The iClever Portable Folding Bluetooth Keyboard is a very slim mini wireless keyboard that works with Android, Mac, Windows, and presumably anything that supports Bluetooth keyboards.
One of the great advances in relatively recent times in the mobile world has been the advance of Swype-like keyboards, apps that allow you to trace your words and type with a level of speed that hunt-and-peck on an on-screen keyboard just would not allow.
Unfortunately, for doing anything of length, this gets tedious. At least for me. The idea of attempting to trace out detailed emails to work sends shivers down my spine, and I find that after a while I start missing the horrible autocorrect mistakes it makes and have ended up telling my boss I’ll bring a donkey when I meant to say that I would be there in a minute.
For actually getting any writing of length done, I need a keyboard, and while it may seem a bit silly to carry around something that’s larger when folded than the phone I’m typing on, it gives you the ability for mobility without bringing a laptop. Plus you can just keep it in the car. Nothing says you have to carry every portable device on your person!
The things of note about the iClever portable foldable Bluetooth keyboard are that it’s lightweight, kicks on automatically when unfolded, becomes a Windows, Mac, or Android keyboard after pairing by pressing Fn+ Q (For Android,) W (for Windows,) E (iOS) – it’s marked there on the keyboard, no need to memorize.
This gives you the Windows key, Android cut & paste options, iOS command button, etc. There’s essentially nothing standard that the iClever keyboard can’t mimic.
It’s got a 33 foot range, and pairs with no hassle on Android and Windows (can’t test iOS, toddler hid iPad).
Overall it’s a pretty amazing little keyboard, but it should be stressed that it is a little keyboard. It comes in at somewhere around 80% of a normal sized keyboard, and as such there’s a typing curve to adjust to.
It took me about four hundred words before I was typing at any speed with it, I had a speed of about three times what I could Swype, with an error rate of about twice that, so even with correcting errors left and right it was still faster. It also allowed formatting things easier.
The designers included tactile cues on the F and J keys, but as you’re not really able to rest your hands in the right position for that to matter, I don’t think that works particularly well. It’s a nice thought, maybe if I had very tiny hands.
Beyond that, the battery lasts for I don’t know how long. You’re probably not going to find out in your first week of ownership. I’ve made the mistake of charging it so unless I delay this review for a few more days I don’t think I can tell you how long it lasts. Long enough for most I’d guess. The manual says uninterrupted working time is 84 hours with a standby time of 200+ days.
The keyboard recharges via a micro USB cable which I believe is included, unfortunately a friend of mine started playing with the keyboard and plopped everything out so I’m not 100% sure.
After a few days using it as a primary keyboard I find that I am probably typing about 70% of the speed I normally type. I have a feeling I’ll get up to full speed if I use it exclusively but I keep making a series of spelling errors so I type very deliberate with it.
Overall though, if you need to turn your phone or tablet into something you can compose long emails and documents, this does it. It does take some transitioning time to learn though.
The iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard is available from Amazon for $34.99, and yes this review was typed exclusively using it.