A Rugged, Lightweight Folding Bluetooth Keyboard.

I often use my mobile phone or tablet as a notebook during lectures and seminars. A Bluetooth keyboard is a must-have for long periods of typing.

This lightweight, 250mm long keyboard is ideal for traveling with the minimum equipment, and being able to take notes on a phone or tablet.

My search for the perfect pocketable keyboard has lead me into a few dead-ends. Most folding keyboards are in two halves and shift keys around. Often splitting the spacebar into two keys. The central hinge results in nothing being in the quite the right place.

The tri-fold keyboard I have found is the perfect compromise. The actual keyboard is 235mm or 9.25” long, so touch typists may have problems. They layout, however is excellent. It is a robust metal tri-fold design. The left and right ends fold over to cover the middle of the keyboard. It is spring loaded, and stays open or shut. Opening it locks the ends down with a click and switches the keyboard on, initiating the Bluetooth connection. My 8” tablet, once paired, now connects instantly, with no user intervention. I can switch from the on-screen keyboard to the folding keyboard in two or three seconds. The keyboard powers on as it is opened.

Bluetooth 4I carry a small rectangular piece of Coreflute with may as an almost weightless lap desk. The aluminium case slides around, so I have added 4 small plastic feet to the back. This keep the keyboard stable and stops it moving.

It is available under several brand names. I purchased a white keyboard, but most suppliers only have the black version.

The documentation is less than perfect, but basic functions are obvious. There are some options to configure it for iOS, Android or Windows.

This keyboard is here on Amazon.

There is also a full sized version here:


Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard – A Bluetooth Keyboard Contender?


Microsoft Universal Keyboard
Microsoft Universal Keyboard

I am always trying to find a better, lightweight, Bluetooth keyboard, and Microsoft has just entered the fray with the “Universal Mobile Keyboard” at $79.95 US.

I tend to be a keyboard junkie. Surprising, since I am not a touch typist. I do use keyboards daily, and type on a tablet, phone, and often on a Chromebook or Laptop that I put up on a stand to save neck pain. So I use a Bluetooth Keyboard for all these devices.


Logitech has been my hero in this area. They make a number of keyboards, some of the expensive, but excellent.

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Android
Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Android

One that I like, but tend not to travel with is the awkwardly named “Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Windows and Android” that works beautifully, and comes with a very solid case but is unfortunately heavy. It weighs in at a deal-breaking 676 g  or 1.5 lb.  It also comes in at $99 AU. We do not have an Australian price for the Microsoft keyboard, but with the “Australia Tax” it will probably cost more.

The big selling point of the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard is a flip back, detachable cover that serves as a universal tablet stand, taking any tablet or phone thinner than 10mm.

Logitech K810 Keyboard
Logitech K810 Keyboard

It also has the ability to switch between multiple devices instantly, like the Logitech K810, my favorite keyboard. It weighs in at 339 g or 0.74 lb, but has no stand or case. That means I have to carry a separate stand and find a way to protect it in the road.

If this new keyboard from Microsoft comes in at a respectable weight, I will be standing in line for one in August.