Ask LH: Which Folding Keyboard Should I buy?

Ask LH: Which Folding Keyboard Should I buy?
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Is there a decent folding keyboard out there? I want something that will lie unnoticed in my rucksack or that I can jam in a pocket when heading out to a cafe, but which I can do some serious typing on with my iPhone or iPad when I need to.

It seems a niche occupied solely by cheap, poor quality no-name manufacturers, but sadly passed over by the quality brands. Thanks, Damo.

Dear Damo,

If you’re specifically interested in a keyboard that folds, then you’ve pegged one of the key complaints that many have about this particular sub-category. There really aren’t that many “great” folding keyboards out there, probably because it is such a niche product.

Microsoft’s foldable keyboard looks pretty good, but you won’t be able to buy it until late July at the earliest, with Australian pricing not yet set. In the US, it commands a price of $99.95, so expect it to fetch for anywhere between $150 and $170 when it eventually arrives on our shores.

You could opt for a non-folding Bluetooth keyboard with a small form factor, but there’s always a tradeoff there between the utility of smaller keys and travel size, and again, there are some significant issues with quality.

Equally if you only wanted iPad compatibility I’d suggest a keyboard case – I’m personally a big fan of Logitech’s tablet keyboards – but you would end up with a slightly quirky connected-to-iPhone-while-iPad-is-out situation there.

If any readers have recommendations of their own, let Damo know in the comments.

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  • Some years ago, I used to use a folding keyboard, made by Think Outside.
    It was a decent small form keyboard, and I used it a lot with my Palm Tungsten. Since then, I’ve seen similar designs, but they do not appear to be that common.

    This one from Amazon seems to be the closest modern equivalent:

    Jorno also make a bluetooth folding keyboard.

    Biggest thing I found with my folding keyboard – you had to treat it with respect.
    The struts can easily get dented, which mean it may not open or worse, may not close again.

  • Thanks LH – I kept researching after I posted the question, and I’ve found a few more options that I’ve settled for:

    The one I’ve bought for now is the EC Technology Foldable keyboard. It’s good decent reviews, seemingly the best of the cheapies, and so it’ll fill in until I find something better. It’s $30, so not a huge risk, although seemingly not available in Australia.

    I like the Microsoft keyboard, but I’m not a classic home key touch typer – my hands fly all over the keyboard – so I’m concerned the middle fold gap would slow me down a lot.

    The Jorno looked awesome, but then was delayed. A few bloggers have alleged that the product they eventually released is just a rebadged ECT keyboard, since the cases are identical. For $99, I’ll sit out for now.

    However, the one I’m really waiting for is the Waytools Textblade. Really innovative design, tiny to carry, and seems to do the job when in use. It should be shipping in a month, so I’ll wait to see how the user reviews go and then jump in.

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