Microsoft's Folding Keyboard For iOS And Android Is A Razor-Thin Beauty

Microsoft's Folding Keyboard for iOS and Android Is a Razor-Thin Beauty

Imagine a keyboard that you can carry around like a wallet — almost as thin as paper, just a few millimetres — and that works with any smartphone or tablet, be it Android, iOS or Windows Phone. This is exactly what Microsoft's new fold-able keyboard is, a little beauty for those who really miss physical keyboards on the go.

Gizmodo loves technology. Our product reviews are presented thanks to Dick Smith.

' Microsoft introduced today this keyboard along with the new affordable Lumia 640 and 640 XL. It's actually a new version of its larger, non-foldable universal keyboard, but this one feels like magic when you use it. Really. I tried it today at Mobile World Congress and it folds right in the middle. Very convenient to carry around inside a bag or even in your jacket pocket. Think of it as a foldable Surface Pro 3 Touch cover, but thinner and better designed. A clever magnet keeps both halves from opening up when you don't want them too. It's another great example of New Microsoft making awesome things that work with the devices you already use.

Microsoft's Folding Keyboard for iOS and Android Is a Razor-Thin Beauty

The keys feel really comfortable, with exactly the right amount of travel. And you have enough space for both hands, almost like in a normal laptop. It can be connected to your device via Bluetooth (no word on battery life yet) or with a microUSB cable. Microsoft hasn't confirmed pricing yet, but if this ends up being less than $US50 or just above that, I'll buy one, maybe even two. If you're a heavy typer, it's definitely worth checking out when it hits shelves.

Microsoft's Folding Keyboard for iOS and Android Is a Razor-Thin Beauty
Microsoft's Folding Keyboard for iOS and Android Is a Razor-Thin Beauty

Comments

    I can't believe they recognize the gap in the market for these devices, but don't add Bluetooth keyboard support to windows phone. That was the whole appeal of office on the phone for me, being able to take a keyboard and take notes directly into the cloud.

      But predictive text is so good I really don't see the point. I can compose entire emails, or Gizmodo comments, with just a few keystrokes. And Cortana does such a brilliant job of understanding me now - I assume they finally have an Australian accent parser, given that Telstra are now advertising Cortana - that I think having to resort to a keyboard with my phone would feel like losing. OTOH, the Universal Mobile Keyboard I use with my tablet is brilliant. It's a little bit wider than my 8" Thinkpad but not much thicker and it provides me with a stand, which turns my tablet into a tiny desktop PC. I don't see this thing being as good, the massive gap in the centre would require some getting used to, I reckon.

        I can't go to a lecture and swipe notes, it's just not even something that could be considered possible. I have the Wedge keyboard, and it's a hell of a lot smaller and lighter than my laptop with flexible stand. I could easily take lecture notes onto a phone screen with it without any issues.

        Last edited 03/03/15 11:15 am

          Managed to snag a Wedge keyboard for 8 bucks after cashback - great device

      WP8.1 Update 2 has the ability to use Bluetooth keyboards - and that is preinstalled on the 640/XL. Win10 has confirmed to have it for phone as well. Question is, while we wait will all the current phones get Update 2? Or will we all have to wait until Win10.

      Its a bit sad it has taken its time to get here.. But considering they just added this feature, created this keyboard and have shown off the new touch friendly office for Windows Phones - I think they understand its a weakness they needed to address.

      I can't believe that this is a gap in the market. It obviously is, I just struggle to comprehend. The same way I struggle with bigger screen phones. Both of these encourage spending more time doing more things on your phone which I think has posture and health effects. How do you use a keyboard with a phone? The phone and keyboard flat on a desk, person hunched over? It sounds horrible for your back and neck. Even with the phone propped up on a dock it's not much better. The screen should be at eye level when sitting/standing up straight and the screen should be a set distance from your eyes. And then there's the issue that no matter how good the experience gets it's still not going to be as good as a dedicated device (e.g. desktop PC, T.V., etc. depending what you're doing). I know this is want people seem to want and I want them to have that. But my ideal of mobile devices is heading in the opposite direction. I want less frequent, but more meaningful, interactions with them and while I still want the ability to do things 'on the go' when I really need to I actually want to return to having dedicated setups for certain tasks, like 'office work', watching T.V. and movies, etc.

        End of the day, when was the last time you used a tablet or laptop and had it set up ergonomically? You're always craning down unless you're on a properly set up desk.

          I try to always do it ergonomically. My phone and SP3 I hold out in front of my face at eye level, or as close I can get when I use them. Sure, sometimes I catch myself looking down or craning my neck but I try to fix that as soon as I realise. That's also more tiring for my arms, hence why I like to return to a position and set up that supports what I'm doing, like a desk (sitting or standing) or a lounge chair with a properly positioned T.V. I think this is where tech needs to change though, to find new, human compatible, ways of given us the same experiences. But if we just push ahead with bigger phones and slouchy posture then it's less likely to happen.

    Was reading that apparently WinPhone 8.1 Update 2 has very few new things except a revamped settings app (see Winphone10) and Bluetooth Keyboard support. We can hope... But they're pushing it.

    FINALLY a replacement for the Think Outside Bluetooth Keyboard!

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