iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard for the Business Traveller
I have a love/hate relationship with my tablet.
I love it for reading on my Kindle app on the plane or catching up on the latest episode of my favourite tv show, or just plain surfing the internet and catching up on Facebook while at Starbucks.
But I hate it (or more accurately, my hands hate it) when I have to get work done!
I’m a fast typist when I’m in my office on a full-size keyboard, but my tablet typing is so snail-speed slow that I might as well be using only two fingers. I have to stare at the keys as I type and the result is that I produce a lot more typos because when my fingers do start to fly and I get in a rhythm, I lose track of where my fingers are on the smooth, slick glass.
Also, ergonomically it’s the worst because either my hands are at an unnatural angle or my head and neck are. It’s so frustrating that if I know I’ll have to do any amount of typing on a trip, I’ll pack my laptop instead.
I’ve tried tablet cases with the built-in keyboard but I find them clunky and heavy and what if you just want to use the tablet on its own? You have to take the tablet out of the case and use it unprotected. Not cool.
The universe must have heard all my complaining because the good people over at iClever sent me their Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard to test out and here’s what we found.
Is this the tech solution to my business travel tablet woes?
Each time I receive something from iClever, I think about the packaging – or lack thereof. The packaging design is smart, and there is nothing excessive about it – it’s clean and simple and so is their branding.
The keyboard comes boxed with a carrying pouch, USB to micro USB charging cable, instruction book and warranty card.
- Built in Rechargeable Li-polymer Battery
- iOS, Android, Windows PC, Tablet / Smartphone compatible
- Bluetooth operating range is up to 10 meters
- Weighs: 0.39 lbs
- Size open: 10 x 3.5 x in
- Size closed: 5.75 x 3.5 x 0.75 in
- Made with aircraft-grade aluminum for superior durability
- Charging time < 2 hours
- Uninterrupted working time = 84 hours
- Standby time > 218 days
- 1 Year Warranty
Connecting the keyboard via Bluetooth to my tablet was a piece of cake. I was expecting it to be a bit finicky with multiple attempts required but not so, within minutes I was set up and was busy typing away.
There is a learning curve and time is needed to get used to typing on a smaller keyboard especially if you are used to typing fast as I am. Due to the 10-inch width of the keyboard when open, each key measures only 0.5 x 0.5 inches in size. I have tiny hands so within about 30 minutes I was flying, but I can see that someone with larger hands and chubbier fingers could find it a bit tight.
The keyboard does go into sleep mode and will disconnect the Bluetooth connection when not used for about 15 minutes to save battery life. You’ll see the notification appear on the screen of the tablet telling you as much. Just hit any key and the Bluetooth quickly “wakes” and automatically reconnects.
A green light appears once you unfold the keyboard and then turns off 3 seconds later. After that, there is no other sign that the keyboard is on.
The charging port is at the back of the keyboard, and a red light will appear when it is charging and will turn off when fully charged.
I was quite impressed with the power capacity and standby time. I didn’t test the uninterrupted working time (I need my beauty sleep ya’ know). Another thing to note was that it didn’t excessively drain the battery life on my tablet while it was in use.
iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Pros
- Very light weight, compact 3-fold design
- Easy to set up and connect to my android tablet
- Nice “feel” of the keyboard as you type
- Set it up once and you don’t have to set it up again
- Made with aircraft-grade aluminum so it’s a lot tougher than it looks and feels
- About the same size as an iPhone 6
- Great battery life
iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Cons
- The velvet bag that it came in is a tight fit width wise and is too short length wise so when you pull the strings it doesn’t close fully.
- The keys are a bit noisy, and you can clearly hear the tap tap tap as you type. On second thought this could be construed to be a PRO because you’ll impress your seat mate on the plane by how productive you are while they slack off during the flight!
- There is no indication that the keyboard is on other than the green light that flashes on and off once you fold it open.
- Keyboard does not lock in the unfolded position. So if you type on your lap, it has a habit of closing on you.
- Keyboard doesn’t have any feet so you can’t place it on an angle if this is how you prefer to type.
- Not compatible with Nokia phones or Windows 8
In conclusion, I’m pretty happy with the iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard.
It’s a secondary piece of equipment that I’m going to have to keep track of in my travel bag and it’s so small that you truly need to keep track of it. But the compact size, ergonomics, and versatility of the keyboard/tablet are much preferred to the weight and bulk of travelling with a laptop.
Do you travel with a portable keyboard in conjunction with your tablet?
I received the iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard from hisgadget for review purposes. This had no bearing on my review of this item. I was not financially compensated for this review. As always, all my opinions are my own.