It is in my personal opinion that having a wireless keyboard is a must-have for those of you who use iOS devices. Even though iOS devices are quite capable on their own, especially thanks to amazing developers who create powerful and feature-rich applications, having a keyboard seem essential for editing long text documents and other stuff.
Luckily for us, there are countless keyboards on the market, in all shapes and sizes. Even though it’s always a good idea to buy a keyboard case which also protects your iPad and keeps it safe and secure, there are other types of keyboards that are perhaps more suitable for some specific types of users.
In this article, we will be looking at a foldable Bluetooth keyboard that can be used with any iOS device as well as any computer or tablet that supports this kind of wireless connection. It is called Tri-Folding Keyboard, even though its full name is “Foldable Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Mini Wireless Keyboard”. This is a product of iClever, known for ingenious protective cases and keyboards.
The Tri-Folding Keyboard connects wirelessly, via Bluetooth, but also using an included USB cable. When it comes to its size, it is comparable in size to the keyboard on the MacBook Pro. On the other hand, as its name says, you can fold it and shrink its physical dimensions. Thanks to its foldable shape, the keyboard is about the size of an iPhone 6s Plus, and it’s designed not only to work with iOS, but also with Windows, and Android.
Unfolded, the keyboard is about eleven and a quarter inches by four and a half inches, but you reduce its dimensions by folding it to six and a half inches in width. It is only about half an inch thick, so one of its great benefits is how travel-friendly it is. It weighs about six ounces, making the Tri-Folding Keyboard one of the most compact and lightweight keyboards I’ve tested.
The case is made of brushed matte aluminum and it actually looks premium-priced. The hinges work great, and I haven’t experienced a single issue with the mechanism during the testing period. On the other hand, I wished to see a kind of a locking mechanism that would lock the keyboard in its expanded shape. This is why I don’t recommend using this keyboard on your lap, for example. It is clear that you should use it on a flat surface, like a desk. There are small rubber pads on the bottom, preventing the keyboard from sliding and keeping it firmly in its place.
When it comes to design, this is a fairly typical keyboard that doesn’t require an adjustment period. You will get to use iOS-specific keys in the top row, while you’ll also find a key named “Win”, used to trigger the Start menu on Windows. The great news is that iClever keyboard comes with backlit keys, perfect for those long typing sessions in dark.
Functionality and Battery Life
By unfolding the keyboard, you power it on. There is a small, green LED light above the number 7 that blinks a couple of times to let you know that it’s activated. Since there is no dedicated button for deactivating the keyboard, it will go to sleep on its own after 15 minutes of inactivity. You activate it once again by pressing any button and continue working from where you left off.
When it comes to the battery life, the company promises 84 hours of use or 218 days of standby time. I clearly didn’t have a chance to test this, but I think it is safe to say that you’ll be impressed by how long the Tri-Folding Keyboard can operate. When it comes to charging, you need to use the included micro-USB cable. The charging port is located on the top edge of chassis.
To pair this Bluetooth keyboard with your iOS device, simply unfold it and press the Function button and C key simultaneously. This will activate the Pairing mode, which could be seen thanks to a blue LED light that will begin to blink. At this point, you should see the Tri-Folding Keyboard in your device’s Bluetooth menu.
I tested the Bluetooth connection with my iPhone 6s and iPad Air, and the keyboard worked without any issues.
When it comes to typing, there are no problems whatsoever. The keys are of nice size, and they don’t stick too much out of the keyboard. Even the arrow keys are fully-sized, which is not always the case. When it comes to comparison with other keyboard cases, I actually prefer this one due to its ease of use.
If there is anything that I would change, it’s the Backspace key. It is positioned all the way in the upper right corner, and it’s small in size.
There’s only one thing that I would change, and that’s the keyboard’s folding mechanism. Even though it’s great that you’re able of folding it from both directions and drastically reducing its dimensions, the folding mechanism is somewhat large. This especially goes for the extruded parts that go over the keyboard’s surface and somewhat blocks the access to about four keys. This is not a deal breaker, since I don’t even notice it now, but I really needed to concentrate in the beginning to avoid typos.
You will receive the keyboard with the charging micro-USB cable, and a felt carrying pouch, so this is not a cheap-looking product in any way. This could be also seen by the keyboard’s sturdy aluminum build that seems capable of surviving in a backpack or bag.
If you’re looking for an unattached Bluetooth keyboard for your iOS device, look no further than the iClever’s keyboard. For just $35.99, this is probably the best deal you can find at the moment. Even though this shouldn’t be your primary keyboard that you use throughout the day, it is perfect for quick typing sessions when you want to edit a document on the go.