Top positive review
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Excellent Windows 8 Tablet Keyboard
on August 22, 2012
This is a fairly small and portable keyboard that's been specifically designed to work with Windows 8 Tablets. I tested this with various products including Notebooks, Tablets, and phones. It will pretty much work with anything that is happy with Bluetooth keyboards. Although it's quite obvious this was geared towards Windows 8, so I'm doing my testing with something none other than a Dell ST tablet running, Windows 8 RTM (Final).
First, the build quality is excellent. If this is any indication of how Microsoft's tablet is going to be, I'm very interested. The smooth aluminum bezel is machined and polished to a mirror finish. There is a long vertical rubber strip on the bottom to keep things in place. And of course, the rubber "wedge" that puts the keyboard at an angle for easier typing. This is also where the batteries hide. The keys are shallow, similar to some smaller notebooks, but still feel very solid.
This won't be a replacement for a full size notebook keyboard, but I can already type considerably faster and more accurate than using the touchscreen keyboard on this tablet. Although as a traveling companion with your tablet, the stand and build quality does have one slight negative. Which is weight. At just over 2 lbs with the keyboard and cover, that makes this heavier than many tablets. Most of the weight is due to the stand, which is necessary to support a tablet
In fact, as I'm writing this review on the wedge, I can easily type at a fast rate without even glancing at the keyboard. Everything feel natural and there really aren't any keys that have been shrunk to the point of being useless. Speaking of keys, the Function keys have been relegated to a "secondary function." In other words, if you press the F1-F12 keys by themselves, they'll do something else. Such as play, next, volume, search, home, end, pgup/dn, etc. They also have shortcuts for accessing the Windows 8 charms menu items.
If you want to use the F1-F12 keys, you'll need to press FN first. And as originally noted, this really is a Windows 8 keyboard. There aren't any shortcuts for accessing anything in any other non-microsoft operating system. Although since I'm using this on a Windows 8 tablet, those shortcut keys are very handy. If you press FN+ESC, you can turn the device on/off; although the cover does this as well.
COVER & STAND
One unique feature is this cover / stand. In "stand mode" it will support the keyboard and prop up your tablet so you can use both together. When it's not being a stand, it serves as a protective cover for the keyboard. If that wasn't handy enough, it even turns the keyboard off when you put the cover on. While it looks like a cheap piece of plastic in the pictures, I can assure you it is not. It has a very solid hard rubber-like feel to it and the hinge has no problem supporting a larger tablet 10" tablet.
I've already tried covering the keyboard and removing it repeatedly and there were no issues with the keyboard powering on and establishing a connection right away.
As noted before, there have been no issues pairing to anything that uses Bluetooth so far. Although if you don't use the keyboard for a few seconds, there will be a slight delay as it resumes from it's power saving mode. Nothing new there, but that is a bit more aggressive than some I've used. At least that should help these 2 AAA batteries last a bit longer. And it doesn't miss any keys pressed, it just types them all at once.
There are also 2 LED, green/red to let you know what's going on. Range has been the expected 30+ feet for most Bluetooth devices. Not that you'll ever use this more than a few inches from your tablet, it's good to know it can do it.
+ Excellent build quality
+ Windows 8 hot keys
+ Compact design
+ Stand / Cover combo
+ Keyboard layout
+ Good range
- Microsoft only hot-keys
- Occasional input delay (when pausing)
- Tad heavy with the cover
This keyboard is of such good build quality, I'd almost recommend this for any tablet out there. Although if you use it for what it's been designed for, which is Windows 8 tablets, I think you'll be much happier with this product. I'm also not giving a lot of weight to the "cons" as most are necessary or expected for it's intended purpose. So with that taken into consideration, I consider this item highly recommended.