I’m typing this review on my iPhone 6s using a small, thin, foldable keyboard: the iClever Foldable Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Mini Wireless Keyboard (whew, that’s a long name). It’s an impressive engineering marvel that definitely works but does have a few drawbacks.
But first, the good news. This keyboard is small. True, that could be considered a drawback as well, but a person interested in buying a keyboard like this is looking for something compact. And while I’ve tested several small, travel-friendly keyboards in the last few years, I’ve never run into one this small.
Even though it is small, thanks to the fact that it can fold up, it’s still usable. The keys are actually fairly large and are satisfying to press.
But as a person used to typing on an Apple wireless keyboard, I’ve had a very hard time getting used to this keyboard. The more I use it, the better I get at using it, but I’d say there’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment for new users.
For one thing, it drives me nuts that the backspace key is so tiny. I’m always hitting the back slash key instead as that is the position of it on the aforementioned Mac keyboard I am used to. I’m also always constantly mis-typing as the keys aren’t centered like they are on my Apple keyboard. On the Apple keyboard, the letter keys are centered between the caps lock on the left and return on the right. On the iClever keyboard, the keys aren’t equal in size on the left and right so the whole experience feels shifted over to the left which leads me to type a lot of errors.
Also, the keys don’t register quite as nicely as the Apple keyboard. The P key, for instance, seems to give me a particular amount of trouble.
But on any keyboard this size, some compromises are going to have to be made. I understand why it functions the way it does: it makes sense. But don’t expect this to be as nice of an experience as a normal desktop keyboard.
For me, typing accurately sometimes means having to peek here and there to make sure I’m going to press the right button because hitting that backspace key is a bit of a pain. But I feel like with a lot of practice, a person could definitely get quite proficient (argh: I just typed definitely 4 times before getting it right).
The iClever foldable keyboard is Bluetooth enabled and setup is relatively straightforward. Open the keyboard and hit Fn + C to enable Bluetooth pairing mode. Go to your device’s settings and connect. Once connected, you’ll need to use the Fn key once more to select the correct mode: Android, Windows or iOS.
I like the look of the keyboard a lot. Both when it is folded up and when it is in use. The aluminum outer shell looks great and the black keys on the inside are very attractive and readable.
The iClever keyboard is rechargable and comes with a cable to do so. Battery life is great: more than enough for a solid business trip.
You’ll also get a carrying case, although I never use it, but it’s a nice accessory nonetheless.
This keyboard is very light, ultra-packable and would make the perfect travel keyboard if it came with just one important accessory: a phone stand.
As it stands, you’ll need to source a stand elsewhere: perhaps an iPhone case with a built-in kickstand.
I wouldn’t use this keyboard as my daily driver, but I would absolutely consider bringing it along when I travel or when I head to the coffee shop to get some work in. I think students, in particular, might like this compact keyboard for taking notes in class if they don’t want to haul a laptop around with them.
I really like the fact that closing the keyboard automatically turns it off to save power and opening it up turns it on. That’s smart, makes using the keyboard very easy and makes a lot of sense.
For what it is this little keyboard is pretty amazing. Far cooler than other compact keyboards I’ve tested. If you’re looking for a compact keyboard to pair with your iPhone, Android device or tablet, I’d certainly recommend this little guy. Just don’t expect a typing experience as luxurious as that of a desktop keyboard. One thing is for sure, iClever picked a great name for their company because “clever” is the perfect word to describe this ingenious foldable keyboard.