portable bluetooth keyboard for ergonomics?
July 23, 2016 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I've searched and read the previous posts on this exact topic, but they are all several years out...so... what's an inexpensive, small/compact/portable bluetooth keyboard that you really love?

The last post for this question was 5 years ago, and these things turn around at light speed, so I figured I'd get some updated recs. I'm planning on using the keyboard with my MacBook air or occasionally with my iPad mini. Mostly this is so that I can elevate the laptop to eye level. Also I don't like the keyboards on the recent Macbooks. They are just not as light and crisp as they used to be.

Anyway, <$50 will be ideal, but most importantly is small and light and still comfortable to type on.
I already have an apple one, but it's so big.
posted by atetrachordofthree to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I bought the Microsoft Universal Keyboard one last year. The above link shows it at about $52 on Amazon. It has mixed reviews, and I do not use it heavily, but it fits in my backpack and I like it. Actually the thing I like least about it is the awful "coating" (I guess it's supposed to be anti-skid, but for no additional cost you get a dust collector). You may want to see if anyone else 2nds my recommendation.
posted by forthright at 6:00 PM on July 23, 2016

The Moto Xoom keyboard is still available. I bought mine in 2012 for my Nexus 7 tablet. It has been faultless and at about $19 retail, it's worth a bit of a gamble. There are recent reports that the key mapping is screwy. I bought my girlfriend one and she uses it all the time, even though she can't get a couple symbols - and she has had Apple, Anker and Logitech keyboards which did not live all that long.
posted by jet_silver at 10:00 PM on July 23, 2016

Have you seen the Wirecutter's roundup of bluetooth keyboards?

Not included in that article: I used to have the Thinkpad Compact Bluetooth Keyboard when I used my Surface tablet as a full-time PC. Feels pretty much like typing on a modern Thinkpad keyboard (i.e. pretty decent) and has the built-in trackpoint and mouse buttons, if you're into that kind of thing.
posted by btfreek at 10:07 PM on July 23, 2016

Best answer: I picked up that same Thinkpad keyboard a year or two ago. I love trackpoints and hate touchpads, so that's nice. but it's not nearly as sturdily made as a Thinkpad product should be (well maybe because it's a Lenovo product). I still don't like chiclet keys, and the thing is fairly flexy so typing doesn't feel great to me. also, you won't find it for less than $70-75. oh, also it's not small - it's about the same size as an actual Thinkpad laptop's keyboard.

another one I have is Aerb's IBK02 (it comes re-branded as more than a few other manufacturers, all around $25.) it is impossibly wafer-thin and tiny, but that also means that it is super-flexy and may not hold up well to travel, and that it's not the greatest thing to type on. but I sort of like the features on it: rechargeable battery, pointing device (ok, well it's a touchpad :P and its control of the mouse cursor can act erratic at times, and the mouse buttons are soft rubber so you have to be decisive or they don't always work on the first try), programmable IR buttons (the whole reason I got this was to use bluetooth with a FireTV and also program in various IR codes from my TV remote - so it's a great product in that aspect)

also had one of those Rii-style (comes under a staggeringly-confusing number and combination of re-branding and slightly different feature options (e.g. can get extras like laser pointer, IR control, backlight, ...) and newer/older models where it's unclear which may or may not be better). tiny, but more solid than the IBK02, still flexy for typing though. then again, this one I managed to break beyond repair by, I think, rolling over it in my sleep hahaha.

if you don't require a pointing device, you'll definitely have far more and far better choices. I wish there was a bluetooth version of Logitech's K400/K400r - I've been extremely pleased with it. unfortunately, the K400 only comes in RF (which would work with your MacBook but not your iPad) but not bluetooth; there are quite similar Logitech models that do use bluetooth instead, but for some reason none of those have pointing devices.
posted by dorian at 10:54 PM on July 23, 2016

(forgot to specify - the Logitech K400r design and construction has been, for me, by far the most pleasant typing experience. key action and response feel great, and the whole keyboard is solid and non-flexy. which would make me think their similar models in BT would feel the same. so, again, if you don't need a mouse (or if you don't mind using a separate bluetooth mouse) - definitely take a look at the article btfreek linked.)
posted by dorian at 11:21 PM on July 23, 2016

I really, really love my Logitech K810, which I've had for several years. It's not cheap ($69 on Amazon), and its design isn't ergonomic, but when I'm using it (primarily with my iPad, but also with Android phone) I forget it's even there. It's lightweight yet feels very solid and the illuminated keys are wonderful.

I have tried a few less expensive keyboards and always come back to the K810.

On review, I see this is a highly-rated keyboard in the Wirecutter review listed above.
posted by lhauser at 9:25 AM on July 24, 2016

The Lenovo one is great
posted by christiehawk at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2016

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