Gear: IOGEAR Multi-Link Bluetooth Keyboard, Fujitsu LifeBook T580, BlackBerry PlayBook.
I'm always looking for technology that is a bit unique. I like the idea of wireless everything and bluetooth does just that. But most BT keyboards are lame and don't offer anything unique, but the IOGEAR BT Mini keyboard does something a bit special. It allows you to pair up to 6 devices and easily switch between them.
- 2x AAA batteries
- Quickguide and Warranty
Images on the web do portray the keyboard properly. To me the keyboard looks good. It doesn't have any of those manual raisers, but it does have a bit of an angle that works ok.
Keyboard And Keys Size
If you want compact it doesn't get any smaller than this. They keyboard and keys are small and for those with big hands this is not the keyboard to have. Some of the symbol keys are smaller than the rest of the keys which makes it easy for you to mess up while typing. This is something that is fixable by reassigning keys with a script (I have used AutoHotKey) Doing a script as simple as "Up::RShift" fixes my habit of hitting the up key instead of the right shift.
You can get used to typing with these small keys but it might be a bit frustrating at first. I did type with the keyboard for about two weeks and when I tried to go back to a bigger size keyboard it just felt weird. I felt that my tiny SIIG multimedia keyboard was huge.
Key Pressure and Feedback
Usually I'll commend companies like Logitech for making great keyboards and expect every other company to produce cheap quality. IOGEAR did not produce a crappy product. They did a great job. They have what they call "Precise, Quiet Key Touch" which as it's described goes like this "Patented scissor key structure provides exact and even pressure on each key stroke." This beats a lot of crappy keyboards that I have tried. It's solid.
This is what makes this keyboard completely unique. The ability to pair with up to 6 bluetooth devices and switch among them is pure genius. Why are all bluetooth keyboards not like this? If I want to use the keyboard on all of my devices then I should be able to and IOGEAR nailed it. Switching between laptops, tablets, gaming systems, and other devices is great. One keyboard to rule them all!
Another way of switching between devices is called a KVM switch which is usually expensive. The advantage of KVM is that is also does mouse and video switching. Usually you must hook up cables.
Most bluetooth have a terrible delay when you haven't touched the keyboard for a few minutes. It's just how it is. However, this mini keyboard remembers your key strokes so even with that initial delay it does not "screw" you.
- HID keyboard devices
- iOS 4.0 and above
- Windows Mobile
At $80 on IOGEAR's website this keyboard is expensive. Amazon sells it for $50. Even at the much cheaper price of $50 it still is an expensive keyboard. In a way I can recognize that you are paying for a premium product.
If you need a compact keyboard to carry around this will be a good one. As a main keyboard it might not because you will mess up typing here and there (some of those symbol keys). If you need a bigger size keyboard with the Multi-Link technology you are in luck because IOGEAR has the GKM611B. I think the IOGEAR Multi-Link BT Mini Keyboard will be great as a secondary keyboard or as a main keyboard for some of those small portable devices like tablets.