iClever Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by donka, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. donka

    donka
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    The Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard from iClever is the first folding portable keyboard I have used that doesn't seem to have any obvious caveats. Crafted from Aircraft-grade aluminium, this Bluetooth keyboard appears very well made and feels great in the hand thanks to its anodized finish.

    In the box is the keyboard, user guide, micro USB charge cable and storage bag. Folded up, this measures in at 146.2 x 92.6 x 16.9mm and tips the scales at a lightweight 184g. Opened out for use, the keyboard is 251.7 x 89.6 x 6.6mm which is very close in size to the keyboard dimensions of the official Apple wireless keyboard. It's not full sized but the keys are approximately 90% of the apple keyboard. This keyboard employs an unusual bi-fold design that allows for a compact folded size but unusually a single piece space bar as well which is very welcome.

    The keyboard lies flat and sits atop small rubber feet that hold it steady on a desktop when typing. This is a chiclet style keyboard fashioned from matt black plastic housed in the aluminium giving it a premium look and feel. This also gives it a reassuring rigidity which belies its price point.

    The Li-polymer battery is rated as good for 120 days between charges or up to 80 hours of effective usage time. Charging is quick using the supplied micro USB cable which connects on the top. The twin LEDs on the fascia keep you informed of the status of the device showing Caps Lock, Bluetooth pairing, power, charging and low battery. The keyboard also features a power saving mode that will sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity but awakes again at the tap of a key.

    Pairing is achieved by simply opening the keyboard, which turns it on, and holding down the function and C keys - the led will flash blue when available for pairing. No pass code is required and this is a onetime setup. Once paired, the keyboard subsequently connects automatically when powered on and quickly too. When typing, there was absolutely no lag and performance was great. The keyboard felt very good to type on considering the slim chassis - the keys use a scissor style connection which make them smooth and quiet in use. Function keys also worked with iOS functions so you can, for instance, change volume directly from the keyboard or pull up Spotlight search. There is actually an option to switch between iOS, Android and Windows which ensures you get the best compatibility depending on the host system.

    The keyboard comes with a US layout which is a minor disappointment but quite common with portable keyboards. Thankfully, the region settings from the host OS are still at play so you will have access to your local characters, you just need to know the correct key strokes to achieve this and it only affects a handful of lesser used characters. Shift + 3 for example pulls up the £ sign.

    It performed perfectly for me without any issues and feels very good quality for the money. You always expect compromises with a folding keyboard but there really aren't any of note with this one from iClever. I really recommend this for the road warrior that likes to keep a physical keyboard handy for their gadgets and I won't be going anywhere without it.

    Video review:

     

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  2. giradman

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    Hi Donka - thanks for the review on this 'foldable' BT KB - I've been using the Apple KB 'on the road' since 2011 when I bought the iPad 2 - now still use it w/ my iPad Air 2 (and about to take it on a trip tomorrow to visit our son in Indianapolis w/ a few stops coming & going in Kentucky). Just $35 on Amazon Prime - will likely order one on my return! Dave :)
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  3. donka

    donka
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    Thanks Dave. The Apple keyboard is still the better option if you have room for it and will be doing a lot of typing. If you are looking for a highly portable option to carry with you for those just in case moments, this is a great option.
     
  4. giradman

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    Hi again - I've had the 'soft' case below for the Apple KB since 2011 - holding up well and the combo does not really take up much room at all - wife never uses a KB 'on the road' or at home on her mini iPad or iPhone, so maybe I'll just stick w/ the old one. Thanks again for the excellent review - Dave :)

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  5. donka

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    Yup, if you are happy with travelling with the full sized keyboard then it is still preferred but for those who need to travel as light as possible or carry the keyboard in a pocket, the foldable keyboard is a great option.
     

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