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Bluetooth Keyboard Testing and Impressions


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Showing 1-21 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 20, 2012 4:59:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 5:10:36 PM PDT
jsh1120 says:
In view of the interest in bluetooth devices that can now be supported by the KFHD's, I thought it might be worth starting a thread dealing specifically with the various keyboards available and individuals' experiences with each.

I happen to have both an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a Microsoft 6000 portable bluetooth keyboard. I'll provide a review of each in separate posts.

First, the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

This is a very popular bluetooth keyboard with various Apple devices including the various incarnations of the iPad. However, it's can be used with other devices. I use it occasionally with a 15" Dell laptop and now the KFHD along with my iPad 2.

The keyboard is relatively expensive compared to some of its rivals. Not surprising coming from Apple, of course. But the quality of device may justify the price (about $70) as well.

Has an aluminum frame and chiclet style keys. A barrel at the top of the keyboard holds AA batteries and provides a half inch or so elevation to the top of the keyboard. The keyboard itself is about 2 inches wider than an iPad (long side) making it possible to provide a near full size keyboard deck. Very lightweight, it's an excellent traveling companion.

Use with the KFHD. Perhaps ironically, the Amazon KFHD product video shows an Apple Wireless Keyboard being used with the 8.9" KFHD. And the overall performance is first class. (Obviously with the 7" KFHD at this point.)

Pairing was simple (once I unpaired the keyboard from my iPad). Go to settings, look for devices, push the only button on the keyboard and a tiny green light flashes to indicate it can be discovered. Enter a code provided by the KFHD and the keyboard was connected. Thirty seconds or so.

Tested the keyboard in three apps: the Silk browser, OfficeSuite Professional word processor, and NoteEverything. Virtually perfect performance in all three.

One of the most common problems with bluetooth keyboards is "lag" between a key and its display and "unintended repetition." (You type "x" and "xxxxxxx" appears.) Neither was an issue in my testing. Communication between the keyboard and the KFHD was perfect.

Should also mention that I used the AWK along with the Origami Workstation from Incase. It's a case designed specifically for the AWK that "unfolds" (Origami, get it?) to provide a stand for the tablet supported in a sort of triangular configuration. Adds about $30 to the overall cost, making the entire set of gear about $100.

Overall evaluation: Highly recommended if you're prepared to shell out the bucks.

Apple Wireless Keyboard MC184LL/B [NEWEST VERSION]

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 5:34:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 5:36:39 PM PDT
jsh1120 says:
Microsoft 6000 Bluetooth Portable Keyboard

I've had this keyboard for several years. Use it with a Dell laptop mostly. (I don't like most keyboards on laptops unless they're Lenovo's.) It's an excellent keyboard, about half the price of the Apple Wireless Keyboard if you get the model without a separate standalone numeric keypad. (I have that keypad but haven't tested it with the KFHD. It does not work with the iPad.)

Unlike the Apple Wireless Keyboard, the Microsoft 6000 has a plastic housing and is very thin and flat. Sitting on the desk it's no more than 1/4 inch high with no elevation at the top of the keyboard. Nevertheless, some may find it more ergonomic. It's slightly curved, with the keys laid out in a very slight crescent shape that allows one's wrists to remain straight. It's also a couple of inches wider overall than the Apple Wireless Keyboard so folks with large hands or those accustomed to a full size keyboard may find it somewhat easier to use. The keys themselves are the more traditional (non-chiclet) style and are essentially the same size as a full size keyboard.

Pairing is a no-brainer. Same process as with the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Takes less than 30 seconds.

Same tests with the Office Suite Pro, NoteEverything, and the Silk browser. I had tried an initial test last week when I first received the KFHD and found some problems with lag and keystroke repetition. Not major but noticeable. In this more extensive test, however, I found no problems, whatsoever. The keyboard performed just as well in all three aps as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Not sure what the difference is and I'd be interested to hear if others find the performance varies. If so, it might make sense to "forget" the device if you encounter problems and re-pair to get a better signal. That may have been the issue here.

As far as a stand for the KFHD is concerned, you have several options with this keyboard. The Origami Workstation won't work but you may have a case that provides a stand. If you're considering one, ask yourself if you want to use the KFHD exclusively in landscape orientation. Some cases (e.g. the Marware Axis) allows rotation of the KFHD. Most (such as the case from Amazon) do not.

If you don't have a case or want a separate stand, consider the Belkin Flip Blade Adjust. It's sturdy, holds the KFHD in either orientation, and folds almost flat for travel. There are numerous other choices, of course.

Overall evaluation: Highly recommended, especially at the price. Not as stylish as the AWK but equally (or more) functional.

P.S. The Apple Wireless Keyboard and the Microsoft 6000 are the two bluetooth keyboards I own. I'd urge others to add their comments about either of these or other bluetooth keyboards (e.g. Logitech or Amazon Basic) to this thread.

Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard 6000 Note: There are several models of this same keyboard including the 5000 and the 6000 with a numeric keypad. All should function more or less identically.

Belkin FlipBlade Adjust Stand for New Apple iPad 2 / 3rd Generation, HD, 1080P, WiFi, 4G LTE, AT & T, Verizon

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 7:38:50 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 20, 2012 8:00:06 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 9:35:29 AM PDT
I'm using the Freedom Pro Keyboard with my KFHD. I also use this keyboard with my Motorola Droid Razr and love it. Finding one of these keyboards may be a problem because they're out of stock in most places.

The keyboard has both SPP and HID modes and can be confusing at times which to use. If you're using it with an Android device EXCEPT the KFHD, use SPP mode. With an iPad or KFHD however, you need to use HID mode. This caused me a certain amount of frustration. The website (http://www.freedominput.com/technical-support/technical-support/freedom-pro-keyboard) has videos for pairing with different devices and again, if you're trying to pair it with a KFHD, watch the iPad video.

I tested the keyboard in Silk, Teamviewer, OfficeSuite Profesional word processor. In all three, the keyboard did have the repeating problem noted in other comments. When first starting to type, the first key pressed would repeate for 3 to 10 times. After that however, the keys would not repeat. Knowing this you can modify your typing pattern and avoid this. I know that isn't what we should HAVE to do, but at least this allows people who already have this keyboard to know how to use it with the KFHD.

The stand that comes with the Freedom Pro Keyboard is not tall enough nor sturdy enough to hold the KFHD up on it's own. However, I was able to achieve some tilt by turning the stand around backwards, and only half popping it up. The KFHD is completely off the table, but it's still mostly flat, only about a 15 degree angle I'd guess.

I wouldn't really recommend going out and buying this keyboard for the KFHD specifically. I think there are others that will work better. But if you already have this keyboard and are wondering if it will work, and trying to get it set up, I hope this helps.

Freedom Pro Bluetooth Folding KeyBoard for PDAs Apple iPad and PCs

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 9:46:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 5, 2012 9:51:07 AM PDT
Jsh, I'm curious about how well you like the chicklet keyboard vs the traditional style. A lot of people like chicklets because they don't have the tendancy to gather debris underneath the keys, but most chicklet keyboards I've ever tried feel stiff. I'm a very fast touch-typist (and a gamer) so if I'm zooming along on a chicklet, I feel like I tend to miss more letters.

Just glancing at the photos it looks like the Microsoft keyboard might be a little more travel-friendly because it's flat, but I think you only mentioned traveling with the Apple keyboard? Battery life is also a little important to me for traveling - how does it compare between the two? Are there any other keyboards built mainly for traveling that you've liked?

What have you found?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2012 10:39:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 5, 2012 10:41:08 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
C.J.,

Actually, I've traveled much more with the Microsoft Keyboard than the Apple and in general I prefer it. The only travel-related advantages of the AWK are (a) it fits into the Incase Origami Workstation case; (b) it's slightly smaller and more rectangular than the Microsoft keyboard making it a little more manageable on one of those tiny tray tables on a plane; and (c) it has an aluminum frame that (theoretically at least) is more durable. But frankly, those are pretty minor advantages. The ergonomic curve of the Microsoft keyboard and greater width is a bit more of a challenge to pack but it's much thinner and flatter so it's easy to stuff into some spaces in a laptop case. And though the Microsoft keyboard is all plastic, it has been many many thousands of miles stuffed into my laptop bag and luggage and treated to the kind of abuse that travel entails and still works perfectly after about five years.

Frankly, I replace the batteries in both devices so seldom that I can't even tell you which is better. I always carry a couple of batteries when I travel but I'd estimate that I get six months or more from either keyboard.

As far as keyboard feel, that's really a subjective assessment. I spend most of my time working on a full size fairly expensive keyboard from Logitech (and in the past from Microsoft) and probably for that reason I prefer the "feel" of the Microsoft keyboard. In addition, the curved design keeps my wrists "straight" and that's an advantage for extended typing. The AWK is a fine piece of equipment and it's definitely more stylish than the Microsoft but unless I'm trying to make a fashion statement :) I actually prefer the Microsoft unit.

As for other brands, I can only give you a brief impression. I think Logitech makes very good keyboards and while I haven't used their bluetooth models, I've tried them briefly in retail stores and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase one. Otherwise, I'm a self-confessed keyboard snob. It's the most important and most abused computer accessory I use. And for me, a keyboard's durability is a primary consideration. One key goes bad and the entire keyboard is more or less useless. I rely on a keyboard retaining its feel through literally hundreds of thousands of keystrokes and I've used cheap keyboards (belonging to others) that I'm sure felt fine when new but after six months felt "mushy." So I stick with well-known and tested brands.

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 11:00:50 AM PDT
Very helpful stuff. I agree with you on sticking with what you know will last; MS has made good keyboards for a long time and nobody does better with ergonomic models in my experience. The only reason I switched to my HP was because the MS wireless ones didn't have good enough range for my living roomat the time.

I think the Microsoft keyboard is going on my wish list!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2012 7:34:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 17, 2012 7:36:10 PM PDT
My favorite stands are the simple wire stands one often sees in book stores. Do a search with the following:

Book and Painting Three Wire Display Stand

You can find them on Amazon (for $11 for 2) or at a craft store like Micahels for about $3-4 each. I have several of them scattered about the house and one in my car. They are light, cheap, sturdy, and fully adjustable. I highly recommend them.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 4:45:43 PM PST
Gregory Lee says:
Thanks for the info about KFHD keyboards. Looking around for a keyboard for my soon-to-be-received KFHD 8.9", this thread is the only place I could find any real info. I've ordered a Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000. I'll report back next week.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 4:50:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 4:51:01 PM PST
jsh1120 says:
Gregory,

Hope you like it. I've used mine for several years and it's a winner for me.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 4:09:15 AM PST
Gregory Lee, I purchased that same Microsoft keyboard for my kindle fire HD and so far, so good. I've not used it a lot, but my experience so far is very positive. Love the size of it and the keyboard is just so nice to type upon.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 5:23:15 PM PST
Gregory Lee says:
I said I'd report back about how the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 works with the KFHD 8.9", when I could test it. It works fine (as several others have said).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 3:54:01 PM PST
I have a kendle fire hd 7". I can't find bluetooth icon to connect the apple keyboard 6000kindle fire hd for Dummies book shows and icon and I can't fine it. I sware at one point I found bluetooth on it. I tried to use this site and asked for a call. No call and I don't know if the message was received. What is the actual Telephone number? Is it top secret?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 3:57:33 PM PST
jsh1120 says:
James,

Give it another shot. I can't figure out what you're asking.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:14:20 PM PST
Use your finger to "pull" down the top edge of the screen to reveal volume, brightness, wireless, etc. options. Select Wireless. You will see Bluetooth listed. Choose Bluetooth and follow your directions from there. If you still have questions, I'll try to help. What kind of keyboard are you using by the way?

Posted on Feb 2, 2013 11:27:45 AM PST
Jon Durham says:
I have the Kindle Fire 7 HD. I purchased the BasAcc keyboard for it.When I bluetooth the fire to the keyboard, the fire shows a keyboard, but not a bluetooth keyboard. The fire shows a keyboard symbol with this code next to it: 00:45:12:09:0D:15. When I pair I get this message on the fire: "unable to communicate with 00:45:12:09:0D:15".

I've noticed two oddities withe the keyboard. When I connect it to a USB, a red diode comes on for about 60 seconds and then goes out. Then when I turn the unit on, a blue diode flashes for about 30 seconds.

Jon

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2013 11:51:32 AM PST
I bought Apple's Bluetooth keyboard and it works perfectly with the kindle fire hd seven inch. If you can't resolve your problem, return your product and get Apple's. However, I wish you luck in resolving your issue with your present keyboard.

Posted on Feb 2, 2013 4:56:06 PM PST
I recently acquired this case/keyboard combo for my Kindle Fire HD 8.9":

Poetic KeyBook Bluetooth Keyboard Case for Kindle Fire HD 8.9 Black (Support Auto Sleep/Wake Function)(3 Year Manufacturer Warranty From Poetic)

The case is faux grained leather and has the following useful features:

*Precise cut-outs for the charging and HDMI ports, headphone jack, speakers and camera
*Sleep/Wake capability (turns Kindle Fire HD on and off by opening and closing of case)
*Prop to hold case up in landscape mode
*Magnetic Clasp to securely close the case
*Keyboard stays in place inside case by hidden magnets
*Case can be used with or without the Bluetooth Keyboard

The Bluetooth Keyboard connects easily. There is a sheet of instructions included with colored screenshots of the Kindle Fire HD's bluetooth menu. Upon first time use, you turn the switch to ON, tap the bluetooth button and access the Bluetooth menu on the Kindle Fire HD. Once the FIRE detects the keyboard, a code appears on the screen that you type in using the keyboard (you don't have to type it in after this first connection). Most of the time I just have to turn the switch ON and the Kindle Fire HD automatically connects to the keyboard. Occasionally I have to access the bluetooth menu on the FIRE and tap the bluetooth device connection area to force it to connect. The size of the keyboard is a limitation for those of us who know how to type. The spacebar is particularly challenging as it requires more of a push than a tap and seems to like that push a little more to the left side. Other than that, the keyboard works perfectly. The price of this bluetooth keyboard/case combo is currently $30.95 and Prime Eligible for 2-day free shipping. For that price, this is a wonderful value. The case is very well made and thought out. It looks like real leather with its grain finish and even feels like real leather. It did not ship with an unpleasant faux leather smell either.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2013 12:54:27 AM PST
christina_ne says:
from the home screen, look at the top of your screen (where you see the time), drag down the menu screen. click on wireless & that takes you to the bluetooth setting. hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 11:35:16 AM PST
I've the Adesso WKB-100BW Keyboard and it has been most satisfactory for the Kindle Fire, a Kindle Fire HD 8.9, a Nook HD+, and a multitude of other Tables.

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 12:06:55 PM PST
New Girl says:
I have only used the AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard with Mini Travel Stand for Kindle Fire HD 8.9-Inch, Kindle Fire HD 7-Inch, and Other Android Devices (Black) so I can't compare the quality to others but I have had no problems with it. I have had no problem with lag or multiple characters. It was very easy to connect. The only thing that I have noticed is that unlike my bluetooth head set it doesn't seem to automatically reconnect. So when I want to use it I have to go to the wireless settings, bluetooth, and tap on the the keyboard listed in the paired devices for it to connect. Since I have never used a different bluetooth keyboard I don't know if this is normal or not. For the cost though, you can't beat it.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  21
Initial post:  Sep 20, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 8, 2013

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