If you have an iPad, you’ve probably considered giving your laptop the boot, at least when traveling. The iPad is so easy and light, but the keyboard is so clunky and unusable for real typing, blogging, or any meaningful data entry over a sentence or two. I’ve been looking around for a Bluetooth keypad for a while so I was excited to give one a try.
The Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard is a nicely designed device. It folds shut in a fairly size and fits into a stylish black leatherette case. Setup for us was easy. Just hold down a recessed Bluetooth key and wait for the iPad to issue a four number series to enter on the keyboard and done!
The keyboard itself is almost as wide as laptop keyboard, which is odd since the main letters from QWERT on one side, and YUIOP on the other are actually wider on the Verbatim keyboard than on my Mac laptop of desktop keyboards. At the same time, number keys across the top are more compressed, as are the multitude of side keys, including arrows, shift and parentheses. There is no vertical number pad, to the dismay of number crunchers.
When you type, you have to get used to the fact that there is no empty space between the keys, as there is on a regular keyboard. The keys are wider, but closer together. At first, this means your fingers might hit a few odd keys, especially missing the very small space bars. Luckily, while also tiny, I was able to hit the backspace delete button almost without fail. The more you type, the more you feel other trouble spots, perhaps because some keys, like the B, are irregularly sized. My fingers also tended to type the upward arrow with my pinkie since it is located where you expect the right sided shift key to be. There is a right side shift key, but it is way to the right and and an awkward reach. Since there is no trackpad, this means you have to leave the keyboard to find your spot with your finger.
Luckily, auto-correct is your friend and will fix many errors as they are committed. However, I would not recommend this keyboard to anyone needing to type while copying from another document since it will slow you down considerably if you can’t look at the text as you type.
Another thing users should note is that there is no wrist rest like you’d find on all Mac laptops. This may or may not bother you, but I found the keyboard a lot easier to use with a small notebook placed in front of the keyboard to raise my hands a half inch.
Size is 9.2 x 6.4 x 2 inches which makes this just a bit too big for a jacket pocket, but he weight is only 15.7 ounces. The keyboard is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom,
Blackberry Playbook, Android Tablets and any Tablet with HID Keyboard support and Bluetooth connectivity, though I only tried it with iPad and as an external keyboard to my Macbook Pro.
What I loved:
1. Form factor is about perfect and little case is a nice add-on though I think most people could live without it since the keyboard folds up into a clean rectangle with no exposed parts.
2. Easy pairing and works out of box since it’s specially made for iOS 4 and above. Side keys make it easy to operate iTunes volume and skip commands.
3. Included easel for iPhone is a nice touch. It folds inside keyboard so it’s not an extra item to lose. However, it would not hold my iPhone vertically when in its case.
What I had trouble with:
1. Odd size keys take a bit of getting used to and right side shift is an unfortunately difficult one for practical use. Don’t expect to feel totally satisfied without some experience.
2. Springs on keys are a bit tight versus a Mac keyboard. On the other hand, they make a nice clicking sound.
3. The instructions are written in multiple languages and should have been printed on a color coded sheet to make reading easier. Additionally, the keyboard itself uses engraved black on black for the on/off button and bluetooth pairing, which is difficult to see in a dark room.
4. The on/off switch “enables you to turn off the keyboard when not in use,” but would have been better as a on/off button with an auto off when not in use for extended time. Since there is no “ON” light, it is very easy to forget to turn the keyboard off when not in use.
GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.