Alright, alright, I know what you’re thinking: What? A keyboard? That’s not backpacking gear.
Well, you can be right, go ahead, I don’t mind. I pack a little heavy for my backpacking trips and, honestly, what I call backpacking gear might actually include things like my Nexus 7 tablet and a keyboard. What’s wrong with that?
So, I didn’t have a keyboard for my Nexus. I had never needed one before, but I thought it would be super cool if I could write on the trail. This led to a few problems.
I didn’t want to write on my phone, too small. I didn’t want to bring a laptop because heavy. My tablet, however, has had a spot in my pack for several trips already. It’s handy to use as an e-reader or for loading up with episodes of the Walking Dead, but absolute crap to type on the screen, I mean, especially if you’re attempting to write something like a blog post, or a short story, or anything with more than ten words. Enter – the keyboard hunt.
So, I started looking. I found cases, cases with mini bluetooth keyboards, wireless cases, etc. Everybody and their brother seems to make a bluetooth or wireless keyboard but here’s the thing – they are all for people with fingertips the width of a ballpoint pens. Maybe these keyboards would work for the spindly-fingered, but I’ve got big, thick fingers and those little keyboards drive me crazy.
The weight wasn’t a huge consideration, I mean, how much could a keyboard weigh, right? Turns out, it weighs about 1.8 lbs., not too shabby, but definitely not light.
It’s first trip was 4 nights on the Buffalo and, although I didn’t use it as much as I probably could have, it performed pretty well as both a keyboard (when I was writing) and as a stand for the tablet when we wanted some tuneage.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Keys: The buttons are large and pretty responsive. It feels a little cheap but works well. I have to admit, the first time I typed on it, I thought it felt like a kid’s toy, something by Hasbro.
- Sync/Pairing: It paired easily. You hold the button down for 3 seconds and the little blue light flashes, then the tablet found it.
- Power Button: The button is on the back and it’s a small slider. It was easy to turn on but I also thought it might be easily turned on in my backpack. Didn’t happen, but I think it could.
- Features: The slot holds my naked (out of the case) Nexus 7 well, but it’s too narrow for anything (including my phone) with a case. The angle is not adjustable but it suited me well enough.
- Toggle for multiple devices: Tried it with my phone and keyboard and it worked like a charm.
Here’s a little video.
I like it and plan on using it every time I go backpacking. It’s not perfect, but it suits me and my needs well enough. I will post back here if my opinion changes.