Recently Scosche released a bluetooth wireless keyboard that only requires a device with a bluetooth pairing mode to work. It is designed with mobility in mind targeting tablet devices. They sent us one to review and luckily all though not official supported the keyboard works on the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Package: The package it came in is simple, folded into a small box, with an instruction manual and a retractable mini USB cable for charging the keyboard.
Getting started: First thing is to charge the keyboard if is not fully charge yet. You do not need to install any special software or app on the PlayBook. Once it is paired the Key board you can turn it on and off as needed and the PlayBook automatically connects to it.
Pairing: To pair the keyboard you need to turn on they keyboard by pushing the connect button once, a red star will light up o the right side next to it. Once you see it lit, go to the bluetooth options on the PlayBook and make sure the device is set to discoverable. Then click add new device. When the PlayBook lists the scosche keyboard click on it to pair and it will give you a number; that number you will type it on the keyboard and hit enter when you are done. The keyboard should be paired, you can test this by typing something using the keyboard.
Specifications and Features:
- Advantages and Applications –The freeKEY makes typing with your device easy and efficient. You no longer have to struggle while completing emails or getting work done away from your desktop computer. The extremely long lasting battery will provide up to 60 hours of life before having to be recharged.
- Convenient Design Flexible and water resistant, the freeKEY tucks away into your purse or messenger bag pocket while taking up hardly any room. Along with your iPad, the innovative design of the freeKEY enables it to be used with your iPad 2, iPhone, tablet, laptop and more.
- Simple Use With up to 30 feet of wireless range, this water resistant wireless keyboard will be great to unroll whenever you need it. The included retractable cable allows you to keep the freeKEY always charged and ready-to-go.
- Support Profiles: Bluetooth 2.0, HID
- Rugged high quality silicone material repels dust and liquids
- Up to 30 ft of wireless range
- Wirelessly type on your mobile devices
- Supported OS: Mac OS, iOS, Android*, Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista & 7
- Battery Specs: Built-in lithium-ion battery, Charging time: 2 Hours, Battery Life: 60 Hours, Standby Time: Up to 30 Days, Operating current: <3mA
- **Requires HID Bluetooth profile
Usability: The keyboard feels soft and a bit different since is the first time using one like this one. The keyboard is big enough to type like you would on a regular keyboard. The size is good enough where the user does not feel as if they were typing on a miniature keyboard. It has good enough space between the keys that you can type fast enough using both hands. The more you use it the more you get use to typing on it.
I found that the keyboard works great when testing it with other devices including an android device, the BlackBerry but I did noticed that in earlier builds of the PlayBook OS the PlayBook would lose the connection. It is not the keyboard but it seems the PlayBook can only handle so many Bluetooth connections at once. The latest OS updates seem to handle the connection much better without unexpectedly dropping the connection.
Using the keyboard at first feels weird because it is fairly soft compare to regular computer keyboards. After a while I got used to it and it feels comfortable typing on it. To put it to good use I decided to finishing this review using it with the PlayBook. When theuser types the keys give feedback you feel the keys click. It is more comfortable typing on it than a netbook keyboard. One of the best part is that you can easily fold the keyboard and take with you anywhere. Combine these keyboard with a portable Bluetooth mouse, and you are set on the go. I use it to edit documents, and sometimes to type articles when I am away from home. RIM has improved the OS to support these devices recently because I noticed that when I am using a mouse it has an indicator showing what a right mouse click will do.
The other cool part of this keyboard is that you can easily charge from anywhere you can plug it to a USB connection. The battery last quite a bit so if you use it for periods of time it can last a while. The design, and the functionality of the keyboard definitely make it a top choice if you are looking for one to use with your mobile device, be it BlackBerry PlayBook, or the competitors.
You can purchase the Keyboard from www.scosche.com for $59.99 or Amazon where you can usually get it at a lower price.