The Ultimate Keyboard
Years ago, it was one of the very first questions that had been sent into me to my science and tech show–Sovryn Tech–and it was a simple asking for a recommendation, but it was about a very important accessory: for mobile devices, what is the best keyboard I can get?
At the time, the choices were pretty slim, with the standard Apple Keyboard surprisingly being about the best one out there (for Android and iOS). Companies like Perixx and others had some interesting offerings, but nothing that I would consider really portable and well designed. Point being, when asked this question, I’ve never really had a concrete answer that applied to people across the board.
And let’s be clear, for the Dark Android Project, having a full hardware keyboard is a handy thing as you could be using your Dark Android device for some serious work that a touchscreen keyboard would make nothing less than painful.
Now, thankfully, I have THE keyboard to recommend: the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard.
Look at that thing. Beautiful design. Unfortunately, it costs $100, but I think it’s worth every penny. Like other bluetooth-connecting portable keyboards, it has tremendous battery life (and can be easily charged with the same USB charger you use for your phone), it folds up to the size of a CD jewel case (which is one of the smallest I’ve seen), and it is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows (in other words, you can use it with anything that can accept bluetooth). It’s also spill resistant, and it’s pretty rugged overall. Another interesting feature built in is the ability for it to be used on two devices at the same time, and it can easily switch between the two. A clever trick that I could imagine some interesting use cases for.
But the real winner here for me is the addressing of a personal pet peeve: the “Right Shift” key. For compact keyboards, the “Right Shift” key is always shrunken down to the same size as a normal character key (even though on the Universal Foldable Keyboard, they still shrunk it a little, but it’s still a very well-defined key). And that kills me because I nearly exclusively use the “Right Shift” key, but when it is not at least somewhat defined–or worse when it’s put to the right of a full size “Up Arrow” key–my typing is lost. I recognize this isn’t an issue for everyone, but Microsoft’s Universal Foldable Keyboard solves this issue nicely.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…it’s made by Microsoft…and this is the Dark Android Blog which is concerned with privacy, anonymity, and security…but Microsoft probably plays a lot of ball with various government-run alphabet-soup organizations (NSA, FBI, GCHQ, etc.)…how can you recommend a Microsoft product? Microsoft probably put a keylogger in the device itself that reports straight to HQ!
I don’t think that idea is outlandish at all, but let’s be clear, if that idea stopped me from using a keyboard, there isn’t a single keyboard on the planet (that used USB instead of PS/2) that I’d probably trust when it comes to some kind of keylogger being built in. It definitely makes a great case for the need for “open-source hardware”. So take that point at your own threshold and taste.
That aside, Microsoft has–for decades–made some of the best hardware out there, and still does (like the company or not). From their Xbox controllers, to their various mice, and their “natural” keyboards, to their Surface line of computers, they’ve been “doing it right” hardware-wise for a while. And I think the Universal Foldable Keyboard is no exception, and will work well with your Dark Android tablet.
Albeit pricey, this is the portable keyboard to beat.