I have to admit I always loved the physical keyboard on my old Blackberry. It's been years since I switched to an iPhone, but there are times my fingers still crave the mechanical feedback of physical keys. When I'm sitting in an airport seven sentences deep on an email, and I've got only a few minutes to bang the rest out, I really can't stand it -- wildly bonking away on that piece of glass. "Wouldn't it be nice if we had that keyboard back?", I say to my fingers. With a sad look, they agree.
They do make portable bluetooth keyboards, so of course there are plenty of options out there for me, but I've never found one portable enough that it just effortlessly became one of my travel accessories. Until now, I suppose. A company called iClever makes a folding portable Bluetooth keyboard that I recently tested, and I believe it has just about everything I need.
For me, the size is just right. It's 10-inches when fully unfolded. It folds down to roughly 5.5-inches, which is in the same ballpark as other accessories in my travel bag, so that works out. Aircraft-grade aluminum makes it durable and lightweight as well, at about 6.5 ounces.
To turn it on, you just unfold it. To pair it to your device, just press Fn + C. Upon pressing that key combo, it took 3 seconds for the keyboard to appear in my iPhone's list of Bluetooth devices, and in another 3-ish seconds I was fully connected. For some reason I expected more fumbling around.
Typing feels natural on this keyboard. The keys click quietly but firmly. An anodized matte finishing process gives each key a texture that my fingers tell me they enjoy. My only complaint is that the backspace key, one of the more popular keys on a keyboard, is one of the smallest keys on here. It took some getting used to. Really, that's my only complaint.
The battery charges with an included USB cable. When fully charged, battery life appears to be more than generous. After hours of use, it's still going strong. On occasional use it's reasonable to assume this needs charging every few weeks at the very most, but I haven't used it enough to know for sure.
The icing on the cake here, I'd say, is the price. List price on Amazon is $99.99, but at the current 64% discount you can pick this up for $35.99+free shipping.
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