Almost 15 years ago, PDAs such as the Sony Clié or Pocket PC were the best means of carrying your data around with you. Their admittedly modest success spawned a range of keyboards that docked with your touchscreen device.
Over time, these keyboards grew into mechanical marvels that folded very small for portability, but gave a typing experience to rival a notebook. These days, smartphones and tablets are the touchscreen portables of choice, and most mobile keyboards favour Bluetooth connectivity.
But if this Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard is anything to go by, lessons learned by PDA keyboards 15 years ago urgently need revisiting.
The open keyboard is 32cm wide, folding down to 16x10x2cm when closed. We've seen smaller, but it's portable enough and comes with a handy leather slipcase.
It has a slideout stand for the iPhone, but it's flimsy and certainly won't hold an iPad. Indeed, the build quality overall isn't fantastic by any means.
To make matters worse, key positioning has been compromised for space. Things are not quite where they should be, making typing at length a chore. The tiny backspace key and split spacebar are especially annoying.
It sits flat on the desk too, with no stands to speak of to raise it to a comfortable typing angle. The keyboard has useful media keys for listening to your music as you type, and the arrow keys make it easier to highlight text and use the cut, copy and paste functions, but overall, it's difficult to recommend.
It's okay for SMS, short emails and updating your Facebook status or Twitter feeds, but this keyboard is certainly not for serious typing.
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