This is my first review of anything on here to date, I’ve decided I am going to actively review more of my purchases to make other people aware of any pros or cons with products that I have tested. As such I will be going back though my hardware purchases and adding in unbiased reviews.
There were specific reasons that I chose this particular product over the many alternatives that I looked into before making my final decision:
It has an inbuilt (rechargeable) battery
The keyboard is only 4mm thick
The price point (£19.99) is excellent
Having a built in battery, aside from meaning that I don’t have to purchase batteries for the keyboard, also means that it can be manufactured much thinner than competing products as it doesn’t have to house any relatively bulky standard AAA or even AA batteries.
Being chargeable via USB cable (supplied) means that I can recharge this with my Anker Astro E5 (other portable battery packs are available :P) so I never need to worry about running out of power.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this keyboard, it is sleek and very easy to type on. In fact, I am writing this review on it right now.
The keyboard is supplied with a user manual, USB cable and 8 tiny rubber feet which you put on yourself. The manual must have been updated following previous reviews as other people stated that it didn’t point out what the shortcut keys do, it does now so that’s nice to see a company actually taking on board customer feedback.
Without the feet the keyboard will slide around slightly on a flat surface and these feet do a great job of preventing that.
They do add a tiny bit of depth to the keyboard taking it above 4mm at its thickest point, but not so much that it bothers me in any way.
You do need to be careful where you put them as the keyboard is so thin that it will flex under pressure if they are not thoughtfully placed. I put four in the corners around 2mm from the edges and then 4 more in a square towards the centre of the keyboard spaced out around 2 inches apart from each other.
To give you a better representation, the feet I placed in the middle are roughly beneath the following keys… “5”, “8”, “V” and “M” I did this because I had read previous reviews saying that the keyboard was flexing in the middle. This eliminated that problem completely and the keyboard feels sturdy under every key press regardless of which key I am applying pressure to.
Setting up the keyboard is a doddle even if you are non-technical, it’s literally just a case of turning on Bluetooth on the device and clicking the connect button. When you tap on the “Keyboard” from your list of detected Bluetooth devices it prompts you to press a combination of four keys on the board and then it pairs.
One very minor gripe with the keyboard is that the aluminium on the underside of the keyboard is very easily scratched. I am gutted that I have already scratched mine. I accidentally let the metal hinge of my Smart Cover run across the back of the keyboard and it has put a minor surface scratch in the back. With this in mind it may have been nice if Anker included a soft fabric bag/cover for the keyboard when not in use to prevent it getting scratched putting it in and out of your bag.
The layout of the keys on the keyboard is very natural and there is only one point that will mean it takes a tiny bit of getting used to… The right hand shift key is very small and very close to the “up” key, which your little finger may find accidentally at times. So I’ve taken to using the left shift key as an alternative when I’m typing very quickly.
The only other thing I would have changed from a design point of view, personally, is I would have had the rubber feet in black, but permanently built into the underside of the keyboard. This way they could have been lower profile and much less likely to fall off once the keyboard has aged a little.
Both permanent feet and a supplied bag for protection would have increased the price point of this product so for 20 quid I think they have got it spot on. I would have paid £25-30 for it if it had a bag and some permanent feet, but I think for 20 pounds you really can’t go wrong.
I can’t really recommend this keyboard enough. It is brilliant. It is so thin that it actually fits inside my Belkin Pleated sleeve along with the iPad which has a Belkin Snap Shield Secure and a Smart Cover in place.
One thing I will say, of you are planning to work on this and using the “£” sign a lot then you have to use the iPad keyboard to do this as the Anker has a $ sign instead. This is not a real issue and it made considerably less of a ball-ache by the fact that pressing F4 on the Anker brings up the on screen keyboard; a nice touch.
I am so pleased with this purchase, although it is very early days I can see it lasting a long time if you take good care of it.
Although I am reviewing it from an IOS user’s perspective, it is worthy of note that it will also work with a Windows or an Android device.
In short, if you have 20 quid and want a highly portable Bluetooth keyboard, buy this.
I have given this product 4 stars, which for me is VERY good, I am not going to give a product 5 stars unless it really blows me away and I can’t find any flaw at all.
If this was out of 10 I would have given 9, the only thing that lets it down, in my opinion, is having no £ sign for UK customers. The fact that I scratched mine within minutes of opening it is bugging me, but only because I’m an absolute perfectionist and I’m angry with myself that I wasn’t more careful.
/edit since writing this review I have since learned that you can hold down the shift key and press 3 to get the £ sign! Have 5 stars Anker… Very, very well done.