Monday, January 18, 2016

Pluggable Bluetooth Foldable Keyboard

Early this new year, I decided to try my hand out at writing - again - and decided to take a writing course to help guide me. I've read lots of books on how to write, and I never really got anywhere with that. Perhaps, having a proper teacher to guide me would help.

This is the perfect excuse to buy a new toy, a portable keyboard. Loads of keyboards are available, but I wanted something that was both cool and usable. The Pluggable Foldable Keyboard fit not only both requirements, but also within my budget - the Microsoft Universal Portable Keyboard is supposedly the creme ala creme, but it's almost double the price of the pluggable, and perhaps 15% less cool as it only has one fold. It does however, appear to have a much better keyboard layout.

Depending on how things go, I may pick that up if the pluggable dies. But anyhow, here's a short review for the Pluggable keyboard.

The keyboard appeals to the geek in me. Made of 3 sections, 2 of the sections fold over the middle, forming a compact, solid brick to bring along. The pluggable also includes a very well thought out case that folds over to become a stand for your phone or tablet. What's better, is there is a slide out stand, so you can adjust how your device tilts.

Switching on the keyboard simply involves flipping open the keyboard, and tapping a key will connect it to the phone, assuming it's already paired up. The keys themselves are not as big as the keys on a macbook pro (that's the only comparison I can give, really), about 1.4cm vs 1.5cm on the laptop, and the laptop has a wider spacing between keys. Based on my quick calculations between the Q and P keys, the Pluggable is about 85% of the macbook pro's keyboard.

In practice, the Pluggable took a while to get used to. The right shift key is rather small, and shares the space with the up arrow key. Many times when I wanted to type a question mark, I ended up moving the cursor up and adding a slash. I got over it a few hours later.

On the left side, things are rather cramped, and I tend to hit the Capslock key, again, that was less of an issue once I got used to it. Page up/down, home and end work as expected, as well as the Ctrl-home/end key combos.

The main thing that I can't seem to get to work is using the Ctrl-Delete/Backspace to delete a whole word. I use that quick frequently, and I have to go back to holding down the backspace. Rather annoying, if I'd already typed out a long sentence and want to get rid off.

If not, so far it's been great in use. I've seen some reviews saying that the keyboard is easy to tilt when pressing the keys on the left and right edges. And this is rightly so... if you are smashing the key.

Verily, you CAN tilt the keyboard up on its side, but it requires a significant amount of pressure. I've no idea how people are getting it tilted to one side in normal use.

The build quality is also very surprising. The keys themselves are well made, and with a pretty good feel to the response. When folded up, it's made of a strong light metal, and the brushed finish gives it a luscious feel, without being a fingerprint magnet.

The case is also well designed, and everything fits together like eggs in a carton. Given as I've only been using it for several hours over the last 3 days, I can't tell you much more. Very pleased with this purchase though. The good sized keys, wireless connectivity and compactness of the package are a boon for writing on the go.

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