Checking Out the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard

The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a small mobile marvel. The compact form factor designed to be folded in half can be transported with ease in any gadget bag and some large cargo pants pockets. Folded, it feels just slightly larger than a CD case. I say feels like, because I don’t have any of those around anymore to compare it to. Magnets hold the case closed. It can be used to type with iOS, Android, or Windows, thus earning the universal moniker.

Using Bluetooth you can connect to two devices simultaneously and toggle between them with dedicated keys that reside to the right of the escape key. A button on the other end of that row allows you to toggle which OS you are using at the time to take advantage of keys and keyboard shortcuts specific to that OS.

The keyboard is spill resistant, meaning you can wipe off anything that might get spilled on it, and the feel under my fingertips is very much like the Type keyboard sold to accompany the Microsoft Surface devices. Battery life probably won’t be an issue as the specs say it will last three months, but the obligatory USB cable is included in the package. One downside for some may be that you will need a stand to prop up whatever tablet or phablet you might be using the keyboard with.

As compact and portable as the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is, it won’t be a good solution for everyone. In fact, it is not a good solution for me. It all depends on how you type. The division that allows for the device to fold creates a gap, that in my 9 days or so of use I could not comfortably adjust to. I’m a fast touch-typist, and your experience may be different. I also go back and forth between typing on mobile keyboards and laptop or desktop keyboards and that probably doesn’t aid in any adjustment factor.

Microsoft has designed the keyboard so that some of the keys adjacent to the gap are a bit larger (T,G,H,N). Presumably this is to compensate for the gap, but in my usage that didn’t do the trick.

So, if tiny and compact is your priority and depending on your typing needs, (I imagine hunters and peckers will do just fine), you might want to give the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard a look see. It can be had currently for around $99 at most retailers.

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