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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Entering Text Gets Frustrating, Fight Back With A Bluetooth Keyboard!

My 19" Monitor
    Bluetooth is everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. It's installed in my phone, my laptop, my tablet, my set top box, my TV, even my stereo. It seems that almost any device can be used to e-mail or text or search through a list of TV shows or movies. With my Digital media player it's a no-brainer to find something to watch. Most of the time, clicking on an on-screen keyboard is just fine. But sometimes, it can be VERY frustrating to navigate with a remote control. There IS a solution; the battery powered Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad. I'll never go back to fumbling with the remote again!

With Function Keys Too!
I tested quite a few of these at several price points. From 7.99 up to 49.99. They all work similarly. You pair the keyboard to your device and you can type. GREAT for tablets with no keyboard to start with. You want to make sure you know what you are getting, since many of them look great until you receive it and realize the keyboard is about the size of a large remote control. Not easy to type on. OK for a few words in a pinch, but not what I wanted at all. There are also all sorts of shapes and colors to choose from, but the basic rectangle in basic black suits me just fine. You can use them with any OS that supports Bluetooth connections.

Cool TouchPad/Numeric Keypad
The best I found was the  iPazzPort KP-810-25BTT. It matches a fully usable keyboard with a large touchpad on the right that, when switched, doubles as a regular number pad. It's very thin and small enough to store easily but large enough to type on comfortably. Just to be clear, this is NOT a full size computer keyboard, rather a 1/2 scale version with real keys that depress when you touch them. I wouldn't write a novel on one, but e-mail, texts, searches...even setting up new devices...it's perfect! The added numeric keypad is a great time-saver as well.


Cute Little Rubber Feet
Bluetooth keyboards come in a wide variety of types (no pun intended!) so your typing preferences should help you decide on one. I would recommend one with some kind of mouse substitute. This one has a touchpad, but you can find ones with pointing sticks or even a hide-a-way mouse. What about power? The one I have runs on two AAA size batteries. I've used it for many hours and haven't noticed a problem yet. This particular one has an actual ON/OFF switch on the bottom. That should help save power when in storage. The little rubber feet hold it from slipping on any flat surface, while the battery compartment acts as a stand to place the keyboard at a better angle.

It's nice to be able to do an online search or select something on screen while I'm far away, comfortable on the couch. You can even pair it with your cell phone and type emails and messages, albeit on a small screen...unless you have one of those giant semi-tablet phones! Try it...you'll like it!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"