Hardware: best foldy keyboard for iPad Mini?

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:25 pm Post

Advice from anyone out there who likes to do a bit of writing while on the go, and doesn't like to drag around a laptop: what's the best fold-up portable keyboard for an iPad Mini?

I gather that you can get keyboards that act as cases, or some such magic, for the bigger iPads. But what about the Mini?

In the days of Palm I got a fold-up keyboard for that; a knacky little thing, but impossible for me to use because a good few of the keys were assigned to totally weird things. It was one of the two main reasons I stopped using the Palm. So whatever keyboard I get would need to be normal in terms of what the keys are used for.

Any advice and help gratefully accepted.

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:57 pm Post

Logitech have a reasonable if not stellar reputation for good keyboard cases for iPads. I've used one of theirs with my iPad Mini for several years, with no problems (other than the fundamental one that I think the Mini is too small for me to use for writing seriously for any length of time - but that may be my fault rather than Apple's or Logitech's).

I suspect that my Logitech case is now out of production, but I see that there at least two newer models available for the Mini on amazon.co.uk.
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:10 pm Post

Thanks, I'll take a look there.

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:40 am Post

It doesn't fold, but I've got a Logitech Keys-to-Go I'm very fond of; it's not much thicker than two credit cards and barely bigger than my wife's iPad mini, but big enough for full-bore touch-typing with my smallish and arthritic hands.

Years ago I had a folding keyboard for my Compaq iPaq, and it worked a treat--if I could find a flat level spot to set it down. The advantage I've found with the Keys-to-Go is I can use it comfortably in my lap, or balanced on a knee.

Worth trying one out, to see if it suits.

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Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:55 am Post

I have seen several folding keyboards advertised online but never tried one myself. But I can second the recommendation for the Keys-to-Go, at least as a travel companion. It served honorably with my iPad Mini 2 and ior a year or so until I moved to the iPad Pro. You can usually find them for around $30 if you look hard enough. I got a refurbed one for about half that. After a couple years of use, the fabric skin has pulled away a bit from the keys in a couple places. It doesn’t really impede my typing but might annoy others. Also, mine developed a white faded look on several keys. I thought skin oil or just abrasion might be rubbing the letters off but it turns out that if you wash it off with water (it’s waterproof), it looks new again.

However, I did notice that as I used my iPad more and more for Scrivening and my MacBook less, I started to feel some wrist ache that I attribute to the KTG’s flatness. It wasn’t serious but worried me enough to haul out my old Incase Origami keyboard case and use my old Apple Wireless Keyboard with my iPad pro when I’m around the home office, which is most of the time. There’s no substitute I’ve found for a really good keyboard for extended writing sessions, and the AWC is probably the best I’ve used. The KTG is excellent for the occasional trip to the library or coffee shop etc. because it’s so slim it fits into my little superslim shoulder bag and it’s utterly silent, a real advantage in such situations that the AWC does not share, alas. But if I were going on an extended trip where I knew I was going to be doing a lot of writing, and I had the room, I’d probably bring the AWC in its origami case.

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Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:06 pm Post

I picked up Microsoft’s latest universal (iOS, Android & Surface) foldable keyboard a few months ago and I really like it. You do need a flat surface to rest it on, as it is a simple folding design that doesn’t “snap” into position, it unfolds more like a wallet might. The material is that “leathery” stuff Apple uses on their keyboards. Foldable means it can be as wide as it needs to be but when you’re done with it, it doesn’t even take up as much space as a novel would.

It’s not at all a case, which in my opinion is a good thing where it comes to the Mini and iPhones. I’ve never found a case form factor that works with those, because the size of the device is too small for a comfortable keyboard. This folds out to something as wide as a MacBook keyboard.

It’s liquid resistant, has a good tactile feel to it, and the layout of the keys is familiar enough that it doesn’t take much to acclimate to it. The only keys I’d swap are the Ctrl and Home keys. As a Mac user I’m more familiar with Ctrl being right next to Option.

Oh and it can pair with two devices (with a different platform for each pairing), so you can easily use it with a phone in a pinch, without having to go through the whole pairing dance every time you switch.
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Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:26 pm Post

This is a keyboard case, not a folding keyboard, but I love it:
https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Zagg- ... 07496.aspx

By shrinking some of the less used keys, they got enough room to make the letter keys nearly full-sized.

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Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:39 pm Post

I've just started beta-testing a just-short-of-miraculous little keyboard called the Text Blade. The principles behind it are genius:

1. give fingers all the space they need on the home row, but reduce how far they need to reach. Text Blade achieves this by providing large keys that are touchpad-like surfaces — keys that know what part of the key you've hit. This works really really well.

2. provide fingers with 'travel' that feels velvet smooth and steady, providing clear tactile feedback. Text Blade's fewer, spacious keys allow this: full 2mm travel, like the best keyboards you've used with a satisfying smooth mechanism.

3. ultra-portable with a long battery life.


1. it takes a while for your fingers to learn not to reach too far. This is especially a problem point with the pinkie, which has a lot to do on any keyboard ... I've been using this just over a week and I still regularly hit <enter> when I mean to hit an apostrophe.

2. the creators want it to be as good as it possibly can be before releasing it to the general public, and its release has now been delayed about 2 years so far. They are genuine, and the product is real, and adding new beta-testers like me last week means that I believe it will be released, but I wouldn't like to bet on when, except to bet 'not in time to wrap for Christmas'.

Again, I'm not affiliated with the company in anyway other than an impressed beta-tester and hoping to be a customer.

There is lots more to say about this keyboard — see the short videos at the website:

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Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:45 pm Post

ConradG wrote:I've just started beta-testing a just-short-of-miraculous little keyboard called the Text Blade. [...] http://www.waytools.com

I'm glad to hear that it exists in the flesh. I decided a few months ago that it must be some sort of weird psychological study, and asked for my money back -- after two years of constantly being told that my shipment would be later in that current quarter, I stopped believing them.

My previous update on that long wait was at the half-way mark: viewtopic.php?f=53&t=35005&p=216382#p216382
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:56 am Post

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