This is review of Anker Mini Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad, AnkerŪ Mini Bluetooth Keyboard
I have seen a number of similar candybar keyboards in the past but was always turn off when I start reading reviews/comments where it seems like a 50/50 chance of getting something that works. When opportunity presented to review this type of keyboard from Anker, I jumped right in. Once you get one of these multimedia keyboard in your hand, the first thing that goes through your mind is how much it resembles a remote control. It has the same shape and plastic built quality, but with a bonus of being super lightweight and offering SO MUCH MORE!!! According to its compatibility spec, it works with all versions of Windows, Android, Mac OS X, and Linux. It should pair up with any device with Bluetooth radio, and I had absolutely no problem pairing it up with Note 2 - within seconds! As a bonus, this mini keyboard has internal storage compartment with a small usb thumb drive dongle to add BT capability to any PC or laptop. If you don't need to use it, it stores neatly inside of the keyboard. This thumb drive hardly adds any weight to this "candybar". What else makes it very light and portable is the rechargeable battery, a decent 400mA capacity.that fully recharges within hours and should last you for a very long time. No need for AA or AAA batteries. The weight of this keyboard is about 100g, with a dimensions of approximately 150mm x 59mm x12.5 mm. I did mention a plastic built quality, but I really don't mean it in a negative way. It still feels very solid in your hand. Every button has a clickable response with a fantastic tactile feedback. But make no mistake, this is not your typical keyboard for a fast typing. It feels more like a keypad from some of the sliding phone keyboards designed with thumb-typing in mind. Although you can probably get used to it, I would say this keyboard is not going to replace your touch-screen keyboard or external keyboard if you are planning to do a lot of typing or used to a fast typing. The limitation is the touch pad on the right. Because of it's location, you don't have a symmetric placement of the keys between the edges of the keyboard. As a result I found the most comfortable way for me to type was with left hand thumb while keeping right hand navigating the touchpad and its left/right mouse and directional arrows underneath.
Now, about touchpad. All I have to say is WOW! Considering its small 34mm x 34mm footprint, it is very functional and essential part of the keyboard. After being paired up, as soon as you tap it a mouse cursor appears on the screen, After a short idle time or while typing, it disappears. Scrolling on this touch pad is very responsive and effortless. Tapping works like Enter key. Also, you get a dedicated scroll bar area which is like your scroll mouse to go up/down in your documents or webpages. There is also two dedicated buttons for a left/right mouse click which is great for Windows based operation, but also works great in Android where left mouse button is your typical tap and right mouse button has your return/go-back function. Holding FN + Left mouse button works as long press. Arrow keys will cycle through shortcuts on your screen. I also discovered that pressing FN and CTRL+ALT+DEL (under Enter key) fast reboots your phone. There are a lot of other dedicated function keys on this keyboard. You get your Home button, Menu button, and Return/Go-back button. You have a full set of multimedia controls with volume up/down and mute, and Play/Pause and FW/Rev controls. That is one awesome feature to take control of your phone remotely from a distance. I had my phone in the kitchen while I picked up this mini-keyboard in another room, hit play to start my recently opened playlist, skipped to a song, raised the volume up - all this controlling my phone without direct line of sight and using only this small remote control/keyboard.
They really should have called it a multimedia keyboard because in reality that is exactly what its functionality intended for! It's not going to replace your touch screen interaction or fast typing from external or touch keyboard. But it will enhance your multimedia experience with Note 2, especially for remote operation and in situation where you have your phone docked and/or connected to external tv/display. Most important, its not just limited to a phone or a tablet but could be used with your laptop or PC or MAC. I'm sure it will work with a smart TV as well. This is definitely not a one trick pony.
I also want to mention that it comes with a decent manual going over its functionality and operation. Not to mention this mini keyboard has a built-in laser pointer which makes it great to run a presentation, considering you can use it as a remote to control your laptop, etc. Oh yeah, and it has awesome backlight functionality!!! All around this is just a FANTASTIC gadget where you will look for any excuse to pair it up and to use with your phone
At least, that's what I'm doing right now. I did mention at the beginning of my review about similar keyboards I have seen elsewhere. This particular keyboard is a common design, not invented by Anker. What Anker brings to the table by offering it under it's brand name is a superior quality control, dedicated support, and a piece of mind with their 18-month warranty. In general, if you are into cool gadgets - this is definitely one to get to enhance your Note 2 experience or experience with any other smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart tv!
Here are some pictures: