It weighs just 171g and folds up to pocket size, but somehow typing on this travel keyboard feels just like a laptop
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With the gadget ban on airlines operating out of the Middle East, wireless travel keyboards that use Bluetooth to pair with phones are appearing on everybody’s gadget shopping list. Most of them are terrible. But Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard is very responsive – exactly like using a laptop keyboard.
Game of two halves
The trouble with travel keyboards is that typing on them is almost impossible. Short spaces between keys is the obvious problem – something designers can’t seem to resist – but the Kanex is different. It’s oddly designed, in a V-shape, presumably for ergonomic reasons. It folds in half and is held by a magnetic closure when not in use to protect the keys. At just 16.3 x 10.1 cm and only 1.3 cm thick it slips easily into a pocket or handbag.
Just like a laptop …
The angled design of the keyboard is odd to start with, but with a little practice, it was easy to master (even if you already touch-type). For those who don’t touch-type it could take a bit longer to master the gap between the keys down the center, but the shift, enter, space and backspace keys are in exactly the right place for smooth typing. The usual shortcut button combinations work, and the shift + arrow buttons highlight characters, words, lines etc. as one would expect with a normal keyboard. And there are no Windows-only buttons. Phew!
There is, of course, an inherent problem with the design in that you can’t use it on your lap; this product really does need a flat surface. That makes it slightly more difficult to use in airports, but it’s worth the sacrifice for the typing quality. In our tests – writing this review – we made no more mistakes than usual on a large desktop computer keyboard. It even works about five meters away from the phone it’s connected to.
Another nifty feature of the Bluetooth-powered Kanex is its ability to connect to four devices simultaneously (including Android 4.0 & above, Mac OS 10, and Windows XP or later). We’re honestly not convinced we’ll use that function much, but it worked well enough when we quickly paired an iPhone, iPad Mini, and an Android phone. It was also easy to swap between devices using the shortcut buttons on the keyboard.
Magnetically closing when folded up, this small product is the best wireless travel keyboard around, and perfect for short trips – or flights in and out of the Middle East – when you can’t or don’t want to take a laptop. For those who want to write up a travel journal on a phone while traveling virtually gadget-less, the Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard is officially TravGear gold.
Price as reviewed: UK£49.95/US$39.99