow downs, and counting.
  • Just big enough to cover the keyboard of a laptop and use it instead of that laptop’s keyboard. That means if your laptop keyboard is not working, or has parts that are unresponsive, you can use this Bluetooth keyboard over it. Literally, over it.
  • Comes in black and white. The white one is very Mac-like.
  • Battery case serves as raised part of keyboard for comfy elevated typing.

Just a reminder, this BT keyboard has a Mac layout. See above for comparison with a USB keyboard with a Windows button layout.

The Bad

  • Lovers of clickity-clack-sounding keyboard might not like the soft keys.
  • Non-adjustable elevated end. So if you want the keyboard raised higher or want it flat on the table, neither is possible.
  • When used on LG Android devices, pressing Shift to capitalize letters cancels out Spacebar function. So typing “GET OUT” will come out as “GETOUT”. You need to pause, lift your finger from Shift key, press space, and then press Shift again to type in all caps. Over time, I got used to it.

 

Verdict

Buy it. It’s cheap compared to any Bluetooth keyboard from CDR-King, which is the haven of functional cheapness.

 

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Author

Irwin Allen Rivera loves his wife's cooking so much he's now twice the man he used to be. His English essay won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2012. His philosophical-horror story appeared in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 (2013). He was managing editor and lead writer of Sites and Symbols 2 (2005), a coffee-table book about buildings in UP Diliman - his alma mater (BA Philosophy; MA Creative Writing continuing). He worked at the UP Diliman Information Office before shifting to web content writing. His sudden fiction, "Notwithstanding Pigs," initially a Friendster testimonial, appeared in Philippines Graphic (2006) and in Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (2007). He used to write for www.technoodling.net.