Product: Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard
We've occasionally pondered the idea of ditching the 15" laptop while traveling, wondering whether we could get by with work duties using only our iPad. But one accessory we'd need to make our plan a reality would be the addition of a wireless external keyboard. Verbatim's Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard is not only ready for wireless duty, but its thin form factor is only eclipsed by its even smaller travel size when folded up to go. Would this be our ticket to truly traveling light?
Out of the box the Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard only requires making a simple one-time Bluetooth connection between your iPad or iPhone. After that, every time you turn it on, it automatically connects, making it ideal for travel, when you least want to futz around with settings. But we were a bit disappointed about the slightly flimsy finish of the plastic used in construction. It's not poor, but at over $100 (at least at the Verbatim site) we think the price warrants expectations a step higher than common plastic construction.
Folded up this keyboard is satisfyingly compact, folding up to about the size of a large smartphone, making it ideal for traveling, possibly permitting even tucking inside a large coat pocket (at 6.25" L x 4" W when closed, we were able to fit it inside a large pant pocket). Additional features included on the keyboard are play, pause and controls for iTunes with the touch of a button, alongside the inclusion of a Keyboard Carrying Case and iPhone Stand.
Although marked for use specifically for iOS devices, in reality you can use this wireless keyboard with any Bluetooth enabled device, whether it be a Xoom, Galaxy Tab or Playbook. We can't attest setup is as simple as for iOS devices, but we can't imagine connection would be much different.
Bottom Line: Our recommendation for this device comes with the caveat of where it's purchased, thus affecting the price. Via the Verbatim online store, the $104 price tag makes this a "pass". But considering you can find this accessory online over at Amazon or Buy.com for a little over $54, this becomes a much more reasonable and recommendable purchase if you're looking for excellent portability in input devices.
Pros: Extremely thin and compact form factor makes this keyboard truly portable, simple setup for iPad users, media controls are useful addition.
Cons: Construction quality is one notch lower than we'd like at this price.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.