I’ve talked a lot lately about portability. When it comes to laptops, tablets, keyboards, I’m on the go a lot and I sometimes need to write away from my comfortable little desk at home. So I could carry around a laptop, but there are times when a tablet is more convenient. Beyond that, there are times that a phone is even more convenient. But typing a full editorial or review on a phone isn’t feasible, right? It’s madness! Well, unless that phone happens to be a Lumia 950 that has Continuum capability.
One aspect of Continuum that is particularly nice is the extreme portability of the phone. Add to that an extremely portable keyboard, and that makes for a winning formula in this writer’s opinion. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is just such an accessory that can make your portability woes seem a thing of the past.
Our review unit came with our Lumia 950 Continuum pack, so we have been using it for six days. We’ve written a few editorials on it, and also used it for basic surfing/typing/getting things done. The Universal Foldable Keyboard is extremely thin and light, in some ways, even more so that the LG Rolly keyboard we reviewed recently.
The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard measures 11.61” in length (which folds down to 5.8” inches), 4.9” in width, and less than 1/2” inch deep (.45” to be exact). The plastic keys and the soft touch fabric that covers the rest of the keyboard are spill resistant and nice to touch. The keys have great travel and feedback; this is a very comfortable keyboard on which to type.
The fact that it is a folding keyboard may be a problem to some. Microsoft introduced us to the ergonomic keyboard years ago, and a similar design makes its way onto this keyboard – split down the middle, though not twisted out like its predecessor. Once folded, this is the size of a small book and could easily fit into a pocket on a coat.
Using the keyboard does come with some compromises, as we alluded to earlier. The keyboard is split down the middle, much like the ergonomic keyboards of old. Keys that are near the middle of the keyboard are much larger than keys near the edge. It takes a lot of getting used to, depending on how often you had your knuckles smacked with a yardstick in typing class. If you have proper positioning and posture, then you’ll make Mrs. Fitzsimmons proud and you’ll also have no problems typing.
One other thing we noticed was the keyboard was a little hard to keep clean. The keyboard is black, so it already has that going against it. The soft touch fabric is a dirt and dust magnet and not easily brushed off either.
Our relationship with the keyboard was a progressively improving one. We started off typing all over the place, not quite getting our bearings after several hundred words – typos and extra keystrokes everywhere. Slowly, as we became more accustomed to the keyboard, things started getting better. We became more accurate by the day. We still make more errors on this keyboard than on our trusty Macbook or even on the LG Rolly, but this is a steadily improving situation.
One major benefit this keyboard has is the ability to independently connect to two different devices, and switch back and for the between them with the press of a button. Two keys in the upper left corner are designated for two different devices, and switching between them is as simple as pressing a key. Fear not, the keys are sufficiently out of the way so you will not inadvertently switch from the Lumia to your iPad without realizing it. That’s a nice little touch that we quite enjoyed.
Overall, this is a very solid entry into the Bluetooth keyboard space, especially if you have two devices you’d like to control. The keyboard is super compact and easy to carry, even in a jacket pocket – pants pocket might be a bit of a stretch, literally. There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to typing on the keyboard. At $99.99 it’s on the pricy side, but the compact size and the ability to connect to two different devices seamlessly make it worth the extra money in our opinion.