14 February 2017

REVIEW: Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard

You'll fold.

If you find yourself doing more than just tweeting and playing Mobile Strike on your phone, and you actually use it for work, you'll eventually know the misery of typing on a small touchscreen for prolonged periods. And when we say prolonged, we mean after about three minutes. To that end, get yourself a wireless keyboard, but not one that is bulky and heavy. Get the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard.

Just like this portable effort from Microsoft that we reviewed a couple of years ago, the Universal Foldable Keyboard is light and convenient and can be comfortably carried about in your bag for whenever you need it. However, this time the bods at Microsoft have outdone themselves in terms of size, and – as the name suggests – this keyboard folds closed like a book and has an incredibly thin profile.

Charged via Micro USB (there's a port on the side of the soft touch fabric coating), and connecting with Bluetooth, the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is the thinnest, flattest keyboard any of us have ever typed on. It can work with PC, Mac, Android, and also iOS, with a toggle switch in the top right to cycle between devices. Pairing the keyboard is easy, and all you have to do is enter a code that appears on your device's screen. It took about 30 seconds.

Once connected to your phone you then have the option of pairing to another active device within range, and then quickly switching control between the two at the touch of a button. This means you can flick seamlessly from your phone to your computer without having to reconnect. It possibly isn't a feature you'll use all that much (especially if you're buying it to use with just your phone or tablet while on the road), but it's a nice extra, nonetheless.

Battery life is very good, and we found that after a charge time of just an hour or so we got ... well, it's yet to die after a solid wee of use, and in fact we've read elsewhere that it can last up to three months on that single charge. Impressive. 

However, while on the subject of use, it will take a bit of getting used to. Because the keys are split into two perfect squares on either 'side' of the keyboard, the natural – or rather traditional – placement of the keys is off slightly. If you're a touch typist it might send you slightly mad, as your fingers will find a weirdly elongated H key and a huuuge T, not to mention the gap in the middle that is easy to forget about. We suppose you can't just cut a Qwerty keyboard in half without upsetting some people.

Still, persevere, as once as your brain catches up and you find yourself typing naturally, it is a very handy thing to carry around with you. We're not saying that you should commit to writing a novel on it, but for those crucial emails and blog posts while travelling, it's awesome.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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